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Open Practice with John Calipari


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Item Number: BD-05505

Open Practice with John Calipari



Open Practice with John Calipari

Watch how one of the top programs in the country works to boost offensive and defensive skills!

  • Get a variety of Coach Cal's best competitive drills for defense that you can use in practice
  • See how to break down 2-3, 1-3-1, and 3-2 zone defenses by following five simple principles
  • Learn how to run a 2-3 zone defense as a counter if your man-to-man defense doesn't match up well against certain teams


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with John Calipari,
University of Kentucky Head Coach;
2012 NCAA National Champions; 2014 NCAA Championship Runner-Up;
Distinguished member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2015);
3x Naismith National Coach of the Year ('96, '08, '15); 3x NABC Coach of the Year ('96, '09, '15);
AP College Coach of the Year (2015); 2x Basketball Times Coach of the Year ('96, '15);
2x Adolph Rupp Cup ('10, '15);
30x Conference (SEC, C-USA, A10) Championships (15x regular season, 15x tournament)

Hall of Fame coach John Calipari has a long history of taking players with immense offensive talent and turning them into multifaceted team-oriented players who have the ability to player multiple positions and make an impact on defense.

Coach Cal has coached some of the highest performing teams in the history of the game thanks to an ability to recruit a high level of talent and potential and his top-tier development methods. In this 'Open Practice' video, Calipari brings in an audience of coaches and slows down his practices and details how he teaches each drill to help players develop into true professionals.

Defensive Drills

In session 1, Coach Calipari guides you through his defensive breakdown. He begins with simple footwork within his players' stance. Athletes focus on "big stepping" so they can stay in front of a ball handler and level a drive. Building on the basic stance, Calipari demonstrates how he wants his players to closeout to a shooter and force them to become a mid-range player. The ability to closeout and recover to an open shooter leads into working in disadvantage 4 on 3 closeout situations. Your players will learn to communicate and fly around the floor while protecting the basket and preventing open drives.

The Transition Build Up drill tasks athletes to apply four basic principles: get back, no 3-pointers, sprint on offense, and dive on the floor to make reads on offense and force the play on defense. Starting with 2-on-1 and building into 3-on-2, 4-on-3, 5-on-4, and 5-on-5 transition, you'll see the pace and play they use to control the speed of each game.

Rounding out the defensive segment, players apply their defensive principles in 5v5 pick & roll coverage. Coach Cal slows down the offense and demonstrates how they defend different actions off of a pick & roll situations. This is an excellent time for your players to learn how to defend a pick & roll while protecting the basket.

Zone Coverage - featuring Tony Barbee, Assistant Coach

Assistant Coach Tony Barbee demonstrates five ways an offense can look to beat a zone defense and how Kentucky counters to defend those actions. Starting with the top of your zone, Barbee demonstrates how you can show strength with your top guards. Players should be aggressive and have their hands up to deflect passes, which will lead to easy turnovers and buckets going the other way. When coaches try to counter with a big, mobile post in the middle, you can take your 5-man and have them play in man-to-man principles. Meanwhile, wing players work to take away easy post passes.

This is an excellent video that allows you to get in an inside look at the practice methods Kentucky uses year in and year out. Coach Calipari is a fantastic teacher and developer of skills, and his drills will be sure to help you raise the talent level of your own team.

170 minutes 2 DVDs. 2019.

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