Está en la página 1de 10

The Two Most Valuable Offensive Breakdown Drills

July 18, 2017

Submitted by by Coach John Kimble

Formerly of Crestview (FL) High School

See him on Twitter @CoachJohnKimble

Diagrams created with FastDraw

The “Pivot and Pass Offensive Drill” and the “55 Second Offensive Drill” are the two most
valuable drills that any offense could have to improve players’ performances and
techniques. Besides the individual offensive techniques and skills that these drills teach
and give players opportunities to improve on, the drills maximize time efficiency. Each drill
is multi-faceted, with several techniques being able to be worked on at the same time by
different participating players. The drills are game-realistic and competitive which brings
out the best in players and also includes physical conditioning. This saves valuable
practice time, so that these and other drills can be used more often for coaches to teach,
coach, and correct players as well as for the players to learn and improve in the various
skills that are needed for individual and team success.

The “Pivot and Pass Offensive Drill”

An invaluable offensive fundamental that is needed for a team to be successful in the
execution of any offense is the crucial fundamental of all players being able to dribble
against pressure, to pivot away from or around individual defensive pressure and then to be
able to deliver the ball to an open teammate. This could be against man-to-man pressure,
against half court zone or trap pressure or against full court defensive pressure. Teams
must be able to move the ball both on the perimeter as well as to the inside to constantly
attack defenders in the many various defenses that could be executed against them.

This drill should be utilized only after instilling the attitude to all players that the drill is a
multi-purpose drill needed for each player to become a well-rounded and fundamentally
sound basketball player. It is not just a dribbling, pivoting and passing drill for 01. It is not
just a defensive drill for X2. It also is not just a drill for 03 to catch the ball and to then work
on shooting techniques. Instead, the “Pivot and Pass Offensive Drill” is an all
encompassing offensive drill where all three players can work specifically on the offensive
techniques that they individually need to improve on. After three rotations of players, all
three players in each group will have worked on the three segments of the drills–the
fundamentals of the dribbler/passer, of the defender and of the pass receiver/shooter.
Because it is such a time-efficient and valuable drill and because it includes so many
different fundamentals, this drill should be used more than once in every practice (for just
short periods of time).

The dribblers/passers (01, 04, 07, and 010 in Diagram 1) work on the obvious dribbling,
pivoting, and passing techniques and skills that are required for them to be solid offensive
ball handlers. The first technique to be worked on is the actual dribble as the dribbler
approaches the defender. Dribbling quickly (but in a very controlled manner) with the head
up in a semi-crouch stance is the first point of emphasis for this offensive player. Protecting
the ball with the non-dribbling hand and dribbling with either hand is one of the most
important skills and techniques that each dribbler should also work on. Another important
skill for the ball handler is to work on the skill of passing the basketball with either hand.
Still, another vital skill of the ball handler is being able to pivot with either foot as the pivot

Working on defending a dribbling ballhandler and pressuring him when the dribble is killed
is very necessary for a team to have pressure on the basketball during a game. X2, X5, X8
and X11 are the first “on-the-ball defenders” in this drill.

Being able to catch the ball on the move, making a quick pivot and shooting quickly are
necessary for an offensive basketball team to be able to score. 03, 06, 09 and 012 are the
first cutters/shooters in this drill. Notice that while 03 and 06 cut to their left to receive the
passes, 09 and 012 cut from the left to their right. These directions can be alternated
periodically. Diagram 1 illustrates the placement of an entire team so that each player in
each three-man group can work on their specific techniques that are needed to be
practiced. See Diagram 1.

After a pre-designated time limit, all three offensive players rotate to their next position in
the group. An example of the first rotation of the drill would be to have 01 rotate to become
the next defender while 02 now becomes the next designated pass receiver/shooter. 03
rotates from being the first receiver/shooter to becoming the next designated
dribbler/passer, also placing 06, 09 and 012 as the other new dribblers/passers. The newly
designated defenders are X1, X4, X7 and X10. The newest pass receivers/shooters will be
02, 05, 08 and 011 after the first rotation of offensive personnel.

