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 12

Cultivating Values & Developing Wellness



  • It is important for basketball players to stay positive. There are so many opportunities in games and practices for things to go wrong – from missed shots (even the well chosen ones with perfect form!) to mental mistakes and miscommunications on defense – that teammates must support each other and help each other past mistakes.
  • Even if you are not the best athlete or basketball player, you can contribute to team success more than you ever imagined just with vocal encouragement, smiles, head nods and daps. It is not easy to stay positive with yourself and your teammates when times are tough, but the more you do, the quicker those tough times pass and the stronger your team will be when you come through on the other side.

Warm Up


Ball Tag Game

(8 taggers)
  • All the players will start and have to stay within half court.
  • One player will be designated as it.
  • The player will run around for the allotted amount of time and try to tag other players.
  • If the player tags someone else, their turn is over.
  • To add an element to the game, if the person has the basketball, they cannot be tagged.
  • So as the tagger approaches a player, whoever has the ball should try to pass it to the player about to be tagged so that they are safe.
  • The ball makes the player safe from being tagged.
  • Mix up the game based on your teams needs (2 taggers, 2 balls etc).

Key Points

Ultimately you want to get the players and their bodies warm and ready to practice in a fun way.

Building Skills


Ball Handling

Creative Cone Dribble Drill

(2 minutes)
  • All players need a basketball (or share) and should stand on the baseline.
  • The players will be divided into groups.
  • The group will have 2 cones in front of them.
  • The players will dribble to the first cone and will make any creative dribble move at the cone.
  • The players will then dribble to the next cone and make any creative dribble move at the cone.
  • After the second cone, the players will dribble out and shoot.

Key Points

The players can work on fun creative moves with no pressure.

1-Hand Between Series

(2 minutes each way)
  • Have all the players get a ball and find space on the court.
  • Have the players start with the ball in their right hand and dribble 1 time and then wrap the ball around their right leg from back to front with a 2nd dribble.
  • Again, dribble 1 time and then wrap again.
  • Continue this process without touching the ball with the left hand.
  • After doing this for the allotted time, continue taking 1 dribble and now wrap the ball from front to back around the right leg.
  • Continue this process for the allotted time.
  • Next change and do the same process with the left hand.

Key Points

The focus here is to control the ball with one hand by making it wrap around the leg in 1 dribble. If the players can do this continuously without the 1 pound dribble, let them execute the drill without the extra dribble.

Walking Between the Legs Drill

(1 x 1 minute)
  • All the players should have a ball and line up on the baseline.
  • The players will walk and dribble the ball between their legs with each dribble from the baseline to half court.
  • The players will count each consecutive dribble between the legs and try to reach a higher number after each attempt.
  • Continue for the allotted amount of time.


Backboard Form Shooting

(1 x 8)
  • Have the players get a ball and utilize as many backboards as possible (partner up if needed).
  • The players will stand a short distance from the basket to the side of the rim and will shoot the ball at the backboard.
  • The goal of this drill is to shoot the ball high and have the ball touch the backboard on the way down.
  • The players will do this for the allotted amount of reps.

Key Points

This drill works on arc and touch as the players work on perfecting their shot.

Loop Shooting Drill

(4 spots of 8 makes)
  • The players will start in two lines facing the court where the lane line meets the sideline.
  • Each line will have two balls.
  • There will be one player who starts on the court on the block.
  • The player with the ball in front of the player on the court will pass them the ball, the player will shoot and get their rebound.
  • After rebounding, the player will give the ball to the same line they got it from and then go to the back of that line.
  • After the player passes, they will loop around the outside of the shooter to the other side of the lane and catch the ball from that line.
  • The player will shoot, get the rebound, give the ball to the line they got it from and go to the back of that line.
  • The player who made that pass will continue the process of looping behind, shooting, and going to the other line.
  • Have the players shoot from different distances from the basket when you dictate.

jrnba_starter_pp4_loopshootingdrill_diagram1of4 jrnba_starter_pp4_loopshootingdrill_diagram2of4 jrnba_starter_pp4_loopshootingdrill_diagram3of4 jrnba_starter_pp4_loopshootingdrill_diagram4of4

Key Points

Make sure the players go around the outside of the shooter. Also make sure the players get their rebounds quickly and give it to the line they received the pass from.


Full Court Transition Shooting Drill

(games to 9 makes)
  • A minimum of 9 players are needed to execute this drill.
  • Divide the players into 3 groups, 1 group will line up on the baseline on 1 side of the court, another group will line up on the baseline in the middle of the court, and the 3rd group will line up on the baseline on the other side of the court.
  • Place 1 player from each line on the opposite baseline with a ball.
  • Place 1 player from each line at half court.
  • And make sure the first person on the baseline has a ball.
  • The player at half court will run towards the line on one of the baselines.
  • The player with the ball on the baseline will pass the ball to the player who will catch and shoot.
  • After shooting, the player will get the rebound and go to the back of the line.
  • After passing, the player will run all the way towards the other baseline and catch a pass from the opposite baseline and shoot.
  • After the shot, the player will get their rebound and get ready to be a passer from that baseline.
  • Following the pass, the player will sprint to the opposite end to catch and shoot.
  • The rule is, pass and run the length of the floor to catch and shoot.
  • The coaches can mix up the type of shots.
  • After a team makes the dictated amount of shots, the teams can rotate spots on the court.

