Big in Japan 2018

Wow, the book on the Dribble Drive Offense has been published in Japan!

About six years ago someone approached me wanting to publish the book in Japan and bought the rights to do so. And then nothing happened, so I thought that it never materialized.

Then this spring Japanese coach Kohei Tsukamoto approached me on Facebook wanting a biography because the book was just about to be published in Japanese. That was a big, but welcome surprise to me so I talked to Kohei a bit and now the finished product is here!

I don’t know if it will make it big, but I sure am proud!

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Attack Combo Drill With Rebounding

This is a fast paced drill that involves shooting, boxing out and quick decisions – on top of the full court attack skills of the Dribble Drive. I really like it because it incorporates all of the dribble drive skills in the full court, but at the same time you have to focus on rebounding, aggressiveness and make quick decisions.

Full cAttack Combo Drill1ourt drill. Two lines under the basket. Balls in one line. Players switch lines every time they’ve been in the drill.

O1 passes the ball to O2. O1 then sprints over to O2 and taps the ball before he backpedals to his shooting range. O2 passes the ball to O1 for a shot. A made shot is worth one point.




The defender OAttack Combo Drill22 now boxes out and the two players fight for the rebound. Whichever player gets the ball is attacking to the other end. Points are awarded for making a basket.

Next team goes when the rebound is secured. This makes the drill move very quickly.




VaAttack Combo Drill3riations
You may vary the court size for this drill. If you want to make it difficult you limit the players to the space betseen the lanes. This forces the players to really attack to go by the defender.

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Je Suis Dan Uzan

DanFellow coaches,

We talk a lot about offenses, shooting and other technical things about basketball. Tonight I was reminded what basketball is (also) all about: Heart and love.

In the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen over the weekend we lost a cherished member of our basketball club, Dan Uzan. We had a game on Monday night and the outpouring of love from Dan’s friends and family was incredible. The crowd was full of people that the Gentle Giant had touched over the years. Friends who had grown up with him, teammates from the last 20 years, opponents.

We had players on our team who almost didn’t take the court because they were so emotional, but when they got there, they played their hearts out. The smallest player on the court took five rebounds, running in among the big men, throwing his body around, as he just willed the team to victory, playing for Dan. Nothing was going to stop those players getting that win tonight and that’s such a powerful reminder of what basketball is about.

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To punish or not to punish?

Punishment or no punishment? To me it comes down to how you think about it.

Every time I have a competition at practice I like to have everybody run afterwards. Everybody. But… At the end the winners get to shoot a foul shot. If they make the shot they don’t run. If they miss they run half the distance.

To me that’s positive reinforcement. You do something well and good things happen. That means you want to do more things well. Also you know that if the game is on the line good things happen if you do well.

If you punish for mistakes you teach kids that bad things happen if they mess up. That makes them afraid of making mistakes. At the end of the game they are afraid to make the mistake and to have bad things happen – so they make the mistake because that’s all they can think about.

In general, in coaching you don’t want to coach mistakes. If you say “don’t throw the ball away” you create the image of throwing the ball away in the mind and that’s what the mind focuses on. If you say “take care of the ball” the mind focuses on that.

Could you have everybody run – but then REWARD the kids that do it right by giving them a free pass and some praise?

I know a lot of big time college programs use punishment a lot. Could you imagine the energy it would bring to the film sessions if you started taking away runs when good things happened? Wouldn’t they really want to do better, strive to be perfect? Instead of dreading mistakes?

You could still point out the same mistakes and just say “We have to keep this run in because…”.

I don’t know, but to me it makes sense…

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Building a Defense – with Nenad Trunic

Today i went to a coaching clinic with Nenad Trunic who is heavily involved with the Serbian youth National Team program.

The clinic is on building a defense from 1-on-1 to 4-on-4 and I think it’s really worth seeing. I like coach Trunic’s thoughts on the shell drill which he always starts from a defensive disadvantage situation so the defense has to think and recover.

I apologize for the quality and the sudden jumps. I wasn’t there from the start as we had our one hour practice session with the National Team and I didn’t quite know how to use my new phone’s camera so it stopped by itself a few times. However it should certainly be viewable.

Also see the clinic notes from the same clinic held last year below.

Clinic notes

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Busy summer! Busy times!

It’s the summertime, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, and it looks like a lot of coaches are busy with basketball even if it’s the off season.

We are obviously getting orders from AAU coaches who are looking to spice up their summer program, but also a lot of orders are coming in from American high school and college coaches who are already preparing for next season.

European coaches are also busy preparing for the upcoming season. Most of them starts pre-season practice in August or September so for them things are getting a bit more urgent.

1012486_10151788853986201_1515351362_nFor me it’s a time of change. Last season was amazing as we started out winning a European B-division Championship with our Under-16’s men National Team in August, qualifying for the top flight of European basketball. It was an amazing experience watching the Danish flag go to the top as we received our gold medals in Sarajevo.

That was also the last bit of real coaching I did last season as I stopped coaching the pro team and transitioned fully into the part of my job which deals with club management. Over the last three seasons we tripled attendance and last season half our home games were on live national TV.

