Craig Neal: 15 Skill Development Drills
with Craig Neal,
former University of New Mexico Head Coach;
2014 Mountain West Conference Tournament Champions;
former Toronto Raptors Assistant Coach & Scout
Optimizing a player development program with the best practice drills is a challenge that all coaches face. This just happens to be Craig Neal's area of expertise with his experience running the player development program for the Toronto Raptors. Coach Neal demonstrates 15 practice drills that cover every major factor of player development. He works from the perimeter, to the post and to transition, presenting drills for dribbling, passing, shooting, pick & roll and more to help take your players to the next level!
Ball Handling and Passing
Learn six drills that help develop the dribbling and passing skills for every player on your team. These drills are easy to implement into any practice and motivate the growth of your players by pushing them to the limits of their comfort zone.
See how Coach Neal uses tennis balls and two basketballs at the same time to improve a player's floor vision and hand coordination. Lobo Ball Handling will tighten up your players' dribbling and improve their change of direction with seven drill variations.
Passing is often an overlooked skill when players and coaches are working on skill development. Coach Neal demonstrates Lobo Passing, which will challenge your players to focus on completing every repetition with precision.
Teach your players how to become more productive scorers with drills that will help them attack the rim and improve their outside shooting. You'll learn Coach Neal's philosophy for developing footwork with a catch and pivot drill that will help players create their own space in order to score consistently.
In working on executing dribble moves in the open floor, Neal demonstrates Dribble Cones, which combine multiple moves to help your players score from anywhere on the court, whether it be finishes at the rim, mid-range pull-ups, or jump shots from the perimeter.
Finding a way to develop better shooters with games is something that Neal utilizes with his teams. He presents three shooting drills that will have your players competing against time/score to maximize shooting range and accuracy:
- The Cone Shooting Drill - Helps players refine their body control to have a lightning-quick catch-and-shoot jumper while on the move.
- Two Minute Shooting - Works on developing the mid-range jump shot and the three-point shot while also forcing players to work on the move and execute the catch-and-shoot technique properly.
- Beat the Pro - With a scoring system in place, players take a total of seven shots and must avoid missing three to win the game.
Starting with the concept of developing and using a strong pivot foot, Coach Neal discusses and shows a series of ways to develop post play. By consistently operating with a strong foot pivot, you will see how you can score in either direction with primary and counter moves. Moves taught by Neal include the jump hook, jump shot, step through, and spin move.
You will also learn how the inside pivot move can be used to relieve tough defensive pressure. Four practice drills will help to develop your posts' ability to score around the rim with these moves.
Pick & Roll Technique
The pick & roll series will help both your post and perimeter players learn how to score against a variety of defensive strategies. Coach Neal discusses the passing options he teaches his team versus four of the most common tactics, such as hard hedges, flat hedges, ice, and traps. The Outlet Drill will help your players simulate the mentality to get out and run in transition for easy scoring opportunities.
If you want to be the best, you have to practice like the best. This video will show you high-level skill development drills Neal perfected in the NBA that can be used to great success in any gym by any team.
Produced at the Fall 2016 Phoenix (AZ) clinic.
70 minutes. 2017.