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Elbow Rebounding

(games to 8)
  • Set up two lines on the baseline at the lane lines (utilize other baskets if needed).
  • The players will work in pairs as a team.
  • Have the first player in each line start on offense at the elbows and the next two players will step out to defend them.
  • The coach will have the ball and will take a shot.
  • On the shot, the defensive players will call out “shot!” and turn to make contact with the offensive player and then pursue the ball.
  • If the defense gets the rebound, they will rotate to the offense and the offense will move to the end of the line while another 2 players step on as defense.
  •  If the offense gets a rebound, they will try to score.
  • Make or miss the same offensive team will stay on the court and get a point.
  • A new defensive team will rotate on.
  • The team will win by getting 3 offensive rebounds.

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Footwork and Conditioning

Dictated Pivot

(1 minute)
  • Have the players partner up and line up on the baseline with 1 ball per group.
  • On the coaches whistle the players will dribble to the free throw line extended and jump stop.
  • As they are dribbling, the coach will make 2 commands.
  • The first command will be either “right” or “left” which will indicate to the player that either their right or left foot will be their pivot foot and stay on the floor after the jump stop.
  • The second command will be either “front” or “reverse” which will indicate to the player that they will either make a front or a reverse pivot until they are facing their partner on the baseline.
  • The partner will then pass to the partner on the baseline who will wait for the whistle and repeat the process.
  • The coach will sound something like this: (whistle) “Left-Reverse!”

Team Concepts


Fundamentals of Denying the Pass

  • Denying the pass is a defensive concept in which the defensive player tries to prevent the player they are guarding from getting the ball. The defensive player will try to keep a hand in the passing lane to discourage the offensive player from passing the ball to the player they are guarding. Denying the ball like many aspects of defense, requires a lot of focus and effort.

3-Second Deny Drill

(3 reps each, both sides)
  • Have a line of players on each wing.
  • There should be an offensive and defensive player on the court.
  • The defensive player will deny the offensive player the ball for 3-5 seconds.
  • After that, the defender will go to the back of the line.
  • Next, the offensive player will become the defender.
  • A new player will step in on offense and the process will repeat.

Key Points

Make sure the players see the ball and the man. If the offensive player receives a pass, the defensive player must repeat. If the offensive player cuts back door, the defender must snap their head and hand in the other direction quickly.

Fundamentals of Jumping to the Ball

  • Jumping to the ball is a term that refers to what a defensive player does when the player they are guarding has the ball, and then passes it. In order to be a great team defender and help their teammates, the defensive player should “jump to the ball” by taking a big push in the direction the ball was passed. This ensures that the player is in good position to help and discourage the offensive player from driving.

Jump to the Ball Drill

(4 x each side)
  • Have the players start in one line on the baseline.
  • There will be 1 player on each wing and the coach at the top with the ball.
  • The first player in line on the baseline will sprint to close out on coach.
  • Coach will pass the ball to either wing.
  • On the pass, the defensive player will “jump to the ball” in a good defensive stance.
  • The player who receives the pass will take 1-2 dribbles to the middle of the floor and upon seeing the player who jumped to the ball, they will retreat dribble and then drive to the baseline side for a lay-up.
  • The defensive player who jumped to the ball will now fill the open space on the wing.
  • The wing player will go to the back of the line on the baseline after their lay-up and a new player from under the basket will pass the ball to coach and close out to repeat the process.

Shell Drill – 2 on 2

(3 minutes)
  • Have the players get in 2 lines on the baseline around the lane lines.
  • Have the first 2 players come out on offense in the slots and the next two players step on the court as defense.
  • The coach will start with the ball and the players will both be in help defense.
  • Coach will pass the ball to an offensive player and the defensive players will adjust their positioning.
  • The offense will wait for the coach to say “pass” before they pass to their teammate.
  • On the pass, the defense will adjust and both players will continue to call out either “ball” or “help.”
  • After a short period of this action the players will rotate so that the defense becomes offense and the offense goes to the back of the line on the baseline.
  • 2 new defenders will step on and the process will repeat.

Key Points

Keep the energy up and make sure the players move quickly and with urgency.

3-Person Pass, Cut & Replace

(1 x 1-3 minutes)
  • Start with a line on each wing and 1 player at the top of the key with the ball.
  • The player at the top will pass to either wing and cut to the basket looking for the ball.
  • The player on the wing without the ball will “replace” the cutter and fill to the top of the key.
  • The cutter is now out of the drill and will go to the back of the line on the wing that replaced them.
  • The wing with the ball will pass the ball to the top where the player has replaced.
  • That player will reverse the ball to the other wing and cut to the basket and the series repeats.
  • Cutters only cut from the top.

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Key Points

Make sure the players show their hands to catch the ball and stand in the triple threat position before making strong passes. Also emphasize that the cutter cuts hard to the basket looking for the ball with a hand up.

Motion 4 on 0 Pass & Cut

(5 minutes)
  • 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 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.

Free Throw Golf

(1 game)
  • Utilize as many baskets as possible and have 1 player shooting at a time.
  • The player will shoot 2 free throws at a time and rotate until each player has shot 10 total free throws.
  • After every player has taken 10 free throws, the player with the lowest score wins.
  • The scoring is as follows: If a player makes a shot nothing but net, they receive minus 2 points (-2).
  • If a player makes a shot in any way other than nothing but net, they receive minus 1 points (-1).
  • If a player misses a shot, they receive plus 1 point (+1).



5 on 5

(games to 5)
  • 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


Gather the players together. Players group with 1-2 players next to them and share answers to the prompted questions.

  • Ask players to share something they did well, what enjoyed about today’s practice or something positive about another player’s actions.
  • Have players switch groups and ask some players to share their groups answers. Coach can build onto the player responses.

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



        Footwork & Conditioning