Hot Potato

Setup

Players space out from each other in a circle formation. The basic version of the drill only has one (or two) balls in the circle. The advanced version gives a ball to every player in the circle except for the center player.

Purpose

Although named after a very simple children’s game, the Hot Potato Drill increases the awareness of your players while simultaneously improving their passing ability.

Being able to keep your eyes on a swivel and quickly adjust to changing circumstances on the court is key to building good basketball awareness and being able to tackle any kind of situation on the court.

Drill Description

Basic version: Players begin passing the ball around to random players in the circle. All players must be aware of where the ball is at all times so that they will be able to catch it. To slightly increase the difficulty, consider adding a second ball so that there are two balls flying around simultaneously.

Advanced version: Players take turns being the center player in the drill. They are surrounded by a circle of players that are each holding on to their own basketball. Player in the circle take turns yelling “Ball!” as they begin to pass the ball to the player in the center. Only one player can pass the ball at a time. Once the player in the center has caught the pass, they immediately pass it back to the player where the ball came from. Another random player will then yell “Ball!” and pass the ball into the middle. Players progressively pick up the pace so that the player in the middle is constantly working and scanning and twisting throughout his turn.

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