After all three players in each of the four groups (for example, 01, 02 and 03 in the first
group with 04, 05 and 06 in the second group) have rotated through all three of the
positions: the dribbler/passer, the defender and the pass receiver/shooter; the drill starts
over but with the pass receivers/shooters now breaking in the opposite direction that they
originally started the drill. In the first repetition of the drill, two of the designated groups
have their shooters cut from the right to the left while the other two groups cut originally
from the left side towards the right. In the second repetition of the drill, all three players in
each of the four separate groups will start in their initial positions. But the actual shooters
will break from the opposite directions that they originally started. Therefore, this repetition
of this drill will now have two shooters (03 and 06) break to their right, with the imaginary
basket still being at the sideline behind the initial dribblers/passers. That makes these
shooters’ left shoulder, heel and foot the so-called “inside” shoulder and heel/foot. The
second two groups have the first designated shooters (09 and 012) cut towards their left.
This now makes their right side the “inside shoulder” and “inside heel and foot.”

A quota of a designated number of passes and shots in the set time limit can make the drill
more accelerated and competitive. There could be a contest between the defenders and
the dribblers/passers of how many “successful” completed passes and deflected passes
take place in the time limit. “Winners” and “losers” could be defined with a small penalty
given to the “losing player” after the conclusion of the drill.

The designated pass receivers (03,

06, 09, 012 in Diagram 1) work first on
the “pre-catch and pre-shooting
stance.” The coaching staff constantly
should be emphasizing to the
(potential) shooter to “get your feet
and hands ready!—to get behind the
ball—give the passer a target!” See
Diagram 1. In this scenario, the pass
receivers/shooters (09 and 012) are
breaking to their right and the
imaginary basket is directly behind the
passers at the sideline. Even before Diagram 1

the actual catch of the basketball, the

pass receiver should try to already have his “inside shoulder” (shoulder closest to the
basket, which is the left shoulder in this example) facing the basket and to have both his
“guide hand” and “shooting hand” up (as if he is already shooting the ball). With the
“shooting hand” in that position, it gives a good target to the passer. The pass-receiver
should always pivot off of the heel of his “inside foot” (the foot closest to the basket, which
is the left heel in this example). If the pass-receiver is in a stationary position, he can start
with the “inside heel” already touching the floor and the remaining portion of that foot not
yet touching the floor. If the pass receiver is on the move, he might have to “chop up his
steps” in order to time the “inside heel” hitting the floor (to pivot) just as the ball hits the
palm of the “shooting hand.” From there, the heel being planted first will stop the pass-
receiver’s forward momentum of his cut toward the passer. After the shot, the shooter
should be able to rise straight up and come back straight down and not “float” in either
direction. Stopping all of the momentum from the shooter’s cut before he shoots the ball will
greatly improve shooting accuracy. Each shooter (03, 06, 09, and 012) shoots as if the
original passer (01, 04, 07, and 010) is the basket, so that the ball is returned for that
passer to restart working on his skills and techniques. See Diagram 1.

Once the momentum of the cutter is stopped, the inside heel actually will allow for a
smooth, easy and complete pivot toward the basket, as the shooter swings his free (outside
foot and leg) around so that he is completely “squared up” to the basket. In this offensive
drill, the pass/receiver/shooter “shoots” the ball at an imaginary basket back to the original
passer. The passer (01, 04, 07, and 010) is now quickly ready to resume working on his
technique of passing to the shooter again, so the shooter can again quickly work on the
“foot and handwork” part of his shooting technique (beginning with a new dribble and jump

The men in the middle of the drill (X2, X5, X8, and X11 in Diagram 1) utilize the drill as a
defensive drill, who initially are guarding the dribblers/passers (01, 04, 07 and 010). Effort
and the emphasis on defensive fundamentals (such as proper stance and other various
defensive techniques) should not be taken lightly by players or the coaching staff, as the
drill is stressed to them as being a defensive fundamental drill. These defensive players
work on defensive techniques only on the original dribbler/passer and not on the pass

The specific footwork and techniques

of each passer/dribbler are
demonstrated in the four steps are
shown in Diagrams 2 through 5.

