This article was published in Winning Hoops Magazine in its November/December 2002 issue. Its author is Marty Cosgrove, Athletic Director and Head Girls Basketball Coach at that time.
In the off-season, many high school coaches are restricted on the number of players they can work with at one time. As a result, we are sometimes forced to go 5-on5 where the games get sloppy and bad habits rule. Here are eight ideas to spice up your 5-on-5 open gyms. Print off the Wild Cards and draw one at the beginning of open gym for the rules of the day.
You can also save these games for late in the season to add some variety to keep your practices fresh.
Download a template to make the cards to draw here.
The rationale behind this game is to get everybody involved with scoring. Your players will now be looking for teammates, making the extra pass and helping other players get open. It also facilitates communication both on offense and defense. Your players will need to yell things such as “Who still needs to score?” and “We have to stop Suzie, she hasn’t scored yet!”
5-on-5 full-court game. No score is kept. All players on the team must score. After all 5 players score, the next point wins. In essence, a sudden-victory situation.
“Continuous” is an excellent conditioner and develops tremendous offensive and defensive transition skills.
5-on-5 full-court game, played up to 7 points. When a team scores, they stay on offense, by getting the ball out of the net and attacking the defense in the other direction.
3, 5, 7
This game puts pressure on all players and increases defensive responsibility by forcing teams to extend their defense to the 3-point arc.
5-on-5 full-court game played to 9 points. One point is awarded for all baskets, including 3-point shots. Teams may score from any area on the floor, however, on points 3, 5, and 7, the baskets must be 3-pointers. A team may score from inside the arc, but the score does not accumulate beyond 2, 4, and 6 until a 3-pointer is hit.
This game really helps develop screening, scoring off the screen and passing skills.
5-on-5 full court game, played to 9 points. Teams may dribble without restriction if they are in transition. However, if a team is in a half-court situation, no one may dribble inside the 3-point arc.
This drill improves post player’s passing skills (an often overlooked skill) and forces teams to slow down, knowing they can’t score without a post entry.
5-on-5 full or half-court game, played up to 9 points. There are no restrictions on offensive play, except that before a team may score, the ball must be entered to a post player.
Defensive integrity and intensity increases on an individual and a team basis, as the “golden child” simu-lates that opponent who must be stopped.
5-on-5 full-court game, playe up to 9 points. There are no restrictions. Each team has a player, who is selected as the golden child. All baskets are worth one point, however, the golden child’s baskets are worth 2 points.
“Lefty” is a simple game, but stresses the importance of utilizing both sides of the floor. Another added benefit is an increased comfort level of ball handlers working with their non-dominant hand.
5-on5 full or half-court game, played up to 9 points. All baskets are worth one point. All dribbles must be with non-dominate hand. In addition, the offense must initiate from the left side of the floor.
Our team tends to reward points for offensive and defensive rebounds, but deflections, hustle points, (diving after loose balls, etc.) or a skill you want to emphasize, such as bank shots, could also be eligible for reward points.
5-on-5 full-court game, played to 13 points. All baskets are worth 1 point, as are any reward points for any skill a coach wants to emphasize.