MVP Practice Plans

At the MVP Level, players will begin competing more frequently in order to apply and refine the skills they have developed. Players will also begin to specialize and fit into more specific roles and positions. Team tactics and game strategy will also be further implemented in the MVP Level.

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MVP Practice Plan 7

Cultivating Values & Developing Wellness


Healthy Relationships

  • Positive Coaching Alliance places a great emphasis on the value of healthy relationships. Beyond some of the obvious connections between teammates and coaches, consider relationships between players and parents and players and classmates. Student-athletes usually enjoy high status in their school communities. That gives them the power to set certain social tones. Coaches can cultivate that sense of responsibility within their players, leading by example and devoting some practice or team meeting time to what constitutes a healthy relationship.

Warm Up


Dynamic Warm-Up Part 10

(1 x each)
  • 1 High Knee
  • Angle Balance
  • 4 Point Slow & Low
  • In Out Turn
  • Toes & Chest
  • Heels & Shoulders

Building Skills


Ball Handling

The Zig Zag Drill – With Defenders

(2 x down and back)
  • Have half the players partner up with one ball and line up on the corner of the baseline and sideline and the other half line up on the opposite corner of the baseline and sideline.
  • The first pair in line will start with a dribbler and a defender in a stance with his back to the court.
  • The offensive player will dribble side to side making moves to change directions at their discretion and the defender will slide back at angles to cut the offensive player off all the way down the court.
  • Once the pair in front of them gets to the free throw line, the next group will begin.

Key Points

The players will work on pushing off their back foot, staying low having their hands out and moving quickly down the court as a defender. Depending on the players level, give some guidelines to the offensive players speed.


In & Out Around the Lane

(3 each side)
  • Have the players get a ball and start in a line on the baseline at the point where the lane line meets the baseline.
  • The first player up will take a dribble and then drop for a quick in and out move coming up the lane line.
  • The player will do this 2 to 3 more times coming up the lane line until they pass the elbow.
  • Once the player gets above the elbow, they will turn the corner back towards the basket and attack for a lay up.
  • As soon as the player in front of them is halfway up the lane, the next player will start.
  • Continue this process for the allotted reps and utilize multiple baskets if needed.

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Up & Out Shooting

(10 makes each)
  • The players will start in 1 line on the baseline under the basket.
  • The first player will start without a ball and the next few players will have a ball.
  • The first player will run to the top of the key and then make a straight line cut to the wing.
  • The next player in line will pass the ball to the player and the player will catch and shoot or use another designated shot.
  • That player will get their rebound, give it to the next person without a ball in line and go to the back of the line.
  • The player who passed the ball will run to the top of the key and make a straight line cut to the opposite side of the first player.
  • The next person in line will pass to that player and continue the process by running up and cutting out to the opposite side as the person in front of them.
  • Continue this drill for the allotted amount of shots.

Footwork and Conditioning

Jab Attack Drill

(3 each way)
  • The player should start by facing the basket where ½ court and the sideline meet.
  • The player will jab the foot closest to the sideline.
  • Immediately following the jab, the player will step across their body with the jab foot and take a big step and a big dribble in the opposite forward/angle direction.
  • The player will pick up the ball as if they are shooting after the jab one stride 1-2 stop.
  • From that point, the player will stay there, reset, and repeat the process jabbing again and attacking the middle of the court.
  • The goal is for the player to get inside the 3-point line after 3 of these jabs and take a jump shot after the 3rd jab.
  • The player must take a big stride and cover a lot of ground and be able to explode up into their shot.
  • It is important to do this drill from both directions.

Key Points

Some players may need to start with more than 3 dribbles Don’t allow players to hop onto 2 feet after the dribble. Always have them 1-2 step.

Reverse Pivot Series

(2 each side)
  • Have the players start in two lines on the wings with a ball and the first person start wide off the block with facing the line with the balls.
  • The player in line will pass the ball to the player facing them who will then make the move and get the rebound and go to the back of the line.
  • The player who passed the ball will become the next shooter.
  • The players should do the same process from the opposite side.
  • Here is the 8 shot series of moves for the reverse pivot series:
  1. Reverse pivot rip for a lay up.
  2. Reverse pivot rip opposite for a lay up.
  3. Reverse Pivot straight into a jab and shot.
  4. Reverse pivot opposite straight into a jab and shot.
  5. Reverse pivot jab and attack opposite for a pull-up.
  6. Opposite foot reverse pivot jab and attack opposite for a pull-up.
  7. Reverse pivot jab and attack opposite for a move of choice.
  8. Opposite foot opposite foot reverse pivot jab and attack opposite for a move of choice.

Closeout, Slide & Backpedal Drill

(1 x 2 minutes each way)
  • Have the players start in one line on the baseline where it meets the lane line.
  • The first player in line will sprint to a closeout at the elbow.
  • As soon as the player in front of them gets to the elbow, the next player will begin.
  • From the elbow, the player will quickly defensive slide across the lane line.
  • Once the player reaches the other elbow, they will backpedal to the baseline.
  • The player will then get in the back of the line and continue for the allotted amount of time.

Team Concepts


3 on 2, 2 on 1

(6 minutes)
  • 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)
  • 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

BIGS: Rebound, Sprint & Seal

(6 minutes)
  • Have the post players start with a ball at one basket in a line.
  • The first player will toss the ball off the backboard and grab the rebound and make a good outlet pass to the coach.
  • The player will run to half court and sprint back to the paint.
  • The next player in line will play defense in the paint while holding onto their basketball with 2 hands above their head.
  • The offensive player will seal the defender, receive a pass from coach and finish.
  • The next player in line who was the defender will then toss their ball off the backboard and begin the same process.
  • Make sure to work on this from both sides of the court.

GUARDS: Rebound, Sprint & Shoot

(6 minutes)
  • Have the guards start in two lines under the basket with the ball.
  • The first player will toss their ball to coach and jump to touch the backboard.
  • After touching the backboard the player will sprint out wide to touch the line where half court and the sideline meet and sprint back to the same side corner for a catch from coach and shoot the designated shot.
  • Right after this, the player in the other line will begin the same process.
  • Make sure the guards are running the floor wide and are ready to shoot on the catch.



1 on 1 – Cones

(games to 4)
  • Have two lines at the top of the key with one line closer to the wing.
  • Both lines will have a cone on the baseline directly in front of them.
  • The coach will also be at the top with a basketball.
  • The first player in each line will have to sprint to the baseline and touch the cone in front of them and then sprint to the wing for 1 on 1.
  • The player that was closest to the wing will be the offensive player and the other player will be defense.
  • Play 1 on 1 with a maximum of 3 dribbles for each possession.
  • After the possession, the next 2 players in line will begin the same process.

5 on 5

(games to 7)
  • 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 MVP 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