This article on LSU and Coach Chancellor’s displeasure with his team’s turnovers made me think of a simple yet effective addition to all of your drills and practice. Coach Chancellor wants less turnovers and for players to value the ball… funny, don’t we all.
Joe Logan (now Head Coach at Loyola College in Baltimore, MD) was as assistant at St. Joe’s in Philadelphia, PA. and told me about this one. I went to practice some years ago and this is what they did to help their team gain some value for taking care of the ball.
The ball rack was rolled out for the start of practice. It contained 15 balls. As practice was going on, each time the team turned the ball over – a manager would remove a ball from the rack and set it “gently” in the stands. No one yelled, no one screamed, no one said anything. Coach Chancellor may not like this part.
As they moved through practice, this continued until there were no balls left on the rack. At that point, Cindy Griffin (Head Coach at St. Joe’s) blew the whistle, calmly put everyone on the baseline and they began to run down and backs. Not all out sprints, but not jogging either. Just down and back, down and back.
There was approximately one hour left in practice when this occurred. The team ran. They ran for the remainder of the practice time. About a twenty minutes to a half an hour into the run, Coach Griffin stopped them – put a player on the line for a 1-and-1. If she made both, the team got a (one) ball back and they could resume practice. Is she missed the front end or the back end – no ball and the resume running. About ten minutes later Coach Griffin did it again – pressure free throw shooting and an opportunity to get back into practice.
The team earned one ball back and resumed the drill or segment where they left off. Shortly after that, a turnover occurred and they were out of balls and back running up and down the court.
Once practice was over they huddled up and Coach Griffin calmly explained the value of taking care of the ball better.
After practice I sat with Joe and asked him how that all came about. He explained, the Hawks were about 3 games into the season and they were averaging over 30 turnovers! They had to figure something out. They were screaming about turnovers in every drill, every day – it was counter productive. This simple yet very effective addition to every drill or segment they did really helped them cut there turnovers down.
The next summer we used it in training camp with the New York Liberty and it was effective there as well.