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Send Your Players Through the Gauntlet

Send Your Players Through the Gauntlet

This is a drill that we picked up on our last visit with Point Guard College. It can certainly be used as a stand alone drill to add toughness to your finishers, but as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, I prefer it attached to the end of a Read & React Drill – a drill suffix, if you will. It can be used with any drill that finishes with a lay-up.

Create the Gauntlet like this:

Place 6 players (if you were short on players, 4 would work too) near the goal in a funnel with 3 players shoulder to shoulder on one side and 3 players shoulder to shoulder on the other side facing them. Keep enough space between the two lines such that when both sides hold their arms out straight, there remains about 12 inches between opposite fingertips. This funnel covers the space between the offensive player picking up her dribble and going up for the lay-up. (By the way, you can work on finishing the lay-up off of one foot or landing on two feet.)

Teach the Gauntlet 3 degrees of resistance:

MILD – like spaghetti noodles.
MEDIUM – like tree branches
TOUGH – it’s going to leave some marks!

This way, you can build the resistance up, change the Gauntlet depending on the player, or just switch the resistance to keep the finisher on her toes. The offensive player will feel contact on both sides of her arms and shoulders as she finishes her lay-up.

The offensive player simply takes the place of one Gauntlet member who rotates to the back of your drill’s offensive line.
Once your players have some practice with this, it should be fairly easy to call out, “Finish with Gauntlet” and have them fall into step.

What about you? Do you have any drill suffixes that you’ve found work well? Share them in the comments section.

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