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Wellesley Hoops Sample Practice

Below describes a “prototypical” Hoops practice.  Coaches should feel free to adjust the prototype based on their own personnel, interests, and season conditions.  [However, there should be a specific reason for deviation.]  Click here to download the sample practice plan.


General principles:

  • 50% or more of practice time should be spent on fundamentals: shooting, dribbling, rebounding, passing, defense
  • 25-30% of practices should be spent on small situations (1-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3)
  • 20-25% of practice should be spent on 5-on-5 situations, offensive sets, out-of-bounds plays, etc.
  • Try to incorporate more than one skill in a drill.  I.e., one primary skill, but a secondary skill at the same time.
  • Try to use every basket (split squads and balance by ability)
  • Fundamentals portion of practices should be a combination of familiar and new (i.e., start every practice with 2-line layups, but make the next drill unpredictable)
  • Mix-and-match drills for your team’s skill level and weaknesses
  • Feel free to break up large layup/shooting module with other skills interspersed…




-0:10 – 0:00



0:00 to 0:15

Layups and shooting


  • The younger the kids, the more time on layups
  • Play little games to put “pressure” on kids…make 3 in a row before moving on… split squads (balanced) and compete…
  1. Layups: Two-lines dribbling (make a dribble move) OR passing 2x across; team must make 10 (or 10-in-a-row)
  2. Celtic fast break  (rebound, outlet to foul line extended, sprint to other end for layup)
  3. 2-and-1 (jump shot for 2 points, if missed, chase down rebound for 1 point layup); teams compete against each other
  4. “No rim” – shoot from 2-4 feet in front of rim; if ball hits any part of rim, it is a “miss”.  Play to 8 as a team
  5. Mikan Drill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp2ZIuSJNB4


  1. One-on-one controlled (3 dribbles or less)
  2. “Loose-ball”(*) drill with one-on-one finish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-_ZPaXdv-E
  3. Three man shooting (foul line, 2x 45 degree angle)
  4. Three man, two ball shooting (advanced)


Ball handling


  • Left (or weak) hand.  Left hand. Left hand.
  • As kids get older, duplicated game situation
  1. Two-ball dribbling
  2. “Knock-out” – every player has a ball, must keep dibble alive while trying to “knock-out” other player’s ball outside the lines (reduce size of area as number of players decreases)
  3. Slap Drill (slap ball from one hand to other 10x) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBeiOlaXLuo


  1. Circle drill (10x around waist in both directions)



  1. Flip-Flip (spread legs, ball between them; flip ball in air and reverse hands)
  2. Protection dribble (up and down court pretending to be guarded)







* Also try to incorporate emphasizing passing into other drills (i.e., two line layups with 2x passes across)

  1. Rapid-fire passing drill (2-4-6-8-10 feet away from wall)
  2. “Bad pass” drill (player flashes into lane; passer throws 3 straight bad passes to be caught and returned; layup on final one)
  3. Man-in the middle drill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyKPt0ApTMc


  1. Star (5-point) passing drill… follow your pass to next line http://www.guidetocoachingbasketball.com/images/passing_drills.htm#Five-point_drill





* Also part of shooting drills

  1. Mikan Drill (add head-fake) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp2ZIuSJNB4


  1. Power-up (throw ball off backboard / grab rebound and power up lay-up)
  2. Superman drill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLBpdmGdMf0


  1. 3-man offensive rebound (#1 misses purposely; #2/3 and fight for rebound, finish layup)
  2. Slide drill
  3. Defend the post flash



Foul shots as kids finish water


Small Game Situations


  • Try to group players by ability, so that more skilled players with and against each other; weaker players must handle ball when playing amongst themselves
  • Switch up teams or games to make kids react in different situations
  • Add “rules” to emphasize different skills:

No dribble;

Must set pick;

Use only one side (left or right) of the court

1-on-1; and/or

2-on-2; and/or



(depends on number of kids and number of baskets)


5-on-5 situations

Full court

  • NO dribble (all passing) for first 5 minutes
  • Add out-of-bounds, pick-and-roll offense as needed


Foul shooting and sprints

Make foul shots to avoid sprints/suicides




(*) – Be careful with true 50/50 balls with regard to collisions that may lead to concussions.  Best practice is to favor one player with “loose” ball.



Miscellaneous clips:










Ball Handling:






Basketball Training