This is my first review out of a series of Basketball products for coaches and players alike. During my years of coaching I have gathered a lot of useful coaching equipment I’d like to tell you about. If you’d like me to review a product or if you have a suggestions, I’d be happy if you get in touch with me!

In this review I will be looking at a Coachdeck Basketball Drills for coaches. Here’s the product description:

What is it?
Basically, it is a collection of basketball drills to use in your practices or at home with your parents or friends. The interesting part is, that all of these drills can be performed by novices and without any special equipment besides … well, a hoop and a basketball.


How can you use it?
Using this deck of cards can be a great help especially in planning and conducting practices. Although as a coach you should always be prepare your practices well in advance, there will always be situations, when the Coachdeck Basketball Drills can come in handy. Sometimes your players will not master the selected drills, especially when they are starting out. Having the deck of cards at hand, you can quickly choose from a number of drills to go on with. I have come across situations, where I’ve planned with a certain number of players to run particular drills. The other day we were not enough players, so I had to switch and perform something else. These cards might come in handy, in such situations.

As a player, you can use the Coachdeck Basketball Drills for working out in the off-season. The number of drills make it easy to focus on the techniques you’d like to work on. For younger players these drills are a good help for parents who would like to assist their children in developing the needed fundamental skills. Currently Coachdeck offers drills for Basketball, Baseball and Soccer. Available soon: Football, Softball and Hockey.

Ordering
After I had purchased the Coachdeck Basketball Drills from Coachdeck.com it took about 10 days before the envelope arrived. As I live in the middle of Europe and have purchased a couple of instructional DVDs and Basketball equipment in the past, 7 to 10 days is a reasonable time for shipment from the US. I paid using my PayPal account and the transaction had been confirmed within a couple of minutes. You can also pay directly using your credit card. Totally hassle-free.

The sets of Coachdeck Basketball Drills is available at US$ 19.95. All in all I paid US$ 35.95 for shipping and handling, making it a bit pricey for foreign customers. For people ordering directly from the US the shipping is free.

Looking at the cards
After unpacking the envelope I found a delivery slip and the shrink-wrapped cardboard box with the cards. The cards are little bit larger in size than a regular deck of playing cards. The look and feel is great and the colors of the cards are well chosen. The paper used for the coaching cards feels solid, ideally for taking them with you in your pocket or bag.

Each card is dedicated to one drill. The drill name is specified on top of each card, together with a brief description of the drill, coded by a different color for each of the 4 categories. Some of the drills  can be performed alone, others need a group of people or an entire team to participate. To distinguish on how a drill can be used, you can find a reference in the upper left corner of each card, below the drill name.

»I« means, that this drill can be conducted alone.
»G« means, that this drill can be conducted in a group.
»T« means, that this drill can be conducted in a team of 5 and more players.

All drills in Coachdeck Basketball Drills are illustrated with pictures for easy reference. Below each diagram you will find a short explanation on how the drill is meant to be conducted. “Where they go” describes where the player starts and where he goes after performing a specific action.

Each card points out key elements on performing the drills. These “Key Points” are necessary for you and your players to know, to get the maximum benefit out of the drill. To add variation each card has a “Make it a game” part, which turn any drill into a competitive game, making it fun for your players.

In total, there are 55 cards in the set of coaching cards. For each category there are 13 cards with drills & instructions. Three cards are dedicated to tips on how to use the Coachdeck Basketball Drills, general practice tips, fundamentals, basketball terminology used in the cards, and a roundup of practice safety. The number of cards are divided into 4 categories and include the following drills:

Defense (Blue)
Stance and Slide, Slide and Talk, Zig-Zag Slide, Slide to Side, Slide and React, Deny the Ball, Post Defense, Close Out Contain, Deny to Help Side, Race to Defend, Slide and Attack, Defensive Boards, Catch-up Drill

Passing (Green)
Stationary Pass 1, Stationary Pass 2, Two Ball Passing, Man in the Middle, Three Against One, Wheel Drill, Middleman, Star Passing, Two Pass Lay-in, Pivot and Pass, 3 Player Weave, Four Pass Lay-up, Full Court Lay-up,

Shooting (Red)
Right-Left Lay-up, X-Out Lay-up, Form Shooting, Bank Shot Block, Elbow Jump Shots, V-Cut Jumpers, Pull-up Jumpers, Dribble Move Jumper, Jump Shots Defense, Spot Shooting, Post Moves, Bump Out, Foul Shoot Games

Ballhandling (Gold)
Wakeup Drill, Wrap-around Drill, Fingertip Control, Mach Gun Dribble, Crossover Dribble, Two Ball Slide, Down and Back, Knockout, Escape Drill, Dribble Weave, Zig-Zag Drill, Between the Legs, Behind the Back

Overall thoughts on Coachdeck Basketball Drills
With the Coachdeck Basketball Drills for coaches Coachdeck offers a great product for aspiring coaches, parents and players, at a reasonable price. This set of drills is a must-have for young coaches and volunteers taking over a youth team.

Most of the drills are not new to an experienced coach and can be found in most basketball drill books. Still, they can be a great help and, if you tweak the drills a little to match your coaching style and team’s skill level, will add value to your practice sessions. All drills are suitable for all players from age 6 to 16.

What I liked:

  • Overall quality of the product.
  • You can run effective practices and training sessions right away.
  • All drills can be performed without special equipment.
  • You can use the cards to teach yourself, for example during the off-season or with help of your parents.
  • If you only have a small number of players, you can easily do station work in paractices or camps.
  • Great help for volunteer and aspiring coaches and parents helping out at local clubs.

Suggestions:

  • Drills & instructions are only printed on one side of the cards. My suggestion: Add more variations of drills on the other side.
  • Missing “Sample Practice Plan” card. My suggestion: Propose a set of drills which can be used for learning a specific technique, like eg. the Layup.
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