Friday, January 23, 2015

Teaching Proper Passing To Build Winning Habits

Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs is an excellent passer and exemplifies
Building a Winning Culture with Passing Proficiency.
Teaching Proper Passing To Build Winning Habits
by Coach Scott Fields
Part 1, to be continued next week.

Attached is a Photo of San Antonio Spurs Manu Ginobili.
Manu is an excellent passer and every week there could be a hi level ESPN sports center Top Play from Manu executing a beautiful fundamental pass.

I want to again preface this post by stating the following.
(In the coming months, be watching for our Instructional Passing Video)

I feel this simple fundamental of the game is being overlooked, and not appropriately taught by coaches across country and around the globe.
Is it because these coaches of today don't know the Zones to pass through? Is it because Coaches don't feel it is important enough to spend the time on?
Is it because Coaches simply don't Teach enough fundamentals of the game? is it because the Coaches don't know the proper fundamental to Teach? If that is the case, the Clinic will now begin.

I share this with you, as Sharing is Caring ! I have been blessed in my career to have learned from some of the best in the business and I will now share some of this with you as you grow on your journey and career. This is all about Empowerment.
Just know I continue to learn and grow everyday. I am thrilled to be able to assist you in your growth in the profession.

Only you as a Coach can answer these questions above, but be careful, the man in the mirror doesn't lie.

Again, these passing drills need to be done in progression.
You don't start with a running and passing drill. Slow down, make corrections, TEACH. DEMONSTRATE. Show the proper stance, the proper triple threat, the proper grasp on ball.
This is a standing drill. Place players 12'-15' apart facing each other.
Work on simple mechanics. Chest Pass, Offensive player stands facing receiver, with an aggressive balanced stance ball held with tight grasp, hands are on the outside of the ball. Thumbs pointed inward on ball  and index fingers pointed upward.Ball should be between chin and chest with elbows wide to protect ball.Player starts in balanced triple threat position. Ball moves from triple threat to chest and chin. Take out all other motions.Player then makes a strong ball fake , a ball fake is to again get the defender to lean or lunge and create an open passing angle or lane to receiver, passer then steps toward the person they are passing to and snaps pass to target hand of receiver. passing the ball with two hands. When passing the ball , the passers thumbs will end up pointing down. Start with chest pass, progress to bounce pass, then over head Snap pass, then a baseball pass, then a ball fake, wrap around pass.
I make passer give a strong ball fake before each pass is executed.

Coaches focus on mechanics, when they make the chest pass, are the thumbs pointing downward? and palms out?  on snap of pass? did they step toward the person they are passing to? Did the receiver have a target hand up ready to catch the ball and watch the ball into hands?

When in practice, I demand ball fakes are made before every pass. What is done in repetition becomes a conditioned habit. Forming proper fundamental habits are vital.

Standing Passing Drills. Moving Passing Drills. Competitive Passing Drills.
Demanding proper passes on every Drill on every Play. This builds a culture and sets the tone.

Remember, you are the Coach, not the friend. You have a job to do.
Just as a parent to a Child, when making corrections in mistakes, they may not like it at first, but then when they look back at it they will Respect it and Appreciate it when they see the success it brings. But, remember to stay positive with your corrections, make them Teachable moments, not taking their dignity and confidence. Slow down and instruct them , have them learn from each other's mistakes. When someone doesn't execute the pass correctly, Stop the play, make them execute it 5 times correctly with proper mechanics and fundamentals and move on.

I spend time on passing and passing drills everyday in every practice. I incorporate passing and utilizing different passes in different drills. I take a simple 5 man weave and I require each pass be a different and effective pass to set up your team mate to be successful. I will say this again, I require the pass to put your teammate in a position to be successful. What does that mean? it has to be a proper pass from the proper passing angle and hit the player in stride. If off of a screen, the pass must hit the outside hand, I make the receiver always give a target hand and and I always have my shooters give target hand or shooters hands.Shooters hands are where the Player and Shooter have hands ready to catch and shoot, with feet set, square and ready I step into shot quickly all players receiving the pass must give a target hand first.If hands are down, they don't get a pass, or I make the passer hit the player in the nose, this way, the next time the player will always be ready to catch the ball.

