All-Star Practice Plans

At the All-Star Level, players will begin to gain strength, quickness and the ability to better react to game situations. Practices will shift towards team concepts and competition, while still heavily emphasizing skill development.

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All-Star Practice Plan 8

Cultivating Values & Developing Wellness

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Rest

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  • It is important to get plenty of rest, so your body can recuperate from strenuous workouts and games, leaving you prepared for the next, and so that your body and mind are also ready for the other challenges of the day outside of basketball. Sleep is critical to a healthy body and mind, so even if you have FOMO (fear of missing out), make sure you get plenty of sleep. If it helps, remind yourself that when it comes time for the 100% effort necessary for success on the court, you won’t be missing out if you’re well-rested.
  • Coaches and players should relish rest during practices. Breaks from the physical exertion are necessary, and they also provide a natural time for players and coaches to talk to each other. While everyone catches their breath, you can go over plays or discuss strategy. It’s also a great opportunity for coaches and players to get to know each other better. You can do icebreaker exercises or just have each player and coach talk a bit about their favorite NBA players or games they may have seen the previous night. Team-building during these rest breaks is an important part of what coaches and players should be getting from their youth basketball experience.

Warm Up

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Line Hops

(1 x 20 seconds each)
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  • 2 Feet Forward & Backwards
  • 2 Feet Side to Side
  • 1 Foot Forward & Backwards
  • 1 Foot Side to Side
  • Stationary Hip Swings
  • Arm Rolls

Building Skills

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Ball Handling

Spin Dribble Drill

(3 minutes)
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  • The players will all have a ball and start on the sideline.
  • They will take 2 dribbles with their right hand and spin to their left.
  • The players will repeat now taking 2 dribbles with their left hand and spinning back to their right.
  • The players will do this all the way down the court and back.

Key Points

Make sure the 2nd dribble is a hard dribble and the players can think about having their feet almost come to a jump stop at the same time as their 2nd dribble as they prepare to spin.

Spin Move to Shot

(2 reps each way)
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  • Have the players start in lines on the wings with a ball.
  • The first player will take 2 dribbles towards the baseline and simulate a defender cutting them off.
  • The player will spin back towards the middle without taking another dribble, squaring up and taking a jump shot.
  • The player will get their rebound and go to the other line and the process will repeat as the next player goes.

Key Points

Make sure the players take a hard last dribble a take a good big powerful spin towards the middle while sitting in a good stance to maintain balance.

Moving Between the Legs Drill

(2 x down and back)
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  • All players need a ball (or share) and will start on the baseline.
  • The players will will dribble all the way down the floor taking two dribbles and then exploding forward between the legs.

2-Ball Same Time Moving

(2 x down and back)
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  • All the players will start on the baseline with 2 balls (or share).
  • They will start by dribbling with 2 balls at the same time.
  • After a couple of dribbles, they will begin moving at a natural pace while staying low.
  • They will do this for this distance dictated before turning and coming back.

Passing

Pound Pass Drill

(2 x 30 seconds each way)
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  • Have the players partner up and get a ball.
  • The partners will stand at least the lane width apart.
  • The partner with the ball will start by pounding the ball and then passing it out to their partner with one hand.
  • The pass should not be underhand, it should overhand with their hand behind the ball and their fingers pointing up.
  • The partner will catch the ball with one hand and repeat the action back to their partner.
  • The players should work at an intense speed.
  • Change the types of dribbles leading into the pass to keep the drill fresh.

