There is no way around it. To be a good team, you must be in GREAT CONDITION. That means paying a price that most players dread having to pay. No matter whether you play a full court style of play, or a more deliberate style, your players must play hard. The only way to play hard and maintain proper technique is to be in basketball shape.
With practice time limited by gym availability and what your players can endure, I like to combine running up and down with handling the basketball as much as I can. One of the best ways I have found to do that is by using full court basketball drills. Here are two of my favorites. I like them because they work on both offense and defense, but isolate specific transition skills to concentrate on.
Transition Buildup Drill: Have two teams. Put half of each team on one baseline and the remaining players on the other baseline. The first possession is a 2 blue on 1 white fast break. When the offense scores or is stopped, one blue and one white player who were waiting on the baseline join the drill. They now convert to the other end as a 3 on 2 break. 3 blue offense on 2 white defense.
When they either score or are stopped, they are joined by one more blue and one more white. They head to the other end in a 4 on 3 situation. The final phase is 5 on 4 and you can add the 5th defender to make it 5 on 5 if you want. This full court drill works on many fast break situations. Of course, if you are having trouble with one specific situation for example, 4 on 3, you can set up a drill to work on only that drill.
Continuous 3 on 2 You need two teams with at least six on a team. Start the drill as shown in the diagram. Teams in this diagram are black and white. In this example, white starts on offense with white players 1, 2, and 3 attacking black defenders 1 and 2. Black defender #3 has to touch the center jump circle after white 1, 2, and 3 pass half court.
After he or she touches the circle, they become the 3rd black defender. Adding the trailing defensive player makes the drill more like a game. In a game when you have a 3 on 2 fast break, it isn’t that way for long as the rest of the players run to catch up.
As black #3 is touching the circle, white 4 and 5 are retreating to defense on the other end.
After the white team either scores, or is stopped by the black defenders, black players 1, 2, and 3 are now on offense and attack white defenders 4 and 5. White player #6 will touch the circle and join the drill after black 1, 2, and 3 have crossed midcourt.
White players 1, 2, and 3 return to the end of the white team line.
The drill continues for a specified amount of time. Usually 5 minutes. Players will always return to their team’s lines after they have been on offense, so you can keep score. The best way to handle fouls is to give the team that gets fouled one point and then play on. As with any drill that you pick up from someone else, if the rules for this drill don’t fit your needs or system, make the changes necessary to make it fit for your team.
Regardless of your style of play, Your team will benefit from full court drills because… Basketball is a full court game. Being able to catch the ball while running full speed and then either pass it right away or dribble it right away is another skill that full court drills help to develop.
Even teams with methodical systems of play must develop the habit of running the floor as an important part of your practice. If every one of your players don’t sprint to the defensive end in all of these drills, then you are going to have trouble competing. Full court basketball drills help to develop those important habits.