HIPS AND SHOULDERS ZIG-ZAG

Summary
In this drill for younger players, you’ll learn how to coach your players to turn their hips and shoulders as they change direction and receive/release a pass. Includes multiple progressions including how to add defence!

Level
Basic

Players
6+

Equipment
4-6 cones
1 ball per worker

Coaching points
– Initially, set up a series of cones in a zig-zag pattern, about 8-10 metres apart down the court.
– Starting on the baseline, workers must drive to each cone in turn, planting their outside foot and TURNING THEIR HIPS AND SHOULDERS as they do, so that their hips and shoulders are in line with where they’ll be driving next.
– As players become competent and confident with the change of direction and turning their hips, ensure they’re ‘carrying speed’ through each change of direction – i.e. not slowing down significantly as they approach the cones.
– Next, add throwers at each of the cones. The worker starts with a ball, passes to the thrower on the first cone and then drives towards them to receive a pass close to the cone. As they land, they must complete the hip and shoulder turn to face the next thrower, and repeat the same sequence. Players should land on their inside first, and then push off on their outside foot. The more competent they become, the more they should aim to turn their hips and shoulders during their landing, to enable their next pass to be made quickly.
– Again, ensure they’re not slowing down as they catch the ball. Also look for the throwers to pass the ball late enough to allow the worker to land near the cone – pass it too early and they won’t be able to complete their full drive.
– Ensure you’re coaching your players on the basics of shoulder passing also. You might find that the workers drop the ball quite low (near their hip) as they turn. Encourage them to keep the ball up near their shoulder, enabling a quick release when they’ve turned to face the next passing option.
– Finally, add some passive defence. Coach your players to finish their drives off and drive past the defender, rather than starting to dodge sideways as they approach the defender.
– Allow each player to complete 4-6 repetitions of each step, or until they’re competent at it. If they’re not ready to progress, that’s fine! Just take it back a step, or slow it down until they’re able to complete the drill successfully.