Austin Johnson: The Importance of Repeating Fundamentals

Here at LC State we have been fortunate to have an excellent group of gifted players and invested teammates. Their talent, accountability and buy-in has helped them go 81-12 during out time together with 3 conference championships, 2 NAIA Fab 4 appearances and a National Tournament Finalist in 2021. I believe outside of talent our success is directly related to our players doing simple things at a high level coupled with a firm foundation of individual development. Each player has their particular strengths, but we want each of our players to be as versatile as possible and be able to play in any game regardless of opponent strength and style of play.
Each of our practices are very similar and to be honest there is not much variety. In my opinion we as coaches (tend to) veer away from fundamental drills/breakdowns as we get further into the season and work more on our team defense/offense or focusing on the next team(s) we are about to face. While those are very important, we are very deliberate in repping fundamentals such as balance, footwork, passing and catching throughout the season. These are aspects of the game that happen every possession and need to be drilled just as much as shooting/finishing. They help eliminate turnovers, gain confidence with the ball and on the defensive side help players continue to reach their peak in individual footwork and defensive understanding.
The drill discussed below is one that is focused towards the offensive side. It was created by our assistant coach and is something we do just about every other practice. It is usually the last “warm-up” drill we do before diving into our shell defense work. It gets players going and works on game speed shots with game speed footwork, passing, catching and shot release.  It’s a great drill from a skill standpoint, but it’s also great at helping guys bring energy. A lot of communication and life is infused to the gym since it’s the only drill we allow/encourage dunking (for those that are able).
Warrior Shooting:
This is a 6 minute drill that involves the whole team and 2 basketballs. The ball starts on the right baseline and is passed overhead to the shooting line. It is then passed to the first person in the left line who flashes to the top of the key. For the 1st minute the shooting line can only layup/dunk the ball. For the 2nd minute the shot is a bank shot with both feet being out of the key. The 3rd minute is baseline jumpers or corner 3’s depending on personnel. At the end of 3 minutes the ball is then passed out from the left baseline and the routine goes again in the same pattern until the 6 minutes is up.
throwing scoring passes to the shooter
throwing successful overhead pass from the baseline on target
throwing passes with velocity/snap
finishing and catch/shoot scenarios off the move on a dead sprint
communicating: calling for the pass and calling out who you are passing it to