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Part II: The Only Skills 97.3% of High School Players Need



basketball coaches clinic chicago

So what do 97.3% of high school players need to be able to do? It’s the simple, not so sexy stuff, that doesn’t show up on SportsCenter. It’s the stuff that’s dirty, hard work.

This stuff below might sound so simple that you overlook it, in fact many coaches do.

Here are what we call, The Essentials:

  1. Go Full Speed with Both Hands
  2. Change Speeds
  3. 1 Change of Direction Move
    • Between the Legs
    • Behind the Back
  4. 1 Same Side Move
    • Hesitation
    • Dribble Jab
    • Inside Out
  5. 5 Ways to Finish on their defender and the help side
    • Protection layup
    • Inside Hand
    • Inside Shoulder
    • Veer
    • Hips Across
  6. Sweep the Basketball
  7. Rip Pivot and Pass Under Pressure
  8. Create Space


All, extremely simple things. But what drives you crazy as a coach?

Missed layups…
Bad passes…

Are your kids working on these basketball skills by recreating realistic, game-like situations? Are they working on them enough, in a variety of simple drills, so they become habits?

Your offense might look great on paper, but if your players can’t execute these skills in pressure situations, it’s really hard to be successful.

You’ve most likely noticed that one thing is missing from this list. Yes, shooting – I skipped it for a reason.

I could be wrong, but here’s what we’ve found over the past 10 years. You’re going to have much more carryover from 15 minutes of finishing drills per day in the summer than than 15 minutes of shooting. Why? Because it is a much easier skill to improve on.

Should kids be getting shots up? 100%, but if I’m only spending 60 minutes with my players, 1-2 times per week during the summer…

I want to work on the skills that are going to get the most improvement in the least amount of time.

You can’t become a better shooter 1-2 times per week for 60 minutes, but you can improve your skills.

Without a doubt, shooting is a skill that can significantly separate you as a player, but in my experience, becoming great is a commitment most players aren’t willing to make.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Essentials Program, we’ll be teaching it at our Basketball Coaches Academy in Chicago, May 19

You can get all the information you need in about 60 seconds at:

Besides, if you can’t pivot, pass, and get into gaps off the dribble, how do you get open shots?

You need the Essentials.

Tuition goes up $25 tonight at midnight.

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