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SDP Blog

The Skill Development Playbook blog has all the information you need to improve as a player or coach.  This blog will give you tips, workouts, and drills to help enhance any players skill set.

Tips to Breakdown a Simple Offense into Skill Development Drills

Skill development has turned into a big deal. If you go to Google and type in skill development trainer you will get a very large result of coaches, trainers, and academies. Some are really good and some not so much. Lets be honest, majority of the skill development done is on offense. It focuses on ball handling, shooting, passing, and footwork. Those things are great for the individual player or when conducting small groups. But if you are a coach at a middle school or high school you tend to spend more time on the team vs the individual.

In this blog I will breakdown an offensive set into a skill development drill. This is a great way to teach what skills you want your players to be able to perform to fit your offense. At the same time you can get your players the individual skill development they need.

I'm not affiliated with FastModel Sports or their FastDraw software, but they have the best basketball play diagramming software in the world. HANDS DOWN! Plus they have a great blog that has ton of information on skill development, coaching tips, offensive set plays, and defense. Be sure to check them out HERE

I mentioned FastDraw because they send out through their newsletter several plays. These plays could be half court sets, inbound plays, quick hitters, or motion offense. So I'm going to breakdown one of their recent plays into drills to use for skill development. But before I do that lets look at a few advantages of breaking down the plays.

  1. Great way to introduce the play
  2. Develop skills to make players successful
  3. Get players comfortable with different actions
  4. Players can get plenty of game reps from game spots
  5. Coach can teach and give his/her expectations of every action for the play

When breaking down your offensive plays you can get as vague or as detailed as you want. You could start with one player drills and work your way up to 3 players. There's a lot of creativity here. So this is just to get your thought process going.

Oklahoma City Thunder Box STS

In the above play we have several actions that take place. As a coach you can really break this play down and make sure the players understand your expectations for this play. Just by looking at this play you can get an idea of what OKC wants to do, but unless you are in practice or the huddle you will never know what the coach expects to get out of this play. So lets break this play down.

On this play you could have numerous drills. It would just depend on how creative you can become and what you want to work on. So I'm just going to focus on the point guard and show a few drills for their position.

In frame 1 player 1 makes an entry pass to the coach at the high post and then cut off the cone/chair for the catch and shoot 3 pointer. In frame 2 player 1 will catch on the wing and finish at the rim. Player 1 can also get into a 1 or 2 dribble pull up jumper.

In frame 3 player dribbles 2 basketballs to the wing while player 3 sets a screen for player 5. Player 5 cuts to the block and receives a pass from player 1 for the finish. Player 3 then cuts off the cone for catch and shoot or pull up jumper at the top of the key. The coach in the corner then passes to  player 1 for the three pointer on the wing.

For these frames we drill penetration from the point guard and post up from player 5. In frame 4 player 1 dribbles to the wing and passes to player 5 cutting to the block for the post up. Player 5 makes a post move and scores the bucket. The coach has two basketballs and passes the first ball to player 1 who drives the ball middle while player 3 drifts toward the wing. Player 1 kicks it out to player 3 for the three pointer. Player 1 then relocates to the perimeter to receive a second ball from the coach for the catch and shoot or the pull up jumper.

In this group of frames the drills are scenario based. When player 3 screens for player 5 for the catch at the block, player 3 then relocates and receives a skip pass for the three pointer. The coach then passes to player 1 who drives middle (can also drive baseline) and passes out to player 5 relocating to the short corner for the short jumper. Player 1 then pops out to the perimeter to receive a second pass from the coach for the three pointer or the dribble pull up.

The drills I have in this blog are just some different scenarios of what you could do. There are many many more options for a coach. It just depends on what you want to emphasize and how creative you can become. To me these are the best skill development drills a coach could do for his team because they improve the individual in a team setting working on team concepts. If you have any questions about anything in this blog or would like for me to help you develop some drills for your team please let me know. Send an email to Don't forget to connect with us on social media.