After reading a great article by George Raveling on "Player Development" I was reminded of a recent experience.
A drill that I like to do frequently during workouts and practices is called "Dribble-Outs". There are many important skills within this simple drill.
"Dribble-Outs" consists of players dribbling to the foul line and executing a jump stop. The player then performs a front or rear pivot/turn and passes to a partner on the baseline. The partner catches the ball "on the hop" and then executes a shot fake into a direct drive or cross-over drive and dribbles to the foul line and repeats the cycle.
Recently I was working with some junior high players and started our session with this drill. I observed that many of the skills were done incorrectly and concluded that I needed to break the drill into smaller parts and move the drill to the end of a session (or even a later session).
Here is the progression of activities that I did:
Warmup for workout include movements that would be used in progression.
Example: 1-2 Hops, Diagonal Lunges, Crossover Lunges, Jump Stops with Squats, Pivoting
A. Front Turn
B. Rear Turn
2. Jump Stops (Starts, Stops and Turns)
3. Partner Passing
A. Passing Types and Technique
B. Catching "On the Hop"
C. On the Hop with Shot Fake
D. On the Hop, Shot Fake, Footwork (Direct and Cross-Over) (No Dribble)
4. Dribble Pick-Ups (Adding Dribble)
A. Direct Drive
B. Cross-Over Drive
With older players and groups that have demonstrated mastery we have added dribble moves to the dribble-outs and have even added a defender to incorporate "fake and make" passing. After players have mastered the skills within the drill the next level of application would be to use the skills in live action. "Closeout 1 on 1" is a drill we use to work on reading the defense and executing the correct move.
The Raveling article speaks of the need for teaching, live action, and customized workouts. I felt the observation of player needs led me to try and better teach the skills within the drill. The initial observation of the drill led me to customize the workout to meet the needs of the individuals. True mastery of a skill does not exist until it is repeatedly demonstrated in game situations. The goal will be for the players to execute the skills properly during live action.