I frequently get asked about making players more aggressive.
1) Inch by inch.
Too much aggression from you, another
player, assistant, or anyone else will drive
him away from the very thing you are
asking him to do.
2) 5 Two Minute Drills
a) Short drills that show the player how
to be assertive. Example given: you
hold a ball out in front of you, squeezing
it very tightly and the player must snap
it out of your hands, front pivot and
shoot. This teaches him/her how, what,
why, when, where, to be aggressive AND
it doesn't hurt......also when you make
him shoot at the end of the action it
takes some focus off what you are after
and is like a reward.
b) Slowly roll the ball from under basket.
The player must dive on the ground,
grab the ball, get up, and shoot the
ball....put a target of say 3 makes
out of 5 tries, all done within 2 minutes.
c) Have the player get into a defensive
stance...you or another player does
the same as they face each other
about 12 inches apart and have them
push or lightly hit one another on the
chest or shoulders...yes they alternate
doing this, perhaps 3 times. Then
hand each a ball and have them power
dribble the ball one time and lay it in.
WHY? This teaches the player how to
pop another player without hurting
any one, lets him feel what it is like to
take a hit, and shows him that the FEAR
he was experiencing was a ghost with
*The point here isn't the actual drill but more about the
3) Self Evaluation
You can either do this with each drill or at
the end of practice. Ask the player what he
is going to give you today....scale of 1-10....
he says 8 then either hold him to that
or ask him as the drills unfold to tell you
how he thought he did in the last drill with
his aggression level. You may be amazed
one way or the other how the player sees it.
a) Get some clips of other players that
show him an "AGGRESSIVE ACT."
b) Film him doing an aggressive act; this
reinforces the very behavior you are after
and is quite easy now with IPads.
a) All this takes time but is well worth the
wait. One thing is for sure: he won't
become more aggressive because
you yell at him or if he does it will be
a) Certainly one of your players has a
salient predisposition for eating red
meat. It is a good idea to use this
player as an example, but only if you
do this in a skillful and thoughtful
way. You don't just want to throw
your "tenderloin" in with the wolf.
7) Peer Support
a) Teach and encourage your players
to bring along the less aggressive,
while also making sure they don't
coddle them either: a balanced
8) Game Ball-Practice Ball
a) Get a bag of Nerf balls and give
them out occasionally as an
acknowledgement to the player who
demonstrates the very behavior you
want. You can do this after practice
or games....and it is quite cheap!
*My purpose here isn't to say everything or write in a way
that I am all knowing. I just want to stimulate thought and
share some ideas.