335076_10150599943424456_1676286796_oAt the end of the season, however, I decided to walk away and look for another job. I soon found one although it ended up being very similar to what I was doing before. at my old job I had to run pretty much everything at the club (including coaching the team for two seasons) while at the new one all I have to do is the internal and external communication, event making, marketing and making sure we get to be on TV a lot… Easy, right?

I’m really looking forward to it for another reason. We will have a lot of volunteers helping out with everything which should leave me with enough time to do one of the things i really love in life: coach basketball.

I don’t yet know which team I will coach as I’ll slot in where the club needs me – there are 500 members so there are a lot of teams to cover – but I’ll look forward to getting back into coaching after a year off.

Another thing I’m doing is that I’ve started looking at writing a new book. This time I want to write about defense as that is one of my great interests. A few years ago I coached a team where we got really creative with defense and at some point I’d like to share what we did with the world. Look for it in… Well, within the next couple of years, I guess!

Have a nice time, wherever you are!

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Recognition for a great programme

For a long time I’ve been a huge fan of the way Dave Smart of Carleton University in Canada does things. He’s one of the smartest (no pun intended) and most demanding coaches around – and he is really big on fundamentals and sound coaching.

Now Grantland has given them some recognition in the US – this is a great post:

Below are the Dave Smart DVD-reviews I did a couple of years back – they are still extremely relevant:

There are very few coaches out there who are better than Dave Smart of Carleton University in Canada at developing and getting the best out of players. Coach Smart’s teams have won five straight Canadian University Championships, and have performed very well against US Division 1 schools with far better athletes. Coach Smart has turned down several offers to coach Division 1 in the US and I rate him as one of the best teachers in the game.

I’ll recommend his individual development and screening DVD’s to anyone looking to develop players. Especially his individual development DVD is excellent, and it has been a big inspiration for the fundamentals of the Dribble Drive book, although he doesn’t use the Dribble Drive himself.

In the individual DVD coach Smart covers his thoughts on shooting and how his team has become one of the best shooting teams at all levels in North America, he covers one-on-one moves to the basket, including the innovative “swim move” and he shows how he works on finishing around the rim, inspired by his work with Steve Nash. All of this is in a competitive setting with great drills.

The screening DVD is equally good. The level of detail covered in this DVD is something I’ve never seen in any other feature from any other coach. From the angle of screens to how the players should misdirect with their eyes, this DVD covers Down Screens, Back Screens and Pick & Roll.

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Kick-back for the W

This is a pretty old video I’d forgotten all about. It’s from the first year we ran the Dribble Drive, when I was in England. We were playing undefeated Leeds Carnegie, in probably the most perfect game any of my teams have ever played.

After the first quarter we had been called for 10 fouls and Leeds had only been called for one and we were down only 21-18. At the break I had a quiet word with the referees, where they didn’t get to say much, and things evened out.

At the end of the game we were down one, with Leeds having the ball, but also having to shoot before time expired. We blocked them twice in the key with 10 seconds to go (I don’t know why they shot the second shot), got the ball back, and a kick-back from point guard Simon Mitchell to shooting guard James Harris won the game.

It’s just a reminder that the fundamentals of the Dribble Drive can win you unexpected games.

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Playing two post players Dribble Drive style

Two posts dd-style1Even if you run the Dribble Drive there are many reasons you might want to run two post players at the same time. You might have great size, or you might have two players who are not able to play on the perimeter, who you want to play together.

Playing two post players doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning your Dribble Drive principles, however.

Two posts dd-style2On any entry into the post, when you have two post players, just continue using the principles of the Dribble Drive post player movement.

If O5 makes a move to the middle O4 relocates under the basket, just like a middle drive in the 4-out Dribble Drive.

This will either draw X4 away from the help or leave O4 open under the basket.

If O5 makes a move to the baseline O4 T’s up – just like on a baseline drive in the 4-out Dribble Drive.

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Quick Hitters: Zone Up

For the last almost two seasons I’ve been the head coach of the Aalborg Vikings in the Basketball League in Denmark, Europe. I took over mid-season for the first year, and we weren’t able to run the Dribble Drive, as we had to focus on defense.

For year two we started out running the Dribble Drive but mid season we replaced our import players with three new ones. I didn’t think we’d have time to teach it to the new players in time for the playoffs, so we went with set plays.

However, we ran a lot of set plays and quick hitters out of the Dribble Drive formation, as we were already used to playing out of that set.

Now I’ve made the transition to the GM job in the club, so I’m going to share the best of those quick hitters with you this summer. Some are in the Dribble Drive book I published, but this first one is not.

Zone Lob Play

This is a very simple screen-the-zone alley-oop lob play against most zones except the 1-3-1. One TV-announcer told me this season that he couldn’t figure out why the other teams didn’t catch on to it, as we used it every time we faced zone defense.

The answer to that question is in the deception. All of the real action takes place behind the defense and away from the ball:

Diagrammed it looks like this:


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