Every week here on the Locker Room, we will present a new drill that can be used to teach multiple skills and improve your game, all while adding some fresh spice to your repertoire.
This week’s drill is called the “Scramble Drill”. The Scramble drill emphasizes footwork, acceleration skills, deceleration skills, squaring up to the basket, being on balance, and of course, scoring the basketball.
The Scramble Drill can be done with 1-2 players and 1 coach. In the description below, we will use the example of having 1 coach and 1 player. The coach stands underneath the basket holding two balls. The player stands equal to the line of the basket, in the middle of the paint. The coach throws one of the balls anywhere on the court. The player has to locate the ball, sprint to retrieve it (preferably after only one bounce) on balance and with proper footwork. The coach will specify what kind of footwork the player must use to square up to the basket, and what kind of scoring move the player must make towards the basket. After the player retrieves the first ball and shoots, the coach immediately throws the second ball in another location on the court, while also rebounding the first shot. The player immediately sprints after the second ball to retrieve it, and duplicates the same footwork and finishing move to complete the series. The coach should mix up the areas on the court that they throw the ball in order to challenge the player.
Points of Emphasis:
- Sprint after the ball, working on reaction time and acceleration within a confined space.
- Stop on balance and square to the basket using the proper footwork (front or reverse pivot)
- Be under control when going up for your shot. Just because you are running hard from spot to spot doesn’t mean you should rush the shot, stay composed and tight with your movements
The Scramble Drill is great because it adds the element of variability to shooting drills that are sometimes non-existent in skill development workouts. Shooting a ton of shots from the same spot in rhythm doesn’t necessarily transfer to in-game shooting, nor make you a more adept shooter. Basketball is unpredictable, you will almost never shoot the same shot from the same spot twice in any game. The Scramble Drill grants players that element of unpredictability in that multiple moves must be utilized on the fly, with minimal reaction time. The drill is likewise great for conditioning while working within the confines of in-game movements. Lastly, you can package together almost any combination’s of footwork and finishing/scoring moves, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Be creative and work hard.
I recommend a player keeps going until they make 10 shots, but you can also set a time constraint (1-2 minutes) and challenge yourself to see how many baskets a player can score in this time frame.
Below are some simple variations for the drill:
1. Retrieve the ball, reverse pivot and shoot
2. Retrieve the ball, front pivot and shoot
3. Retrieve the ball, reverse or front pivot and one dribble drive for a layup (no matter where you are on the court…I have seen players take one dribble from almost half court and score a layup)
4. Retrieve the ball, reverse or front pivot and one dribble pullup
Check out this video from Vanderbilt University showing a series of drills as well as a drill called Ball Drop Shooting, which is very similar to the above Scramble Drill. Enjoy.
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