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 9

Cultivating Values & Developing Wellness


Setting Goals

  • Positive Coaching Alliance urges you to consider two different types of goals: effort goals and outcome goals. As an example, an outcome goal is grabbing a certain number of rebounds in a game, and an associated effort goal is that defenders establish excellent box-out position on each opponent’s shot. This works because players cannot control results (in this case, height and leaping ability relative to the opponent play a role), but players can always control their effort. Having players focus on an effort goal gets them into the habit of exerting that effort, which often is the key to improved outcomes.

Warm Up


Dynamic Warm-Up Part 12

(1 x each)
  • The Bear Hold
  • Ankling
  • Carioca
  • Pogo Jumps
  • Walking Quad
  • Calf Raises

Building Skills


Ball Handling

Open Step Back Breakdown Drill

(3 minutes)
  • Have the players partner up with a ball and face each other.
  • The players will work on their open step back by dribbling with the right hand, waiting until the ball is about to come back down out of their hand to push to the side/back off their left foot to the right while picking up the ball.
  • They will then pass the ball to their partner who will do the same.
  • Repeat this until it’s time to do the same move in the other direction.


Slide to Open Step Back

(games to 4 makes each side)
  • Start with two lines on the wing and 2 balls in each line (utilize other baskets if needed).
  • Have the players take 2 to 3 slide dribbles toward the baseline with their chest facing the basket.
  • After the last slide dribble have the players take an open step back or side step and take a jump shot inside the 3 point line.
  • The players will get their own rebound and pass to the next person in line.
  • Compete with the other line for the allotted number of baskets and then switch and compete on the other side.

Finishing Through Contact

(3 x each side)
  • Have the players start with a ball in a line on the wing.
  • The players will make a dribble move and attack the basket for a layup.
  • The coach should use a pad or find a way to foul the players as they go in to finish the basket.
  • The players will get their rebound and go to the end of the line until the allotted number of attempts.
  • Utilize more baskets or lines if possible.

Key Points

Work on attacking the basket and finishing through contact by jumping off two foot to maintain balance and strength.


Pass & Up & Under Drill

(1 x 3 reps each way)
  • One player will start on each block and there will a line on the wing in front of each of them.
  • The first few players in each line will have a ball.
  • The first player with the ball will make a good post entry pass to the player making a good post up on the block.
  • The player will catch the ball and execute an up and under, get their rebound and go to the back of the line.
  •  The player who made the pass will then run to the block and post up and prepare to receive the pass from the next person in line.
  • This process will continue for the allotted amount of time and then the players will switch sides.

Key Points

Make sure the players are executing good post entry passes, the players are posting up and making good up and under moves.

Team Concepts


Additive Transition

(1 x 15)
  • Divide the players into 2 teams and put one on each end of the court.
  • One team will be the advantage team and start with the ball going 2 on 1 towards the other team.
  • After a shot or turnover the 1 defender will have a teammate join and go back the other way 2 on 2.
  • After a shot or turnover, a player will add to the advantage team as the go back 3 on 2.
  • This process will continue, come back 3 on 3, down 4 on 3, back 4 on 4, down 5 on 4, back 5 on 5.
  • After the 5 on 5 possession, the teams will switch so there is a new advantage team and start over.
  • The first team to the allotted number of points will win.

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Zig Zag Defensive Slides –with Dribbler

(3 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.

Filling the Corner Drill

(2 games to 8)
  • Have one line on the wing with a ball and another line on the other wing.
  • Have the line with the ball drive towards the basket on the baseline side.
  • As the player drives, the player on the other wing will be dropping to fill the corner.
  • As the player gets close to the basket, they will pass the ball to their teammate in the corner to catch and shoot.
  • The players will get the rebound and switch lines.
  • The next players in line will continue until the team has made the allotted number of shots and will then do the same thing the other way.

jrnba_allstar_pp3_fillingthecornerdrill_diagram1of3 jrnba_allstar_pp3_fillingthecornerdrill_diagram2of3 jrnba_allstar_pp3_fillingthecornerdrill_diagram3of3


Key Points

Make sure the players dribbling into paint with the thought of scoring. Players should make a good pass to the player who is ready to catch the pass with their hands up and knees bent ready to shoot.



Side Ball Screen Drill

(1 x 10 minutes)
  • Have the guards partner up based on ability and start two lines, 1 high on each wing near half court.
  • Have the bigs partner up and get in two lines on the baseline where the lane line meets.
  • The first two guards on one wing will step on as offense and defense and the post players on the same side will do the same.
  • The post player will wait for the guard to signal and then go set a ball screen and the 4 players will play 1 possession of 2 on 2 from the side ball screen.
  • Immediately after, the players on the other side of the court will do the same thing.
  • Players should rotate sides and offense and defense with the partners and continue this drill.
  • Coaches can put any restrictions in the drill and can dictate how to defend the pick and roll if they choose.

3 on 3 Continuous

(games to 5 makes)
  • Divide the players into teams of 3 and have 1 team start at half court with the ball.
  • Have to other teams start at each side of the court to start as defense on both ends.
  • If there are extra teams, have them line up on the baseline on one end.
  • The offensive team will go to score at a basket.
  • If they score, they will get a point, and get ball back to go the other way towards the other basket.
  • If there is a team waiting on the baseline, they will take the place of the defensive team that got scored on, if there is not team on the baseline, the defensive team will remain there.
  • The offensive team will do the same thing at the other end of the court and if they score or don’t score dictates which team gets the ball to go the other direction.
  • Anytime a defensive team gets a stop, they get the ball and go in the other direction.
  • This version of the game will require the players to start every possession with a pass from the top to the wing and a screen away to start the possession.

5 on 5 Dictated – No Dribbles

(games to 3)
  • Divide the players into teams and play full court games to 3 made baskets.
  • No dribbles may be taken by either team.

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