Winning Hoops

January/February 2019

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24 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 This is a game that is typically played on Fridays during our preseason conditioning program, but coaches can use it during the season. It's usually the last activity of both the day and week. I found that playing this game on Friday keeps our players more focused during the workout, because they enjoy it and they know they must earn the right to play it by working hard throughout the week. Breaking it down Coaches need two buckets (we use 2 ½ gallon buckets), tennis balls and cones. Our captains choose two teams. I allow the teams to determine the order of players participating in the drill. The clock is then set for the game. Each game typically runs for eight minutes, meant to simulate an eight-minute quarter in our games. DIAGRAM 1: Cones are set up on the baseline and the buckets for each team are set up at midcourt. More cones are set up three steps away from each bucket. Once the whistle blows, the objective is for each player on each team to run to the cone with the tennis ball and shoot the ball into the bucket. This is done with a soft underhand or overhand flip. DIAGRAM 2: Players must then retrieve their ball and either throw it or run it back to the next player in line. If they make an errant throw, teammates can help retrieve the ball. Each made basket is worth 2 points, and teams keep track of their own scores. If there is a tie at the end of regulation, there is a three-minute overtime period. The losing team has a consequence, such as one suicide. Bucketball benefits This game allows for competition and teamwork. Our players push each other in a constructive manner, as they all want to win and avoid a consequence. It also enables players to interact and work with players they may not know very well, such as upperclassmen working with freshmen or sophomores. The game also emphasizes skills that are necessary during the season, such as focusing when tired, shooting under pressure, and competing in tight games. Bucketball is a great way to complement what's being done with other conditioning exercises. Players run and push hard, but they maintain focus much like they should when competing in a game. By Kevin Weigand, Cape Coral High School, Florida PRACTICE DRILLS 'BUCKETBALL' CONDITIONING GAME DIAGRAM 1 DIAGRAM 2

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