When growing up as a player it was under my impression that basketball conditioning was running without the ball. The harder it was - the better all of us got. This continued into my early coaching career, but has changed dramatically over the years. Yes, there is a time and place for running or training without the ball and all of us have different approaches to conditioning. However, we all realize how important our practice time is in order to prepare the team.
It does not have to be conditioning or skills; it can be conditioning AND skills work. Individual skill work as well as team skill work. When I was coaching a team there were 5 Benefits to combining skills and conditioning:
1. Teamwork - during these drills the team had to work together in order to compete well enough to beat the score of the drill
2. Competition - with the scoreboard/clock running and the points, plus turnovers being recorded it felt like a game. At some point the horn sounds and the performance was assessed.
3. Game-like - the team was working on game-like skills such as passing the ball up the court, changing directions to make a play, or running the floor to receive the perfect pass.
4. Development - at the core of the drills is the development of ballhandling, passing, cutting, and finishing that we would use in the game. It had a purpose and the team was getting better individually and collectively.
5. Mental Toughness - after missing so many lay-ups or making bad passes the drill would restart which created tension or we accomplished the score which created confidence for the team. Whatever happened taught the players to embrace the process and work through the temporary pain to compete until the end.
If you are in search of some new full court drills check out our packet here or browse the sample below or the one in our previous blog. The Full Court Conditioning and Skills Packet has times and score for each drill.
Player Development Coach