Step 1 of the “Pivot and Pass”

Technique—As the dribbler
approaches the defender and kills his
dribble, the dribbler should take a
small bunny hop and land
simultaneously on both feet. This
allows the “killed dribbler” to use either
foot as the pivot foot. See Diagram 2.
Diagram 2
Step 2 of the “Pivot and Pass”
Technique —If the passer wants to
attack the defender by passing
laterally around the defender’s left
side, the dribbler should land and
make the right foot (the foot directly
facing the defender’s left foot) the free
foot and therefore make his left foot
the actual pivot foot. This makes the
passer’s right foot the foot that can
laterally step toward the outside of the
defender’s left foot. As this is taking
place, the passer should protect the
ball by firmly holding the ball with both
hands with the ball held behind the Diagram 3
knee of the free knee (the right knee in
this example). If the passer’s free foot
is laterally outside the defender’s foot, the passer then could “fake low and go high” or “fake
high and go low” (passing high over the defender’s left hand or passing low under the
defender’s hand). Constantly tell the dribbler-turned-passer to “protect the ball behind the
knee” and to “step due east or due west.” This means that the dribbler/passer should
constantly attack the flanks of the defender by stepping laterally around the defender and
not toward the defender. See Diagram 3.

Step 3 of the “Pivot and Pass” Technique —If the on-the-ball defender counters the
dribbler’s first lateral attack, the dribbler should “rip the ball low and hard across his shoe
tops” as he steps with a front pivot
across the face of the defender to
laterally attack the defender on the
opposite side (in this scenario, it is the
defender’s right side). The ball ends
up on the inside of the passer’s knee
of the free leg (the right knee in the
diagrams). If the passer’s free foot
(right) gets outside defender’s (right)
foot, the passer looks to pass the ball
around the defender (“fake high and
go low” or “fake low and go high”) on
the opposite side from the initial side Diagram 4

of attack. Again, coaches should

strongly emphasize to the pivoting passer to protect the ball behind the “free knee” (right)
and again step “due west and/or due east” in the lateral attacks on the ball defender. See
Diagram 4.

Step 4 of the “Pivot and Pass”

Technique —If the ball defender reacts
quickly and takes this second
technique away, coaches should
emphasize to the offensive player to
remain in the semi-crouch stance, to
then quickly reverse-pivot off of the
same (left) pivot foot and to then
attack the ball defender’s original (left)
lateral side. The ball should now be
back behind the outside of the knee of
the free (right) foot.

Again, the main three points of Diagram 5

emphasis to the passer are:

Protect the basketball by placing the ball behind the “free” knee,
Step outside the defender’s foot (by going east or west),
“Fake high and go low” or “Fake low and go high.” If the defense counters this step,
the dribbler should reverse pivot and look to make a lesser contested pass to a
another teammate or attempt to use all three techniques again. See Diagram 5

After the 55 seconds expires, the dribbling/pivoting/passing player (01) switches to the
defensive station, while the first defender (X2) switches to work at the pass-receiving
station/shooting station, and the first pass-receiver/shooter (03) rotates to the
dribbling/pivoting/passing station. This rotation should take less than 5 seconds and the drill
starts again. 55 seconds later comes the next rotation of the three players. After the third
55 second time frame has concluded, coaches can start the second round with all offensive
dribblers using a different dribbling hand and making the right foot as the new pivot foot.

