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Toughness Drills to Improve Your Team Physically and Mentally


(See more by John Pigatti)

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Item Number: BD-05572

Toughness Drills to Improve Your Team Physically and Mentally



Toughness Drills to Improve Your Team Physically and Mentally

Push your players to become tougher in all aspects of the game through challenging drills!

  • Utilize passing drills to handle the basketball with more security and eliminate turnovers
  • Get defensive drills that train your players to become more tough-minded while guarding
  • See the rebounding exercises that Coach Pigatti uses to build tenacious athletes who pound the glass


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with John Pigatti,
South Suburban College Head Coach;
career win percentage of .833 as a coach (as of 2019);
has coached two National Players of the Year and nine Region IV Players of the Year;
9x Region IV Championships

This video featuring South Suburban's John Pigatti demonstrates and explains drills useful in practice to develop a mindset centered around toughness. In his on-court demonstration, Coach Pigatti discusses why it's important do more than just talk about being tough. Instead, he uses drills to promote the mindset of being a tough team and building a culture around toughness.

Passing Drills for Toughness

The instilling of toughness begins with warm-up drills in practice. Coach Pigatti begins with a drill called "Olympic Passing" in which eight players work on their passing skills. The three main points of emphasis are catching on the move, working on pivots, and making sure to prevent turnovers. Next, Coach Pigatti adds in how working on different types of passes are possible. For example, overhead passes can be a point of emphasis. Finally, the drill gets taken full court and requires players to go as hard as they can running longer distances.

Two other passing drills are presented by Pigatti, including "50 Pass Drill". This drill requires 50 passes be made in a row without dribbling or shooting. This type of drill is utilized to improve passing and to be disciplined in handling the basketball.

Defensive Drills for Toughness

In the "Loose Ball Charge Drill" from Coach Pigatti, a player begins positioned at the free throw lane and waits for the coach to roll a ball out onto the floor. The player then must dive on the floor, recover it, and pass it back to the coach. Next, the coach attempts to throw a ball out of bounds that must be saved. Great effort is required and the rules of saving a ball are introduced. The main rule is to save the basketball to the nearest corner. Finally, the defensive player takes a charge on a drive by a teammate. Coach Pigatti has the driver start out at the top of the key, but a variation shown gives the opportunity to work on wing drives as well.

Rebounding Drills for Toughness

With the knowledge that 72 percent of teams that win also win the battle for rebounds, Coach Pigatti demonstrates his version of "War Drill". This full-court 4-on-4 drill begins with four offensive players on the perimeter and four defensive players starting on the restricted arc facing the basket. On the shot, the defense attempts to block out the offense and secure the rebound. To make the drill tougher, one variation requires the defensive team to let the ball touch the floor before securing the rebound. For the offense, no such restriction exists. This requires the defensive team to hold their block out longer than usual to have a chance at a rebound.

There is no question that toughness often determines the team that wins and the team that loses. This video from Coach Pigatti shows the variety of ways in which tough-minded teams can be built.

76 minutes. 2019.

See more products by: John Pigatti

See related products: Man-to-Man Defense Passing Rebounding
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