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pre-game drills
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The pre-game warm-up is a timeframe where some programs fail to adequately prepare their players for the game. I've noticed teams engaging in simple passing drills and lay-up lines before tip off, along with some free shooting in a period that could only be 15-20 minutes. In my opinion, this activity does little to help teams break a sweat and less for focusing players toward the immediate speed of the upcoming game.

Instead, I suggest you take some time with your team during a preseason practice to introduce a structured pre-game warm-up. You could assign an assistant coach or two to help guide this activity before the game or rely upon your team captain(s) to lead the workout. Exercise through a pass and catch series with the team together in a transition mode using half-court. At this time, I encourage players to focus on finishing hard and toward the hoop for roughly 3-4 minutes. I'd split the group up to provide further opportunities for ball handing and partner shooting for an additional 3-4 minutes. Individual and team defensive drills are also added in. For example, work on defensive footwork (e.g. 1-on-1 closeouts) and help defense (e.g. shell drill) before the game.

I would also encourage you to assign an assistant coach the responsibility of at least watching your players and the opponents to gain a general feeling about their immediate mood, weaknesses, and strengths.

View our pre-game routines below and see just what might fit your team the best



1. Two Line Layup
2. Two Line Jump Stop
3. Four Corner Layup

4. Two Line/Ball Baseline
5. Two line Elbows
6. Three Line Follow-up



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