Rookie Practice Plans

Welcome to the Rookie Level practice plans. The Rookie level focuses on having fun, being active, and learning the basic fundamental skills of basketball. There are three options for viewing these practice plans.

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Rookie Practice Plan 11

Cultivating Values & Developing Wellness

5%
5%

Respect: Refs

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  • Are refs capable of making mistakes?
  • Are they trying their best just like you are?
  • Will arguing cause a ref to change their call?

Warm Up

5%
5%

Freeze Tag

(2 minutes)
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  • One player or the coach will be designated as “it.”
  • When the person designated as “it” tags another player, they are “frozen” and must stand in place without moving.
  • A player can on be unfrozen if another unfrozen player comes and touches them.
  • Designate boundaries based on numbers (i.e. stay inside of half court.)
  • Complete the game when all players are frozen.
  • If needed, add multiple players who are “it”.

Building Skills

70%
70%

Ball Handling

Cone Dribbling

(3 x down and back)
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  • Divide the group into even groups.
  • Place five cones from sideline to sideline in a straight line for each group.
  • The first player in each line will have a ball.
  • The player will dribble through the cones in a zig-zag motion switching hands as they change directions all the way past the last cone and then stop.
  • Once the player is half way through the cones, the next player can begin.
  • After all the players in the group have dribbled through the cones, the first player will repeat the process by going back through the cones in the opposite direction.

jrnba_rookie_pp7_conedribbling_diagram1of2

Key Points

Make sure the players are staying low and controlling the dribble. The players should also be pushing off their outside foot to change directions.

diagram

Follow the Leader

(3 x 1 minute)
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  • All players will have a ball and the will spread out in a straight line behind the coach.
  • The coach will be the first leader and will walk/jog around the gym doing any action (i.e. circling the basketball around their waste, dribbling with one hand, etc).
  • Players must follow the leader and do whatever the leader does.
  • The leader will do the action for 10-20 repetitions before changing to another action (i.e. shuffle/lateral dribble).
  • The leader remains the leader for 1 minute.
  • If the players are capable being the leaders, allow that as well.

Shooting

Block to Block Shooting Drill

(2 x 30 seconds)
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  • Have the players partner up with a basketball at a basket.
  • 1 player will start with the ball on the block.
  • When it’s time to start that player will shoot and quickly run to the other block.
  • The player or the partner will rebound the ball and pass to the shooter on the other block quickly.
  • The shooter will continue going back and forth after every shot and the rebounder will continue to help rebound and pass the ball if needed.
  • After 30 seconds switch and let the players change roles.

jrnba_rookie_pp6_blocktoblockshooting-drill_diagram1of3 jrnba_rookie_pp6_blocktoblockshooting-drill_diagram2of3 jrnba_rookie_pp6_blocktoblockshooting-drill_diagram3of3

Key Points

Have the players work on using the backboard and hitting the square. Also have the partners count how many makes the shooter has so that they can try to beat their previous best score.

diagram

Around the World

(1 game)
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  • Place five cones around the court as five shooting spots and divide the players evenly at the cones.
  • The first player in each line will have a basketball.
  • Each player will shoot the ball, get their rebound, and return to the back of that same line.
  • The players will cycle through so that each player gets 3 shots from that specific spot.
  • After these 3 attempts by everybody, all groups will rotate to the next spot and repeat until each team has shot at all five spots.
  • The team will count their total makes as they go around and the team with the most makes, wins.

