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  • Jack Fleming

My Favourite Drills, Period — Part 2

Italian 3v3

Credit this drill to Dean Vickerman, head coach of Melbourne United. In the last 12 months, this is by far my favourite drill. My players were fired up when they knew we were doing Italian 3v3. When you’re playing in transition, it is all about playing through mistakes and getting onto the next thing. You can play this to a time, such as a 4 minute game, or to a score (7 baskets). Dean’s biggest thing in defensive transition was demand who is picking up the ball, talk it and put a hand up. Mika Vukona an elite example, always “I’ve got ball” and it created urgency around his other team mates.

The Drill — see frames below, it is a continuous 3v3 drill in short. However you will play offence, then you must transition back to defence while playing a new team. Therefore your ability to stop the ball, protect the basket and match up is challenged to be at a high level.

Why I Like It — Unpredictability. The parameters for the day can be whatever you want to work — no dribble, no screens, ball must go to the post, ball screens, 12 second shot clock or simply place emphasis on your defensive transition principles.It helps speed up your inbound game, because that can allow you to score quickly. Once your athletes get the hang of it, the speed of play is incredible. From 12:00 onwards Andrej does the exact same drill in a 2v2 setting, see video link below to have a look.


Frame 1 (left): A1, A5 and A6 play B1, B2, B3.

Frame 2 (middle): Once the team on defense (B) secures the ball, they are no longer involved and step off the floor. B5, B6 and B4 step onto the court and become the new offensive team, they can run off or go to the ball.

Frame 3 (right): To initiate the new team; the first pass must be caught by a player inside the 3pt line (B5 in this case). Now B4, B5 and B6 play 3v3 full court vs A1, A5 and A6. Cycle repeats.

Cotter Drill 2v1+1

Credit this drill to Damian Cotter, previous junior national team coach and current coach in the NBA G-League. Coach talks about how you need to simulate effort and the game within your practice, and get them playing hard first. The opportunity to play through mistakes is a skill, compete and don’t stop. Have to be able to respond to mistakes from yourself, your team mates and your opponents.

The Drill — 2 offensive players on the centre circle facing each other, one defender on the edge of the circle facing the rim. Second defender standing at the foul line directly behind the first defender. The offensive players will stand stationary and pass the ball back and forth, at any time the defender on the circle can try and steal that pass. When he does he must get a two feet over the centre line and get back, while he is recovering the offensive will take off and play 2v1 versus the other defender. They will then play 2v2 back the other way.

Why I like it — it’s a 2v1 scenario which we see in the game, but the way it occurs is not scripted like in 2v1 continuous. You don’t know when you’re going to go, you don’t know how much time you have before the other defender gets back and you have to react quickly. Furthermore 2v2 full court will create temporary 2v1 scenario’s, so similar to the game.It’s all about getting onto the next job quickly. Drill starts at 1:04:20.

Raptors Shooting Drill

Credit this drill to the Toronto Raptors, a drill seen in an NBA draft workout that will challenge your players conditioning and ability to make shots in transition.

The Drill — Player starts at half court with a coach on one end with a ball and a coach on the other end. 2:30 on the clock. All 3-pointers are worth 3 and layups are worth 2. As the clock starts, the player sprints to one corner for a catch & shoot 3 (pass from coach). As soon as he shoots, he sprints up the sideline to the other end for a shot in the corner. After shooting, the player then sprints to take a 3 from the wing. Other end. Top of key is next then wing then corner (10 catch & shoot 3’s). As soon as the last corner 3 is taken, the player sprints to the opposite wing, but instead of a catch & shoot 3, he gets a pass at around half court and dribbles into a 3. He then turns towards the other end for a wing 3. Top of key (x2), Wing (x2). As soon as he takes his sixth dribble-into 3, he will take full-court layups for the remainder of time (2 points for each make). The record supposedly is 57.

Why I Like It — it’s super tough. The game is hard, sometimes you’re blowing for air but athletes have to learn to push through. The absolute best you’re capable of, that’s the metric to challenge yourself against. When the clock runs out, if your athlete is still standing up and not out of breath — they have another level to go to.

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