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Friday, September 22, 2017

PERIMETER PLAYER SKILL DEVELOPMENT

The following comes from a lecture I gave at A Step Up Assistant Coaching Symposium several years ago.

2 GOALS FOR PERIMETER SKILL DEVELOPMENT

GOAL #1: Improve and stretch the skill of the individual player
                  Technique: proper execution is critically important in all drills

“Be a skill coach, not a drill coach.”
-Coach Don Meyer

 Overload Drills: must take players out of their comfort zone to stretch them

GOAL #2: Improve skills related to offensive system of play for your team
1. What does your team need for your players to do well?
2. Don’t improve a skill you don’t need

CONCEPT #1: Don’t just work on your players’ weaknesses — stretch and further develop their strengths.

CONCEPT #2: Maximize individual workout time...don’t just work on fundamentals, work on relationships.

CONCEPT #3: Measure when you can...stats can help.

CONCEPT #4: Always utilize video when possible.

CONCEPT #5: Sometimes skill development needs to be in a team setting as opposed to individual.

CONCEPT #6: Singleness of purpose will create quicker improvement, confidence.

CONCEPT #7: “Catch them doing something right.” -Don Meyer

CONCEPT #8: Break down the whole and create a part-method drill.


In developing solid perimeter play, we want to first look for and then develop the following characteristics:

1. SHE MUST HAVE GOOD VISION
Vision is a very encompassing matter. A good perimeter player does more than just see her teammates, she also sees the defense. This particular type of vision allows the good perimeter player to make the proper decisions with the basketball.

2. SHE MUST UNDERSTAND HER STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
A good perimeter player knows what she does well and works hard to get in position to take advantage of those skills and fundamentals. Just as important however, is the fact that a good perimeter player knows what her limitations are, her weaknesses, and stays away from them.

3. SHE KNOWS HER TEAMMATES STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES
This is very difficult for the average perimeter player, and in fact, it is a rare quality usually found in the best perimeter players. That special type of perimeter player knows who the best shooters are on the team and tries to get them the ball when they are open. She knows who the best posters are and feeds them the ball. She knows who has trouble dribbling the ball and doesn’t pass them the ball when it might put them in a dribbling situation.

4. SHE MIXES AGGRESSIVENESS WITH PATIENCE
The good perimeter player knows when to push the ball up and when to hold it up. She knows when to attack the basket and when to reverse the ball. She is prepared to play at whatever speed is necessary for her team to be successful.

5. SHE IS HARD TO GUARD
A good perimeter player is constantly working to get open and at the same time occupy her defender. She understands that she must move with a purpose, because she must never confuse “activity for achievement.”

6. SHE IS STRONG WITH THE BALL
Whether she is dribbling, passing, or holding the ball, she is going to be strong. She is not going to let the defender rush her into a mistake.

7. COMPOSURE—COMPOSURE—COMPOSURE!!!
The best perimeter players never let anything upset them. They don’t let the crowd affect their play; they don’t let the other team affect their play; and they don’t let any breakdowns by their teammates affect their play.

8. SHE MUST BE PHYSICALLY STRONG
We want players that are warriors in the weight room. This is an area that you as a coach must be committed to as much as the players.  Players know what is important to a coaching staff. Working hard in the weight room doesn’t mean that we are interested in huge muscle bound athletes. We are interested in developing upper body strength and explosiveness from the lower body.

9. SHE MUST BE AN EXCELLENT CONDITIONED ATHLETE
We expect our perimeter players to be able to outrun the opposing perimeter players down the court for fast break opportunities. And, just as important, we expect our perimeter players to be able to outrun the opposing perimeter players and be in good defensive position in defensive transition. In our motion offense, our perimeter players are constantly moving. We are always telling them, “be hard to guard.” All of this demands a supremely physically conditioned athlete.

10. SHE MUST BE A SMART PLAYER
We expect our perimeter players to be able to “think” the game. Again, because of our motion offense, our perimeter players are expected to constantly make decisions while on the floor. When and who to screen, when to pass, and when to dribble are just some of the instant decisions we expect them to make. Equally, because we utilize scouting reports, they must know which particular player they are defending and how to defend them.

11. SHE MUST POSSESS A GREAT WORK ETHIC
Obviously, to be a warrior in the weight room, a supremely physically conditioned athlete, and a mentally prepared basketball player, you must first possess a great work ethic. We demand a lot from a our perimeter players and the truly good ones are not afraid to work. To be a top-flight player, a good work ethic is a year round necessity.