Most Important Girls Basketball Skill to Have


Hey, this is Patosha Jeffery, The Girls Basketball Trainer, and I’m coming to you with the next lesson in MVP Club and as you can see, we’re in a gym. I know you are very, very happy to see me in the gym because the first few lessons, we were not in a gym.

I decided to have the first few lessons on mindset, on goals, on attitude because that’s very important. That’s what you have to get together before you move to the court.

I mean it’s very important to know which direction you want to go in before you get on the court and so many players, they miss that. They think that having a basketball, having a goal, dribbling, working on skills, that’s the only thing, the primary thing. Well, no. It’s about mindset. It’s about knowing where you want to go, having the right thoughts, having the right attitude.

So that’s why we started the first few lessons with me just talking and training and teaching you how to develop that mindset. So, now we’re here in a gym as you see and I want to talk to you about one of the most important skills I believe you should possess, the most important skill you should posses, and I remember when I was in college and I already told you, college, it was an eye-opener for me.

One of the things I learned in college was how much you scout, how much film you watch, how much you know what your opponent can do and that’s something in junior high school or high school they don’t do a lot of. You very rarely see it but it’s an excellent – it’s an awesome skill to have, to be able to read your defender and see what their strong points are. Which direction do they go primarily? Which direction they can’t go?

So that’s something that you go over in college over and over and over. I mean the day before a game, practicing, you have teammates that’s playing like they’re the opponent and doing the skill, doing the skill that the opponents do.

You have a sheet. They break it down of what this opponent would do, what they cannot do. You watch film and watch it over and over and over, seeing what your opponents can do, what your opponents cannot do.

So I feel the most important skill to possess as a player is the ability to be well-rounded or the ability to go both directions or the ability – basically what I’m saying, ability to use your left and right hand. Don’t limit yourself with just your strong hand. Develop your offhand and so today I want to share with you three drills that I feel can help you develop that offhand; along with that strong hand but develop that offhand.

Off Hand Drill

The first drill I would like to show you is the offhand drill and this is something that I use with girls doing my trainer sessions. It’s something that when you enter a gym, you could take five minutes of your time or five minutes, the first five minutes when you’re in a gym, and just work on your offhand and basically, make sure you are inside the paint. You don’t want to be all outside the paint three-point line.

No, stay inside the paint and just make sure – well, the goal that you’re trying to do is hit the rim. It’s not about form. It’s not about technique. It’s just about getting used to using your offhand. So my strong hand is right. My offhand or my weaker hand is my left hand and so basically you want to just shoot and I’ve been doing this for a while so mine might go in, but it’s not a problem if the ball does not go in.

OK? The object of this drill is to make sure at least hit the rim. You can stand with your hand behind your back. Like I said, it’s not about form so it’s not about having both hands on the ball, and just shooting.

Like I said, don’t go outside the paint. Stay inside the paint because I don’t want you straining. Sometimes I have players, they want to go all the way out here and strain. No. It’s not about that. It’s about developing your offhand, getting it stronger where you’re used to using it.

Like I said, just take about five minutes. Whenever you go into the gym, take about five minutes and use your offhand.

Another tip I would like to share with you on your offhand is throughout the day, use your offhand. We’re so used to using our strong hand, reaching with our strong hand, opening up the door with our strong hand. Use your offhand. Get used to using that hand. Open up the door. Drink with your offhand. That’s another way for you to develop that offhand.

Pound Dribble

The next drill I would like to share with you is the pound dribble drill and basically what we’re going to do, I would like you to stay in balance; feet balanced, shoulder width apart, knees bent, head up and it’s like you’re sitting in a chair. Your knees are bent and your head is up, almost like you’re sitting in a chair. OK?

What you’re going to do on the pound dribble, you just dribble. You’re pounding the ball, pounding the ball. OK? And you do that with your strong hand but also with your offhand.

So you’re going to pound with your offhand and so as you see, this helps with your ball handling but it also helps you with your offhand. OK? And try to get into the habit of looking up as you dribble.

All right. Now another way to perform this drill and what I like to do, I like to have the players go from knee level, to waist level, to shoulder level and that gives you the different varieties of dribbling a ball. OK? So knee level, head up. You see my knees are bent. I’m still balanced. All right? And you could do this 10 times, then go up to the waist 10 times. OK? Then go up to the shoulder 10 times and you see you have to pound it. Pound it. Pound it. Pound it as you go up higher. Let’s try it with the offhand.

Now I’m going waist. OK. Now I’m going to go shoulder and you want the ball to bounce up to that level, shoulder level.

Mikan Drill

The next drill I would like to share with you is the Mikan Drill and this is a drill that we normally use or I normally use to train players how to make a layup or the steps, the techniques of the layup and so first, you basically stand in front of a go. Stand in front of a go. Not under the go but close enough where you’re almost directly in front of the go.

Again you start out balanced and what I’m going to do, I’m going to cross over. I’m going right first. I’m going to cross over with my left then go up. OK? I’m going to do it again. I’m going to cross over with my left, jump up off my left and my right leg is up. My right hand is up. So this is my strong side.

So cross, jump. OK? Cross, jump. So it’s almost the formation. This is just like a layup. It’s the formation of the layup or the technique of a layup. It’s cross, jump. OK? Now, I’m going to go left. I’m going to go to my offhand. I’m going left. So I’m balanced. I’m going to cross over with my right and jump off my right. Left leg would be up, ball in my left hand.

Cross, up. OK? Cross, up. Cross, up and I’m kind of – I kind of got too far beyond – past the go. So I’m going to come back in a little bit closer. Cross, up. As you see, this is the way to develop both hands, your right and left or strong hand and offhand. I will go back to my right. OK. Go back to my left. So as you see, these are ways to build both hands.