Again, this is details of the game, fundamentals of the game.
Now, I previously mentioned in a simple 5 man weave drill, I incorporate that each player give a different type of pass. I start off by making the passer call out the receivers name on each pass, to have communication.
Player taking ball out of bounds to start drill uses a BASEBALL PASS.
This is a pass that looks like a player throwing a baseball.
The player must twist his upper body at the core and torso, to square his shoulders and point the shoulder to the receiver. the ball goes from chest being held with two hands to ear, shoulders point to player the back foot is planted and you step towards the player and you snap the pass to hit player in stride at chest level. ( I demand all players SNAP the passes, this is so the defense can't react to pass and intercept, if there is a loft on the pass or an arch on the pass, the defender has more time to react or anticipate and steal the pass.) I also work on follow through on pass, just like a shot. On baseball pass the the follow through the index finger points to the receiver with the foot stepping toward the receiver.

CHEST PASS hitting player in chest with pass, In stride, while running, this helps bigs with hand/eye coordination. Now, the ball doesn't bounce off of the chest, you hit them in the hands, again receiver gives a target with hands ready to catch ball
(If player has issues with hands or issues with catching the ball, this can be corrected )but target area is the chest, chest high. The players need to look pass into hands and catch ball.
(If issues with catching Use a tennis ball, racquet ball, or an egg, to soften hands to catch the ball. This helps with player Hand/Eye coordination. Forces player to slow down and focus on watching the ball all the way into hands to secure the catch)

On pass, again mechanics must be correct, is player stepping toward receiver? Are thumbs down? Or palms out? Did player call name of receiver for communication?
If not stop and correct !

BOUNCE PASS this pass must lead the player in stride while running and ball skips off of court and hits player at waist level.

Did passer step toward receiver? Are thumbs down? Are palms out?
Details !

OVERHEAD SNAP PASS this is when the player uses both hands and holds ball firmly at chest and holds ball above head firmly The ball goes from chest to over the head and behind head, with both hands and you snap the pass to player in front of you.
Again, are Thumbs down? Did passer Step to receiver?

BALL FAKE, WRAP AROUND PASS. This is where a player makes a proper jump stop, with balance , feet shoulder width, balanced and controlled , the ball shot fake gets the defender to lean or lunge at shot fake,  and the offensive player wraps the pass around the defender to complete the pass.

****This is one important detail, every pass the passer must step towards the person the are passing to. Again, Step toward the person you are passing to, by stepping toward the person you are passing to, this does a couple fundamental things. By stepping toward the player, this helps passer snap the pass, and give a direct angle on pass to receiver and it also forces the offensive player to to get low in an attack position and get lower the defensive hand to lower the risk of a defensive deflection and or a steal by the defense.

****The only pass the offensive player doesn't step toward the player he is passing to, is the Wrap around pass. The offensive player passing the ball, is stepping out and around the defender to complete the pass. This is why is is called wrap around, the offensive player wraps pass around the defender.
I watch many games at all levels, during a week, I can watch and take mental notes and analyze at least 15-20 games, NBA, College, High School. And in a two week period, I have observed only 1 wrap around pass. This is a sad statistic. This is a solid fundamental pass and effective way to feed the post player from wing.

Passing angles are very important, the passer must create the proper angle to execute the pass. I see many players attempt a post entree pass and the angle is not correct and defender steals pass every time. Creating an angle is an extra effort on the passer to get around the defender to execute the pass to the receiver.
Demand the passer to make the extra effort to execute pass. Basketball games are won and lost of unforced turnovers. Taking care of the Ball, Value the ball, Value the possession. If during a game your team might have 80 possessions? and if you turn it over 20 plus times, that is 20 more attempts you are allowing the opposing team at a shot.

This can create a Winning Culture by demanding proper execution of every pass.
By demanding a snap on every pass, This also creates a focus on detail. When each individual player focuses on Detail, collectively as a Team each player is held to a higher level of accountability. The Team will hold each other accountable to have proper execution, and then the players police themselves and the Coach can spend time on other aspects of Teaching.

I am a Players Coach, Once players demonstrate he or she has a hi level skill set, I don't mind seeing a player put a little sauce on a play, add some flare or showmanship on a play, This is entertaining, it builds confidence, it build excitement, it builds a brand, it builds a product. This is not a lack of discipline, It is a trust in your player to still execute a play. But you must prove to me you have the proper fundamental down first. I will not yell or scream or embarrass you on the court. But I will Teach and guide the process hands on.

To be continued next week.................

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