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Monday, April 21, 2014

OFF-SEASON THOUGHTS -- DAY #6: AGGIE PICK UP GUIDELINES

OFF-SEASON THOUGHTS -- DAY #6: During this 10-day period, we are going to load up our blog on thoughts that are relevant to developing or improving your off-season program.  We will delve on off-season topics from player development and drill work to motivation and team building.  It will be our sincere wish that over the next 10 days we can provide you with at least one item or thought that will help you and your program.

From my days at LSU, I have always had a list of guidelines for our team to follow in pick up.  Let's be honest: pick will rarely if not never be a thing of beauty.  There is no atmosphere more conducive to slippage than that of players playing without supervision from a coach.  To me, there are four things needed for successful pick up play. 

#1 A Definition of Good Pick Up Play
As a coach, you must paint a picture of what good pick up will be and what it will achieve.  For us, a good game of pick up has energy and enthusiasm.  It is a group of players that enjoying playing with each other and playing the game of basketball.  It is also a noisy proposition.  Lots of talking and chattering.  Players are talking the game.  They are encouraging each other and holding each other accountable. 

#2 Leadership
Good pick up basketball has leaders that get things going.  It's time to play -- let's get it!  They have a sense of urgency -- here's out teams...Maroon ball...let's go!  They play hard and smart -- they set a visual example.  They encourage and correct their teammates.  They are the eyes, ears and mouth of the coaching staff.

#3 Committed Team
Good pick up basketball has a team that is committed to improving.  They understand that every time they step on the court they will either get better or get worse. Teams that get better during the summer are holding each other accountable for effort and execution in pick up games.

#4 Guidelines
I've always believed that a good set of guidelines can help a great deal.  The team is "navigating" through the summer without you but you can provide a "road map" with some good guidelines.

Here is our list:

ALWAYS PLAY MAN TO MAN DEFENSE
Good pressure on the basketball (even if you get beat on the drive)
Get a hand up on every shot
Make contact, blockout, and finish the possession
Ball Screens: Hard Hedge and Recover
Off Ball Screens: No switching

START WITH HALF COURT GAMES
Even if you have enough for 5/5, start with a couple of half court games
Will help us to develop our man defense and offense principles

UTILIZE CONVERSION
After half court games, finish up with full court games

Progression will always be: Primary, Secondary, Offense
Even 4/4 games can be played full court
Regardless of situation, all 10 players should cross half-court on each possession

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY
3/3, 2/2, 1/1
Play, play, play


COMMUNICATE
No music on during pick up

Talk: Encouraging, Corrective, Instructive 

 
BE A GOOD TEAMMATE
Encourage teammates
Upperclassmen teach our freshman how we play
Help freshman to understand offensive/defensive principles

PLAY HARD
Is there any other way?!



THERE WILL COME A TIME
WHEN WINTER WILL ASK,
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THIS SUMMER?"