Spring Basketball Workout #5

In Practice Plans by Brock Bourgase

Emphasis: agility, ballhanding, decisions under pressure, shooting Summary: I wasn’t happy about the last practice so I thought that I would emphasize three elements in every section to keep the workout focused: athletic abilities, shooting and deliberate play. You have to shoot the ball, but you also need to play defense and make decisions so I did not want to neglect those areas. For a Friday afternoon, I added extra time for the game situations. Reflection: The training group was small. I kept the same structure but let the players decide on the points of emphasis. We did creating an …

Spring Basketball Workout #4

In Practice Plans by Brock Bourgase

Emphasis: lower body strength, speed, one-dribble attack, post play Summary: I wanted to introduce the players to some of the sport-specific lower body exercises that could be performed in the weight room. There is a tendency to overuse the leg extension and hamstring curl machines (everyone seems to gravitate to those machines at the moment); although they do help build lower body muscles, they lack a stability component that is needed for basketball. If a weight room mostly has machines, it should be supplemented with free weight, kettle bell or medicine ball activities that force players to engage their core …

Spring Basketball Workout #3

In Practice Plans by Brock Bourgase

Emphasis: explosiveness, core stability, full-speed ballhandling, shooting at game speed Summary: It’s important to encourage students to stay hydrated when the temperature is this warm. Drink beyond thirst. Since I had already covered the Athletic Abilities routines earlier, I felt comfortable raising the intensity level in order to establish a tone for the workout. Every workout component should have a high Rate of Perceived Exertion, from the personal fitness exercises to the ballhandling and shooting drills. Reflection: I feel that there could be a little more work done individually between sessions to maximize the intensity level of these workouts. Little …

Spring Basketball Workout #2

In Practice Plans by Brock Bourgase

Emphasis: upper body strength, footwork, finish at the rim, recovery & regeneration Summary: After a false start last week, the players organized a second workout today. We began the session with some footwork exercises and went into the weight room to do some sport-specific upper body exercises. Afterwards, we tried to get to the basket & finish at the rim. The defense endeavoured to pressure the ball & close out shooters. Reflection: Two more players would have been better to keep things moving but the Rate of Perceived Exertion was accurate. Players seemed to enjoy the workout although some reminders …

Spring Basketball Workout #1

In Practice Plans by Brock Bourgase

Emphasis: footwork, core stability, dribbling against contact, stay hydrated Summary: Today, I was able to get into the gym & weight room with six players today. In the weight room, we did some stairs, core stability & sport-specific exercises with the medecine balls. In the gym, we were able to get some reps dribbling against contact & playing full-court. Reflection: Thanks to the players who came out and put work in. I didn’t quite get to the end of the plan that I had created because instructing some core exercises for the first time took more than anticipated. I think …

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Dean Smith’s Coaching Philosophy

In Coaching, N.C.A.A. Basketball by Brock Bourgase

A couple of discussions inspired me to reflect further about Dean Smith and delve deeper into his coaching philosophy and leadership style. Certainly, this post may have been timelier had I published it at the time of Smith’s passing in 2015 but I feel that the thoughts remain relevant because of his lasting impact on the game. When I began coaching, I was drawn to Smith’s methods because of his winning track record and the fact that he was one of the limited numbers of coaches who had published a book that was easily available in the 1990s. To me, …

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Finishing at the Rim

In Drills by Brock Bourgase

These drills help players finish at the rim at game intensity. Coaches should monitor the drills to ensure random practice, solid fundamentals & an appropriate Work:Pause ratio to develop explosiveness (1:4). Three Cones (Phase A) Learning Goal: Perform explosive ball moves in sequence with either hand. Points of Emphasis: Footwork when cutting, driving & finishing. Set up three agility poles or pylons in a row. The first player curls around the top cone using an outside foot pivot as they receive a pass (outside hand pass). At the first cone, they use a ball move to beat one defender; at …

Dribbling against Contact

In Drills by Brock Bourgase

These drills help dribblers handle the ball against a physical defender. The drills were also posted on Canada Basketball’s GamePlan site. Create Contact (Phase A) Learning Goal: Execute ball moves & draw contact. Points of Emphasis: Stay balanced & low, drop hips, explode through pads. The ballhandler self-passes the ball outside the arc and catches the ball in a balanced stance, squaring up & looking at the rim. A coach stands in the key with a blocking pas. The player pounds the ball twice to start the drill. The dribbler executes a ball move and drives their inside shoulder into …