Star Passing

(10 x each way)
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  • Have 5 lines of players, 1 on each elbow, 1 on each block, and 1 under the basket.
  • Have 1 player start with the ball under the basket facing the court.
  • The player with the ball will pass the ball to the player on the right elbow and then follow the pass to take that spot.
  • The player on the elbow will pass the ball to the opposite block and follow that pass to the back of that line.
  • The player on the block will pass across to the other block and follow to that line.
  • The player on the block will pass to the player on the opposite elbow and follow that pass to the back of that line.
  • The player on the elbow will catch the ball and dribble in for a lay-up.
  • The line under the basket will grab the rebound and the process will begin again.

jrnba_allstar_pp8_starpassing_diagram1of6 jrnba_allstar_pp8_starpassing_diagram2of6 jrnba_allstar_pp8_starpassing_diagram3of6 jrnba_allstar_pp8_starpassing_diagram4of6 jrnba_allstar_pp8_starpassing_diagram5of6 jrnba_allstar_pp8_starpassing_diagram6of6

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Post Pass & Cut Drill

(12 lay-ups each way)
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  • Have the players start in a line at the three point line with the first several players having a ball.
  • The first player in line will start with the ball in triple threat and fake a pass, then make a pass to the post player or coach.
  • Immediately after the pass, the player will make a baseline cut and receive the ball back for a lay-up.
  • The player will get their rebound and go back to the end of the line.
  • This process will continue.

Shooting

Spin Step-In Drill

(1 x 2 minutes each way)
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  • Have each player get a ball and start in 1 line on the baseline (be sure to utilize multiple baskets).
  • Place 3 cones around the paint, 1 just above the block, 1 in the middle of the lane and 1 just above the opposite block.
  • Have the players spin the ball out in front of the first cone, move forward and step into the ball with their inside foot.
  • Once square and balance repeat the process moving to the cone in the middle of the paint.
  • Again once square and balance repeat the process moving to the 3rd cone where the player will plant their inside foot and this time shoot the ball.
  • The player will get their rebound and go to the back of the line.
  • The players are allowed to start once the player in front of them is at the middle cone.

Key Points

Work on balance and good footwork. Be sure to go both directions.

Shooting Line Game

(games to 8 makes)
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  • Divide the players into two or more group lines and have each group at a designated shooting spot on the court.
  • The group lines will operate as a team and keep their score together.
  • The players will shoot one time, get their rebound, give it to the next player and return to the back of the same line.
  • Continue this drill until one team makes the designated number of shots. Then switch spots and repeat.

jrnba_rookie_pp1_shootinglinegame_diagram1jrnba_rookie_pp1_shootinglinegame_diagram2

Key Points

Have the players count the makes out loud for all teams to hear. Encourage the players to cheer for their teammates and utilize the shooting form they have worked on.

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Rebounding

Rebound & Score

(3 each)
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  • Have 3 players start in the paint and a line on the baseline.
  • Coach will shoot the ball and all 3 players will try for the rebound.
  • Once a player has the rebound they have to try to score.
  • All shots have to be in the paint and limited fouls are called.
  • The other 2 players are playing defense and trying to prevent the player with the ball from scoring.
  • A player must score 3 times to come out of the game and the next player in line jumps into the game immediately.
  • There are no pauses and the ball is always live, even as it just passes through the net.
  • This is a tough rebounding and finishing drill that will force the players to battle and work hard to rebound and score in the paint.

Team Concepts

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Fundamentals of Defending the Post

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  • There are a variety of ways to defend post players and coaches may choose to adjust their defense depending on the team or the player. Regardless, you always want to keep the offensive player away from the basket, so the more difficult you can make it for the player to get close and catch close to the basket, the better. Next, the defense will depend on where the ball is. For this example, if the ball is on the wing on the same side as the post, there are the options of fronting the post by getting between the passer and the post player. You can also play behind the post player and stay between the player and the basket. Or you could choose to defend in between with something like a 3/4 or 1/2 front in which one foot is in front of the player with a hand discouraging the pass, and one foot behind the player so the defense can easily get back behind the player on the catch. There are also options of defending from the high side or the baseline side.
  • Of course, there are different ways to double team as well. Maybe doubling from the passers defender works for you, or perhaps doubling from the weak side from the baseline side is what you like. Or maybe you’ll prefer always doubling from the other post player, or maybe you like waiting until the player dribbles to double team. The point is, there are a lot of options and we encourage you to explore what works best for you.