Three minutes will allow for all three
players to rotate through each position
again. In just six minutes, three
players have each had almost two
minutes of concentrated work on all
three stations—the dribbling, pivoting,
and passing phase, the defensive
phase, and also the pass-catching and
shooting phase. See Diagram 6.

Diagram 6

The “55 Second Offensive Drill”

Every offensive/shooting and shooting drill has definite characteristics, but all drills must be
“game-realistic.” To make these drills as “game-realistic” as possible, coaches should
incorporate as many types of pressures (on the players) as possible. They should try to
incorporate “success” and “competition” pressures–trying to beat other players, other
squads, or other types of opposition. The other types of opposition could be pre-set
standards and can be time on the clock. Obviously, accuracy should be stressed in all
shooting drills, but also “quantity” should be emphasized. All shooters, passers, and
rebounders should always go at “game speed” in practice because they will be going at
that speed in the games. Coaches should continually accelerate rebounders, passers, and
shooters in each and every shooting drill. They should have pre-set “quantity AND quality”
standards set for each shooting drill used. That increases the game realism, because
each individual is trying to succeed not only for himself, but for his team (or group or
squad). Every shooting drill has a pre-set standard of a specific number of attempts the
shooter must take as well as a standard of how many shots he should make. Again, this
forces the tempo and intensity level up for each shooting drill used. Game realism also
means rewards for the winners and penalties for not winning. None of the penalties are
harsh or hard, but they are a true penalty. They could be some type of a running penalty,
some pushups, or sit-ups. Competing against the clock is always beneficial, because
everyone has a common opponent and measuring stick.

Using the scoreboard clock not only gives every player a common opponent, but a clear,
visible and constant opponent. Using time limits always speeds up the shooting groups–it
does not allow a shooter to take too much time in shooting. The phrase “Be quick, but
don’t be in a hurry” is a great phrase that should be used often in this drill and in games.
When in a game does a shooter, a passer, or any player have the luxury to take his time
and to go at a “comfort speed?” By continually accelerating players in all drills (not just
shooting), coaches get players used to having a much-quicker “comfort speed.”

Every drill must also be as time-efficient as possible, because no practice time can afford to
be wasted. This can be accomplished by incorporating other offensive techniques and
fundamentals into each shooting drill, such as passing, rebounding, cutting, coming off of
screens, catching, pivoting, as well as the shooting. Coaching staffs should incorporate the
spots where the player will most likely get those shots in games, as well as the types of
passes used in games. Also coaches should place the passers where they will pass the ball
in game situations. Shooters should start in their initial locations and the shooters are
required to cut and break to the spots where they most likely will take the shots in games.
Passers are required to use the same type of passes they will use in a game, always at
game speed. Passers are forced to quickly AND accurately make the appropriate passes
that they will make in a game. Sometimes have managers or coaches can have their hands
up in front of the shooters to act as dummy defenders. Rebounders are encouraged to
aggressively offensively rebound the basketball before making quick and accurate outlet
passes as they would in a real game. If the coach constantly emphasizes the speed and
intensity needed, other drills that follow in that day’s practice will naturally pick up the same
speed and intensity levels that are required for those drills to be successful. Another by-
product from these shooting drills can be conditioning. If everyone works at meeting the
“quantity and quality” standards that have been set, every player’s physical conditioning will
also improve.

In the many different types of shooting

drills that incorporate the “55 Second
Offensive/Shooting Drill” theme, there
are three players involved. See
Diagram 7.

One player is the designated “Passer”

(02), one the designated “Shooter”
(03), and one is the “Rebounder” (01).
After 55 seconds, all three players
rotate over one designation and the
drill is executed again.

The “Passer” rotates to the “Shooter,” Diagram 7

the “Shooter” rotates to the
“Rebounder” station and the
“Rebounder” rotates to become the next “Passer.” See Diagram 8. 55 seconds later, the
three players then rotate for the last time (on that side of the court.) See Diagram 9.