Passing

Dribble, Jump Stop, & Pass Drill

(2 minutes each side)
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  • Have 2 lines at half court, 1 in the middle and one on the side.
  • The line in the middle has a ball and will dribble to the free throw line, come to a good jump stop and make a good bounce pass to the player running in from the line on the side.
  • The player from the side line will shoot a lay-up and the passer will get the rebound and the players will switch lines.
  • This will continue for 2 minutes and then will be done on the other side as well.

jrnba_rookie_pp11_dribblejumpstopandpassdrill_diagram1of2 jrnba_rookie_pp11_dribblejumpstopandpassdrill_diagram2of2

Key Points

The players should dribble under control and come to solid jump stop to make the bounce pass to a sprinting finisher.

diagram

Rebounding

Toss & Get It Drill

(2 minutes each side)
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  • Have the players in a line in the paint.
  • Throw the ball up off the backboard and have the first player in line grab the rebound chin it and toss it back to you and go to the end of the line.
  • Repeat this process and switch sides after two minutes.

Key Points

Work on seeing the ball come off the backboard, timing it and going to get the rebound, and chinning the ball nice and strong.

Footwork and Conditioning

The Backpedal, Slide, & Sprint Drill

(1 x 1 minute)
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  • Have the players get in 1 line on the baseline in front of the lane line (utilize other baskets if needed to maximize space and reps).
  • The first player in line will backpedal up the lane line to the elbow.
  • Once the player reaches the elbow, the next player will begin.
  • From the elbow, the player will slide across to the other elbow.
  • Once the player reaches the other elbow, they will sprint in a straight line down to the baseline and then go to the back of the line.

Key Points

Make sure the players move in straight lines and push themselves to be as fast and quick as possible.

Team Concepts

10%
10%

Pass & Cut Drill

(2-3 minutes each way)
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  • Have the players line up at the top of the key with a few balls at the front of the line, and have another line on the wing.
  • Have the players pass the ball to the line on the wing and then cut by running to the basket.
  • The player on the wing will catch the ball and pass it back to the cutting player who will complete a lay-up, rebound and then switch lines.

jrnba_rookie_pp4_passandcutdrill_diagram1of3 jrnba_rookie_pp4_passandcutdrill_diagram2of3 jrnba_rookie_pp4_passandcutdrill_diagram3of3

diagram

Key Points

Emphasize a good pass and a quick cut looking for the ball.

Follow the Leader Slides

(1 x 10 seconds each player)
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  • Have the players spread out throughout the court all facing the same direction.
  • Have a player come to the front of the group and face them.
  • For 10-15 seconds that player will work on defense while the rest of the group follows their lead.
  • The player can do foot fires, slides, jumps, take a charge, get a loose ball etc.
  • Have each player rotate to the front and lead the drill.

Competing

10%
10%

Dribble Relays

(2 games)
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  • Divide the players into even groups and have them line up on the baseline with the first person in line with a ball.
  • Designate how you want the players to dribble to half court by choosing either right or left hand.
  • On the coach’s command the first player will dribble to half court in the designated way and dribble back, jump stop, give the next player a high five, and then give them the ball.
  • Once everybody has gone 3 times, the team has finished.
  • Next do the same thing with the other hand.

jrnba_rookie_pp11_dribble-relays_diagram1of2 jrnba_rookie_pp11_dribble-relays_diagram2of2

diagram

Key Points

Make sure the players have a lot of energy and enjoy this. Encourage the players to be good teammates throughout this game.

3 on 3 Numbers Game

(games to 3)
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  • Assign all players to a number in groups of 3 and have everybody stand on the baseline. The 3 players with the same number are teammates and will be playing together.
  • Throw the ball on the court and call out 2 numbers.
  • The 3 players with those numbers will go for the ball and whoever gets the ball will be on offense and the other 3 on defense for 1 possession and 1 shot of 3 on 3.
  • Evenly mix up the numbers you call and the game is over when any team gets to 5 points playing by 1’s.
  • There is a 3 dribble maximum each time a player gets the ball.
  • No screens can be set but cutting is allowed and encouraged.

Key Points

Encourage the players to hustle to the ball and make good team plays to score. Also encourage the defensive team to move their feet, play active defense and contest all shots.

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 Rookie 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

        Rebounding

          Footwork & Conditioning

            Offense

              Defense

                Other