I went to BST for a third consecutive summer to get new ideas about basketball drills and culture building. Afterward I spoke with my friend Steve Boudreau who has become one of the most respected learners in the game that I know. I will document some of my takeaways from this day over the coming days starting today with the BST Dynamic Stretch Takeaways.
BST Dynamic Stretch Takeaways
The dynamic stretch had about 23 different steps that ranged from jogging sideline to sideline to actual basketball related activities. With 26 players in the gym, everything was done sideline to sideline. Even if there were fewer players, sideline to sideline still makes sense given the shorter bursts of movement in basketball.
The ceiling for doing this well is relatively high. Pounding the dribble thirty times is not easy especially if you want the muscle distribution on the 3rd dribble to be the same as the 30th dribble. The floor for making an attempt on these stretches is accessible at any level. I took many of the basketball related elements and did them with six-year olds later in the day. The six-year olds struggled more, but they had some successes. My favorite new idea was throwing the ball up to yourself to high point it and land on two feet. It is an essential skill in basketball and too often players balance is thrown off after getting a rebound and a possession is lost.
The Whole Process
I wish I took video of the whole procedure, but in my own language here were the 23 as they were done in order.
- Jog three times to the sideline and back.
- Slide and dynamic arm stretch.
- High knee skips while using one arm to explode up (this simulated a lay-up motion).
- Elevate hips and rotate 90 degrees while slowly moving toward the sideline. Then jog back.
- Bring the knee to the chest, then lunge.
- Quad stretch and reach up to the sideline. Jog back from the sideline.
- Hamstring kicks in front of the body.
- High knees to one sideline, butt kickers back.
- One knee high while doing a karaoke motion (feet crossing over one another running sideways).
- Sprint to the sideline and backpedal back.
- Foot fire then defensive slide to the basket line and slide back to the sideline (repeated four times).
- Foot fire then close out. Players were directed to closeout however their coach tells them to close out.
- Touch the toes. From there players take baby steps with their hands until they get in plank position. It takes about 6 to 8 “hand steps.” Once in plank position, players did two pushups (repeated four times).
- A foot fire type of motion with the feet going out for two steps, then in for two steps for twenty seconds.
- What Tony Horton refers to as “Mary Katherine” lunges. About 10 reps.
- Squats and then jumps. They were waiting about a three count in the squat before jumping. About 10 reps.
Basketball Related Warm Up
The remainder of the warm up incorporated a ball.
- Ten ball slaps.
- Players put the ball directly over their head with straight arms, then patted it back and forth with their fingertips.
- The motion above the head was repeated at the feet.
- 30 pound dribbles with the right and then the left hand.
- Players would dribble with one hand facing the baseline and as the whistle blew they faced the other baseline and used the opposite hand. The whistle blew six times.
- Players dribbled with one hand at waste level and when instructed to “kill” would bring the ball no higher than the shin. Players went back and forth between these two levels with one hand for about 20 seconds and then switched hands.
- Throw it up to yourself, grab the ball at its highest point, land on two feet, and pivot. They did seven reps.
The final thought I had after the stretch was complete was how important each part of the process was. Steve Boudreau led and directed each of the 23 steps. I spoke with another coach about this part of practice afterward and we both agreed that players were essentially left to their own devices during our stretch time at practice. Invariably this led to players being more social than prepared for practice. Not that this is a problem, but as a coach everything matters. Should this crucial part of practice be called “stretching” or “socializing”. What players do should match what we want them to do.