This is a combo drill that improves spacing, passing off the dribble and shooting. In this drill we are taking a piece of our offense and turning it into a skill building drill.
String Spacing Explanation
With the string spacing drills, players should imagine that they are connected by a 12-15 foot string. If players get close together the string will sag and touch the ground. If players get too far apart, the string will break. The goal is to keep the string taut so it doesn't break or touch the ground. Players should move in unison.
Part 1 - Dribble Toward Bottom Foot
This is a 2-5 player drill. The smaller the numbers, the more reps you get. We usually limit to 2 or 3 players per basket. You can also run the drill on both sides of the basket if you have limited baskets to use.
To start the drill, 1 dribbles towards the bottom side of 2. To improve spacing, 2 cuts to the elbow area.
1 passes to 2. 2 takes the shot. 3 moves to the wing position.
1 gets the rebound and passes the ball to 3. 2 goes to the end of the line.
The process repeats (3 dribbles to the bottom side of 1. 1 cuts to elbow. And so on.)
After completing desired reps or reaching the time limit, move to the left side of the court and repeat the drill.
Part 2 - Dribble Toward Top Foot
As a progression you can run the drill the same way, except the wing dribbles towards on the top side of the post. The post player then slides to the short corner and takes the shot.
Part 3 - Guard to Post
As an optional progression, you can change the angle by moving the wing to the guard spot.
As the guard dribbles toward the post, the post can either circle under to the left or flare out to the right. Guard then makes the pass and the post takes the shot.
Variation - 2 Player Competitive
You can also make the drill competitive by using cones and making the players dribble around cones. The competitive version is a 2 player drill. So extra players may have to sit out and then rotate in after time expires.
To make the drill competitive, put a cone on the wing. You can also put a shooting marker or spot on the elbow to make sure players don't cheat by moving closer to the basket.
It's a timed drill (ex: 2 minutes). All groups start at the same time... so you'll need more than one basket to make this competitive.
Player 1 dribbles to the bottom side of 2. 2 will pop to the elbow and take the shot.
1 moves to the post position. 2 gets the rebound.
2 then dribbles around the big cone (inside of cone to the outside) and dribbles toward the post. The post cuts to elbow, receives the pass, and takes the shot. The process repeats for the prescribed duration (ex: 2 minutes).
Players keep track of made baskets for the 2-person team. The team with the most made baskets wins the competition.
Variation - Read the Ball
As players become proficient with the drill, you can make it more challenging by instructing the dribbler to mix things up. In other words, the ballhandler can choose to dribble to the top side or choose to dribble to the bottom side. Now the post player has to read the ball and choose which direction to go. This is a more realistic simulation of what actually happens in a game. So we prefer this variation with our experienced players.
Variation - Add a Ball
If you have 3 or more players you can add a second ball to speed up any of the competitive progressions.
Points of Emphasis
Don't move too early. Wait for the dribbler and read their movement.
Don't move too late.... move on a string keeping the string taut.
When passing you can either emphasize "ball pick up" and passing off the dribble. Or you can emphasis jump stops, pivots, and then passing.
Shooter should get prepared before the ball gets there... feet in good shooting position, hands up giving the passer a target, and fingers pointed to the ceiling.
Highly Recommended for Motion Offense Development
We find that string spacing drills are critical to our motion offensive development. Players need to learn how to adjust spacing as the ball is dribbled and this drill is effective at teaching that concept. This drill is highly recommended for motion offense.