Purpose: To practice offensive and defensive execution in a variety of competitive end-of-game situations. Prepare your players in practice so they will be ready and composed during last second situations in games.
Drill: This is a 5-on-5 drill; one team on offense, one on defense. Start the drill with a 60-second timeout. If and when your players are capable, let them conduct the timeout on their own. For younger players or less experienced players, a coach should be conducting the timeout to plan the strategy. If you do allow them to plan and strategize on their own, make sure to listen in so you will know what is said, who is leading, how they are responding, etc.
Sound the horn or blow the whistle to end the time out (make it game-like). Play the situation through to the end. Following the conclusion of the situation, bring all players together and quickly discuss what was done well and what could have been done better. Make sure to discuss both offense and defense.
Repeat same situation with the same offense and defense. Then switch offense and defense and play through the same situation 2 more times (both teams work on situation twice on offense and twice on defense). Remember to briefly discuss following each situation.
How to set up an end-of-game situation
Include the following:
- Time remaining
- Who has ball
- Possession arrow
- Foul situation
- Where ball will be inbounded
- Time outs left
- Team 1 leads by 3 points with :30 seconds left. Team 1 is inbounding the basketball at midcourt. Both teams are over the foul limit and both have one timeout remaining.
- Team 1 leads by 5 with :45 remaining. Team 2 is inbounding under their opponents basket. Team 2 has only five team fouls and Team 1 has commited 11 team fouls. Team 2 has 2 timeouts; team 1 has no timeouts.
- Team 2 is down by 9 points with 3 minutes remaining. They have 3 timeouts.
- Game tied, 2 minutes remain. Team 1 has committed 10 fouls, team 2 has committed 7. Both teams have 1 timeout.
- Team 1 is down by 3, inbounding under their own basket. :05 seconds left. No timeouts and both teams are in double bonus.
- End-of-game situations should be practiced almost daily. Depending on the length of the situation, you only need about 5 or 10 minutes.
- The potential situations are obviously endless. Determine the situation you want to practice and execute only that one on that day.
- If you have access to it, use your scoreboard. This will help keep it game-like, especially if the players are conducting the drill.
- As talked about above, discuss each situation after it is done. As needed, discuss concepts beforehand as well. We’re not just throwing them out there to figure it out on their own … we want to teach and expand their basketball IQ.