There should not be more than 5

seconds for the transition and the
player rotation. In three short minutes,
each player receives almost one
minute of concentrated work on
offensive skills of passing, catching
and shooting, and rebounding and
outlet passing. The best rotation is
from “Passer” to “Shooter” to
“Rebounder” and on to a different
shooting location, where the three-
man rotation starts again. It is
important to notice that this drill is not
only called the “55 Second Diagram 8

Offensive/Shooting Drill to
demonstrate the drill lasts 55 seconds
(before there is a rotation), but to also
emphasize that the drill is not just a
shooting drill, but a rebounding and
outlet passing drill, a cutting and pass
receiving drill, and a passing drill.
Otherwise this would mean that the
remaining two players in the drill other
than the shooter are not as important
and do not need to work as hard at the
various fundamentals they need to be
working on. On the contrary, the two
players that are not shooting in this
Diagram 9
drill are equally important and should
work just as hard as the shooter in the

Diagrams 10 and 11 are illustrations of the shooter shooting from the wing areas on the
offense’s right and left side of the court, with the passer making the pass from the top of the
key. Other examples could be of the shooter shooting from the deep corner after receiving
the pass from various spots where he could receive the ball from in games. Those spots
could be from the weakside wing area on a “skip pass,” from the ballside wing area on a
“down pass,” or possibly from the ballside low post area on a “kick-out pass.”

The locations of the designated

“Shooters” and the placement of the
designated “Passers” can vary to fit
the specific offense’s needs, while the
“Rebounders” obviously always
remain near the basket to grab the
rebound, outside pivot (away from the
imaginary defense or against a
manager), and make the outlet pass to
the “Passer.” See Diagrams 12 thru 16
for just some of the possible
combinations of passing and shooting
locations the drill could utilize on just
Diagram 10
one side of the court (even though the
drills could and should be utilized on
both sides of the court). These passing and shooting spots should be determined by the
coaching staff analyzing the particular offense(s) used and where passes and shots are
generated from those offenses.

The “Pivot and Pass Offensive Drill” and the “55 Second Offensive Drill” are the two most
valuable drills a coaching staff could use because they allow coaches an excellent
opportunity to not only teach the
techniques the proper way, but they
give each player game realistic
opportunities to learn the skills, to
practice the skills and to improve those
necessary skills. Each drill is multi-
faceted, with several techniques being
able to be worked on at the same time
by different participating players. The
drills are game-realistic and
competitive which brings out the best Diagram 11

in players and can then include

physical conditioning. This saves
valuable time in the practices, so that
these and other drills can be used
more often for coaches to teach and
coach players as well as for the
players to learn and improve in the
various skills that are needed for
individual and team success.

About the Author

Coach Kimble held the Head

Basketball Coaching position at
Deland-Weldon (IL) High School for Diagram 12
five years (91-43) that included 2
Regional Championships, 2 Regional
Runner-Ups and 1 Sectional
Tournament Runner-up. He then
moved to Dunlap (IL) High School (90-
45) with 2 Regional Runners-up, 1
Regional, 1 Sectional and 1 Super-
Sectional Championship and a final
2nd Place Finish in the Illinois Class A
State Tournament. He was an
Assistant Basketball Coach at Central
Florida Community College in Ocala,
FL for 1 year before becoming
Offensive Coordinator and then
Associate Head Coach for 3 additional Diagram 13

years He then was the Head

Basketball Coach at Crestview (FL)
High School for 10 years, averaging over 16 wins per season.

He has had articles published in the
following publications such as: The
Basketball Bulletin of the National
Association of Basketball Coaches,
the Scholastic Coach and Athletic
Journal, Winning Hoops, Basketball
Sense, and American Basketball
Quarterly. He has also written and has
had five books published along with
over 25 different DVDs by Coaches
Choice and Fever River Sports
Diagram 14
See him on Twitter
@CoachJohnKimble and his Web
Page “”

Diagram 15

Diagram 16