Post Move Workout

In Drills by Brock Bourgase

I was at a Toronto Triple Threat workout to work with bigs and put in some of these drills. I also put the drills online on Canada Basketball’s Game Plan Site. Post Move Building Blocks (A) Learning Goal: Develop footwork for basic post moves. Point of Emphasis: Keep the ball high. Rip through above head. These are five basic post moves that are part of every Team Ontario practice. Perform each move three times from both sides of the court Players pass the ball to the coach on the wing and establish position inside. If coaches are unavailable to pass …

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Raptors BLOBs

In Plays by Brock Bourgase

The Toronto Raptors have executed some intriguing baseline out of bounds sets this year that feature a number of diverse actions. Running plays with different actions from the same setup all the way until the end is typical of playing at the next level. Flex Action: Bismack Biyombo backscreens for Cory Joseph and pops to receive the inbounds pass from Kyle Lowry. Joseph sets a flex screen for Lowry. Biyombo passes to DeMar DeRozan in the pinch post and downscreens for Joseph. DeRozan passes it back to Joseph as Lowry and Biyombo set a staggered screen on the baseline for …

N.B.A. ATO Plays

In N.B.A. Basketball, Plays by Brock Bourgase

The first play after a timeout is an opportune time to re-establish stability on the offensive end and return to the team’s core principles. During play, the philosophy can become lost as emotions take over but coaches can take advantage of the break provided by the timeout to get back to basics. For some teams, basics means getting the ball inside to the post. Recent Toronto Raptors opponents the San Antonio Spurs (Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge) and Sacramento Kings (DeMarcus Cousins) have exceptional post players so they chose to counter a Toronto run by getting the ball inside. Little adjustments …

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Building a Culture

In Leadership by Brock Bourgase

Creating a culture that lasts from season to season is one of the coach’s most challenging tasks. When all team members buy in, significant successes can be reached so it is worth the effort. For a culture to truly come to life, the responsibility for its development must be shared by players and coaches alike. Give Players Ownership When New Zealand All Blacks coach Graham Henry took over after an unsuccessful 2003 Rugby World Cup, he began by making players responsible for the team. At first, the coaching staff identified some players who were negative influences in the clubhouse and …

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Spain Early Offense

In Plays by Brock Bourgase

When coaches design actions that involve everyone on the court and allow them to play, there is the potential for a very dynamic offense. By developing the skills utilized by the sets and teaching players how to read the defense, teams can generate many effective options out of the same play. Out of transition, Spain gets everyone moving and puts the defense on its heels. Sergio Llull brings the ball up the court, passes to Pau Ribas and cuts of Nikola Mirotić as he fills the corner. Ribas reverses through the trail Pau Gasol and uses a back screen from …

Raptors Execute Details

In Plays by Brock Bourgase

Raptors Execute Many Little Things to Create Game-Winning Shot Down 1 vs. Orlando, Toronto ran an interesting SLOB to create a drive and kick situation.  Lou Williams finally made a corner 3 because the team understood the details. First of all, the best time to shoot a three is when you don’t need one. The defense is more concerned about stopping penetration towards the rim than sticking to a shooter or running them off the ball. Greivis Vasquez inbounded the ball, Lou Williams started on the strong-side elbow opposite Patrick Patterson and DeMar DeRozan was on the weak-side wing. Kyle …

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Coaches Challenge Themselves

In Coaching by Brock Bourgase

He’s always challenging himself.  He has this saying about, ‘Take the lid off it. See where it can go.’ You can tell he’s done all these great things, and he’ll continue to do great things as long as he’s coaching. Tom Thibodeau on Mike Krzyzewski

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Star Trek Leadership, Part IV: Overcoming the Odds

In Star Trek Leadership, Television by Brock Bourgase

Leadership assumes many forms: some lead by example and others delegate while standing by the side, some issue precise instructions and others leave room for creativity, some focus solely on the outcome and others emphasize following the correct process to get there. During the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Peak Performance,” diverse crew members must act as leaders and determine what philosophy suits them best. A Starfleet battle simulation places Commanded Riker in charge of the antiquated U.S.S. Hathaway. Accompanied by a skeleton crew, Riken is given forty-eight hours to prepare for a war games exercise against Captain Picard …