Full Court Man to Man

(3 x each)
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  • Have the players partner up based on skill level and position and get a ball.
  • Have half the groups start on one baseline and the other half on the other baseline.
  • Pretend the court is split in half down the whole court on the lane line so the players cannot cross over the middle.
  • The defensive player will try to make the offensive player change directions as much as possible and will stay in front by sliding or running to get back in front if beat.
  • The offensive player is trying to score at the opposite basket.
  • Once players get to half court the next group in that line can go.
  • After a group finishes, they will go to the end of the line at the end they shot at and switch offense to defense.

Key Points

This is not an easy defensive drill but it is important that the work hard to make it difficult for the offense.

Motion – 4 on 0 – Screens Allowed Away From Ball

(4 minutes)
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  • Place 4 markers on the perimeter and have a balanced line of players behind each one.
  • The first 4 players up will pass and cut or pass and screen away and always fill the open spot on the court when a player leaves it.
  • Encourage the players to work together to move the ball quickly and find and fill the open spots.
  • Complete 5-7 passes before taking a shot.
  • After the shot, the group will get their rebound and go to the back of the lines and the next 4 players will step on and repeat the process.

Competing

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3 on 2, 2 on 1

(4 minutes)
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  • Start with 3 lines on the baseline (2 on the wing and 1 in the middle).
  • The line in the middle will have basketballs.
  • Place two players on the opposite end as defenders.
  • The first player in each of the 3 lines will go with the ball up the court and try to score in the 3 on 2 fast break.
  • The offense is only allowed 1 shot.
  • Whichever player takes the shot or turns the ball over will get back on defense.
  • The other 2 offensive players will stay there and become the 2 new defenders.
  • The two current defenders will bring the ball back down the court and try to score in the 2 on 1 fast break.
  • This process will repeat with a new group coming on from the baseline and those who just finished going to the back of the lines.

jrnba_allstar_pp6_3on2_2on1_diagram1of6 jrnba_allstar_pp6_3on2_2on1_diagram2of6 jrnba_allstar_pp6_3on2_2on1_diagram3of6 jrnba_allstar_pp6_3on2_2on1_diagram4of6 jrnba_allstar_pp6_3on2_2on1_diagram5of6 jrnba_allstar_pp6_3on2_2on1_diagram6of6

Key Points

Work on spacing and making good decisions in transition.

Line Up Transition

(5 stops)
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  • Divide the players into teams and have 5 players line up across the baseline and 5 players line up on the free throw line extended across from them.
  • The coach will have a ball and pass it to a player on the baseline and that player and that team will go to the other basket to try to score.
  • The player that is standing free throw line extended in front of the player who caught the ball will have to sprint to the baseline in front of them and turn and sprint back into the play which is now ahead of them.
  • The defensive team will need to stop the ball and match up as they are at a 5 on 4 disadvantage until the player hustles back into the play.
  • After the possession, have the teams switch (baseline to free throw line extended and vice versa) and continue the drill.
  • Coach the players through the proper method of stopping the ball and matching up.
  • The team with the set number of defensive stops first wins.

jrnba_allstar_pp8_lineuptransition_diagram1of2 jrnba_allstar_pp8_lineuptransition_diagram2of2

5 on 5

(games to 5)
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  • Divide the players into teams (have substitutes if needed).
  • Play 5 on 5 until a team makes 3 shots.
  • Encourage the players to cut, move the ball and work on all the basketball concepts they have learned.

Compliment Session

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  • Gather the players in the middle of the court and encourage them to raise their hand and give another teammate a compliment.
  • If needed, have the coach start the session by giving a compliment and let the players follow.

Key Points

All compliments should be natural. Not every player has to give or receive a compliment.

Skills Checklist

At the conclusion of the All-Star Level, Jr. NBA players should be proficient at each of the following skills. Judging proficiency at this level is the responsibility of the coach.

Ball Handling

    Passing

      Shooting

        Footwork & Conditioning

          Rebounding

            Offense

              Defense

                Other