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 7

Cultivating Values & Developing Wellness

5%
5%

Fairness

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  • Is it fair if you hold a player on defense while the ref isn’t looking?
  • Our Jr. NBA partner Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) does not consider that fair. But it is a good question to ask, and one of the things that is so great about sports is that it can get people talking about what is right and wrong.
  • Here are a series of videos from PCA about ethics in
    sports and other elements of sportsmanship:
    http://devzone.positivecoach.org/browse/bowen

Warm Up

5%
5%

Running Stop Drill

(1 x 3 minutes)
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  • Players will start on the baseline without a ball.
  • The coach will say “Go!” and the players will start running around the gym in any direction.
  • The coach will then say either “2 Feet!” “Left Foot!” or “Right Foot!” to indicate how the players should stop.
  • The players will then stop in the manner in which coach has commanded and hold that position.
  • Stopping should be very quick and work on balance.
  • Repeat the process for 3 minutes.

Building Skills

70%
70%

Ball Handling

Low, Middle, High Dribble

(2 x 20 seconds each level & each hand)
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  • All players need a basketball (or share) and should stand on the sideline.
  • The players will start by dribbling the basketball with the right hand low in a good stance with their eyes up and using their left arm to protect the ball.
  • The players will do this for 20 seconds and then switch to their left hand and complete the same process.
  • Next the player will move back to their right hand and dribble at the middle level for 20 seconds and then switch hands.
  • Last, the players will dribble the ball high, around shoulder level for 20 seconds each hand.
  • Throughout this drill, the coach will hold up a variety of numbers of fingers. The players must see the fingers and call out the number.

Key Points

Keep the players in a good stance with their chest and eyes up. Remind them to use their fingertips and execute low, middle, and high quick dribbles to improve coordination and ball control.

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

Footwork and Conditioning

Avoid the Coach Game

(2-3 minutes)
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  • All the players start on the baseline.
  • When the coach says “GO!” all players will try to run to the other baseline.
  • The coach starts at half court and tries to tag as many players as possible before they reach the opposite baseline.
  • If a player is tagged by the coach, they will also be a tagger with the coach.
  • Repeat the same process until all players have been tagged.

Passing

Stationary Partner Pass: Bounce & Chest

(2 x 2 min. each)
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  • Have players partner up, get a basketball and line up about 10 feet apart.
  • Based on the fundamental passing skills and wall passing previously taught, have the players now step and pass to their partner.
  • The 2 partners will make bounce passes to each other for 2 sets of 60 seconds and then do the same thing with chest passes.

Key Points

Ensure that the players make eye contact before passing and the receiver shows their hands as a target. With a bounce pass, the pass will need to bounce more than half way to the teammate. The players should take a big step towards their partner, extend their elbows and snap their down to make a good pass.

Pass & Cut Drill Part 2

(4 x each player on each side)
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  • Have a line of players at the top of the key with a ball and another line of players on the wing without a ball.
  • The player at the top will pass the ball to the wing player.
  • The player at the top will then run/cut to the basket and the player on the wing pass the ball to the player as they cut to the basket for a lay-up.
  • The players will switch lines and continue.
  • Divide the groups further and have another group on the opposite wing and another line at the top to get more reps. Also use other baskets if available.

jrnba_rookie_pp7_passandcutdrill_diagram1of3 jrnba_rookie_pp7_passandcutdrill_diagram2of3 jrnba_rookie_pp7_passandcutdrill_diagram3of3

Key Points

Have the players make good passes hitting the other players in the hands. Also ensure the players are cutting hard and making their lay-ups. Coaches can add light defense to make the drill feel more game like if needed.

diagram

Reverse Pivot Drill

(4 x each foot)
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  • Have the players hold a ball and stand in a good stance on the baseline.
  • Teach them to pivot by keeping their left foot on the floor and pivot around using reverse quarter steps on your command “Pivot!”
  • After 4 pivots they should be facing forward again.
  • Have them relax and then repeat the drill using the other foot as their pivot foot.

