Drills From Around the World
In the basketball world, coaches should always try to find new solutions and methods, because as the Scottish traditional saying goes: “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” In basketball this means that if you keep doing the same things over and over with your team, your players will become bored and teams will soon have no trouble defeating your players.
Surely, our Editor-in-Chief, Giorgio Gandolfi, is a person who never stops moving in his never-ending quest to better understand the game of basketball. After having just recently published “NBA Coaches Playbook: Techniques, Tactics and Teaching Points” with publisher Human Kinetics in the United States, he has come out with another book, his fourth to be published in the land of the National Basketball Association. This time around his publisher is McGraw-Hill, one of the most prestigious publishing houses, and one that, surprisingly specializes in books about big business and science. Sometimes, however, they bring out books about sports.
This time Gandolfi’s focus is on the changing world of basketball, from a strictly US-centric game to one that now has strong international influence. You see that in the subtitle of his book: “The Complete Book of Offensive Basketball Drills: Game-Changing Drills from Around the World.”
Gandolfi certainly knows his basketball, and not only in Italy. Earlier in his career he organized basketball camps and clinics for players and coaches for the sneaker company, Converse. These popular gatherings were held not only throughout Europe, but also in South America and China. In addition to attending dozens of coaching clinics in the U.S. over the span of three decades that were organized or attended by a Who’s Who of Hall of Fame basketball coaches, Gandolfi also found time to coach a local team in his home town of Cremona, the picturesque city that sits on the banks of the Po River in northen Italy.
“The Complete Book of Offensive Basketball Drills” is, as the title says, complete. Packed within its covers are 272 pages of innovative drills that the most famous coaches in the world have used to build their offensive strategies. The 150 drills Gandolfi has selected from the world’s masters for his book are all well explained and nicely illustrated, and offer the first-time coach, as well as the veteran, plenty of workout ideas for their teams.
In 13 chapters, Gandolfi provides basic footwork and cut drills, ball handing drills, dribbling drills, shooting drills, passing drills, as well as drills for perimeter and inside players. There are also chapters on proper court spacing, setting screens, running the fast break, and drill for rebounding.
Gandolfi ends his excellent book with the top international coaches offering readers their favorite offensive drills. Here you will find the drills of Ettore Messina, head coach of Real Madrid (Spain); Dirk Bauermann, head coach of the German National team; Sarunas Marciulionis, founder of the Marciulionis Basketball School in Vilnius (Lithuania); Sergio Scariolo, head coach of the Spanish National team, and winner of 2009 FIBA Euro Basket and of Khimki Moscow (Russia); Dusan Ivkovic, head coach of the Serbian National team, and Jose Vicente “Pepu” Hernandez, former coach of the 2006 world champion Spanish National team.
My advice: If you want one book that has all the drills you need to try to help improve the offensive skills of your players and team, Gandolfi’s “The Complete Book of Offensive Basketball Drills” is the one to get.