Five Drills for Positionless Basketball

I have been soaking up the FIBA basketball videos on YouTube lately. I recently posted about drills that Canadian coach Allison McNeill demonstrated that can serve youth players, and this post is a look at some of the drills that Israeli coach Arik Shivek uses to teach guard skills which in today’s game can really be filed under positionless basketball.

Here is a link to the full video which runs a little over an hour long. In my opinion the first 25 minutes of the video was did not feature enough game-like drills for positionless basketball and I would not use Coach Shivek’s suggestions until the second half of the video. After that though there were many drills that I thought could be of service against multiple types of defense (zone or man) and multiple schemes (dribble drive, isolation, pick and roll, five out). Here is a cliff notes version of eight of those drills

  1. Positionless Basketball Drill: Israel Driving Drill

I thought that this drill balanced shooting and driving by having players do pull-ups on one end and get all the way to the rim on the other end. I also liked that the ball was caught on the wing outside the three point line which simulates a typical attack within the context of half-court offense. I could easily see making it a competitive drill by scoring made lay-ups as one and made pull-ups as two and having two teams compete against one another for anywhere from two to four minutes. It is also very fast paced if you keep it to half of your team doing it at once. For more watch about 25 minutes into the video.

2. Positionless Basketball Drill: Full Court Drive-Kick

This drill accomplishes multiple things that a team might want to emphasize. It is first and foremost a conditioning drill. Second, it reenforces where wing players are taught to run in transition (sideline). Third, the shooter is forced to relocate on dribble penetration. Fourth the person kicking can be taught to catch and jumpstop so that either foot can be utilized as the pivot. Fifth, this is again a drill that can be turned competitive by scoring how many threes (or mid-range shots) a team makes given a window of time. For more skip to 42:20 in the video.

3. Positionless Basketball Drill: Ball Movement Communication

Everything happens rapidly and with so many basketballs in play (four at once), this drill for positionless basketball can be extremely chaotic. Communication is an absolute must. There are also elements that allow for different types of cuts and entries. For example, the wing player can penetrate and kick to the corner, then come up to the high post to simulate a pass that is common in our zone offense. See 29 minutes into the video for more on this drill.

4. Positionless Basketball Drill: Baseline Closeouts

I like the emphasis that Coach Shivek places on playing defense immediately at the end of a players one on one offensive move in this drill because it correlates with a full-court defensive pressure system well. The other aspect of this drill that I value is that players need to read if an immediate shot or a drive is the best option as they react to the closeout. Putting a limit on the number of dribbles (two or three) is something I’d recommend. For more on this skip ahead to minute 54 on the video.

5. Positionless Basketball Drill: Pick and Roll Kick Outs

This drill forces players to think more outside the box in their options on the pick and roll. So often players will force a pass in to a teammate rolling to the basket when the help is there from the corner defender. This teaches the ball-handler that there are other options and the players not directly involved in the pick and roll to keep the floor spaced. Simultaneously players are learning defensively that they are going to need disciplined closeouts out of help positions in order to get a stop. For more on this drill skip to 60 minutes into the video.

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