Key Points

Help the players understand the basics of pivoting while gaining comfort, confidence, and balance while pivoting. Ensure players stay in a good stance while pivoting.

Rebounding

Self-Toss Rebound Drill

(3 x 8)
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  • All players need a basketball (or share) and should stand in an open space on the court.
  • The players will use two hands to toss the ball into the air.
  • The player will move towards the ball, jump and catch the ball at their peak.
  • They will then repeat or give the ball to the partner.

Key Points

It is important for the players to see the ball, track its trajectory and jump and catch the ball at their peak.

Shooting

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.

Competitive Drills

Make For a Cone Game

(games of 3 minutes each)
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  • Players are separated into 2 even teams and go to 2 designated spots at a basket (the wings, elbows, corners etc).
  • There should be a line of cones equal to the number of players on each team that lines up next to the team.
  • The first player from each line will shoot the basketball get their rebound and pass to the next person on their team.
  • If the player makes the shot, they will take a cone from the other team and put it in their line of cones and move to the back of the line.
  • If the player misses the shot, they will get the rebound and pass to the next person on their team and continue to the back of the line without getting a cone from the other team.
  • After 3 minutes, the team with the most cones wins.

Team Concepts

10%
10%

Fundamentals of Reversing the Ball

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  • Also known as swinging the ball, reversing the ball is used to describe passing the ball from one side of the court to the other. When done quickly, it often provides the offense with an advantage as the defense tries to react.

Reverse the Ball Drill

(games to 8)
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  • Start with a player on the wing. Place another player at the top of the key and another player on the opposite wing, and the remaining players in a line under the basket as rebounders.
  • The player at the front of the line on the wing will start with the ball in a triple threat stance and when the coach says “Reverse the ball!” the player will pass the ball to the top of the key.
  • The player at the top of the key will quickly catch and pass the ball to the other wing so that the ball has been “reversed” to the other side.
  • When the player on the opposite wing catches the ball, they will shoot the ball and then go to the rebounding line.
  • The player that gets the rebound will make an outlet pass to the wing where the ball started and then go to the end of that line.
  • The player who passed from wing will move to the top, the player from the top will move to the shooting wing, and the wing that started the drill will move to the top.
  • Have a group at another basket doing the same thing and compete to 8 makes and then change directions and then change to a 1 dribble pull up for 2 games.

jrnba_rookie_pp7_reversetheballdrill_diagram1of4 jrnba_rookie_pp7_reversetheballdrill_diagram2of4 jrnba_rookie_pp7_reversetheballdrill_diagram3of4 jrnba_rookie_pp7_reversetheballdrill_diagram4of4

diagram

Key Points

To ensure balance, have the players land in the jump stop position and count to 3 before jogging to the next spot.

Competing

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10%

1 on 1 Numbers Game

(games to 5)
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  • Assign 2 players to each number and have everybody stand on the baseline.
  • Throw the ball on the court and call out a number.
  • The 2 players with that number will go for the ball and whoever gets the ball will be on offense and the other on defense for 1 possession and 1 shot of 1 on 1.
  • Evenly mix up the numbers you call and the game is over when any player gets to 5 points playing by 1’s.

Key Points

Encourage the players to hustle to the ball and make efficient offensive moves to score. Also encourage the defensive player to move their feet and play active defense.

2 on 2 Numbers Game

(games to 5)
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  • Assign 2 players to each number and have everybody stand on the baseline. The two players with the same number our teammates and will be playing together.
  • Throw the ball on the court and call out 2 numbers.
  • The 2 players with those numbers will go for the ball and whoever gets the ball will be on offense and the other 2 on defense for 1 possession and 1 shot of 2 on 2.
  • Evenly mix up the numbers you call and the game is over when any team gets to 5 points playing by 1’s.

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