Once you get comfortable with adding different loads and constraints in your drills to try to get to that sweet spot (optimal learning level) where players get between 60-80% succes rate. You will find out that it doesn’t matter what age group or level your players are, you can use the same drill setup for each age group, and then load or deload it up to the optimal level.
Let’s give an example: by showing a really basic drill where players need to create something off the dribble and showing different options to load or de-load the drill.
- offensive player dribbles around the cone
- defensive player runs around the cone
Deloads – : make the drill easier
Loads + : making the drill harder
The basic drill 0 : this is the start off the drill
-3 Tools constraint: defensive player must hold a foam roller behind their back with 2 hands at all time, so they can’t use their arms to play defense
-2 Tools constraint: defensive player must hold a foam roller above the head with 2 hands at all time, they can use it to block the defender.
-1 Tools constraint: defensive player must hold a foam roller in 1 hand, so they can only use 1 hand to reach or block the offensive player.
0. No advantage / disadvantage: 1-1 arrount the cone
+1. Boundary: players must stay between the elbows / bucket at all time. Giving them a limited zone to play in.
+2. Shot clock: players must get a shot off in 4 seconds
+3. Limited shot selection: player must finish with a shot variation (no layups).
+4. Guided defender from the wing: Coach one each side who can have 1 foot inside the paint and help out from the wing to try to slap the ball away when the player drives.
+5. Guided defender in helpside: Coach standing in the smile, and can play defense but can’t jump.
+6. 1 vs 2: add an extra live defender in helpside who needs to stay under the block.
+7. Limited technical freedom: players must use a float dribble before taking a shot
+8. Add more players: adding a corner player so now it becomes a decision to finish or pass the ball
+9. Build it up: keep adding more players: 3vs2, 3vs3, 4vs3, …
Conclusion: instead of doing more drills, you can stick to a drill but just build up the loads. Start easy than make it more complex once players get comfortable.
Joerik Michiels is co-founder of Elite Athletes and is the Skill Director and soul of the Elite Academy.
Follow Joerik through instagram @joerik or connect at firstname.lastname@example.org.