DDM Practice Design

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

What goes into planning a typical dribble drive motion practice plan? We'll take a look at a sample plan and discuss the concepts, time allotment, and drill selection.


Practice planning is one of the great obsessions of basketball coaches at all levels. There is probably no aspect of their job that coaches spend more time on than designing the perfect practice plan. To me, this is the area where you can have the greatest impact on your team. So it should go without saying that your practices should be designed with player development in mind.


My personal approach to practice planning is centered around four main themes: Skill Acquisition, Transition Development, Short Sided Games, and 5v5 Live Play. As I said in the Identifying DDM Skills blog post we want to identify the skills that are necessary to succeed in our schemes and then embed those skills in every aspect of the practice. We believe that the combination of skill development, small-sided games, and realistic five on five play will leave our players well prepared for game day. 



Sample Practice Plan -

The vast majority of our practices are going to be either 1:30 or 2:00 hours long. During this timeframe we want to make sure that we work on all four phases of the game; half-court offense, transition offense, half-court defense, and transition defense. As we mentioned in the introduction we also want to embed skill development into as much of the practice as possible. Some practices may lean more heavily on one of these categories, but we are going to build almost every practice plan with these practice concepts.


Practice Time Allotments:

  • 15-20 Min – Skill Building

  • 20-30 Min – Transition Systems

  • 20-30 Min – Small-Sided Games

  • 30-40 Min – 5/5 Live Play 


I - Skill Building

Here we want to develop players’ skill sets with the ball in their hands, define the decision-making process on the catch, and establish the spacing-related decisions needed off the basketball.


II - Transition                      

We're working on establishing Running Lanes, our Read Progression, emphasizing finding Early Advantages, and teaching how to Seamlessly Flow into your Half Court Offense.


III - Small-Sided Games:

In this part of the practice, we are Using 2/2, 3/3, & 4/4 Play to teach players how to attack space, how to create Double Gaps, how to react to penetration, and how to properly second-cut.


IV - 5/5 Live Play:

In general, we are trying to recreate game-like 5/5 scenarios in the Half Court, Full Court, and Special Situations. I also like the idea of mixing up how we start the 5/5 segments; using Small Advantage, Disadvantage, and Neutral Starts to a possession.



I - Skill Development

As a Dribble Drive Motion team, we want to tailor our skill development to what our players are going to need to excel in the games. As we discussed in our, Identifying DDM SKills blog post, we have determined that dribble attacks, dribble stops, finishing at the rim, drive & kick shooting, and help defense decision making are essential skills for our players. We typically start with 1/0 and 2/0 drills to introduce the technique and footwork involved in a particular skill. Then we will eventually introduce guided defense and live play so players can apply the skills in real-time.


Finishing Practice Concept:

"1/0 Finishing School" -

This is more of an introductory practice concept to work on finishing technique. As we are playing in a four-out alignment we want to work on the most common attacking angles:

  • Slot Drives

  • Wing Drives

Once our players are comfortable with the finishing technique we will then add guided defense and live 1/1 finishing.


"Finishing School" -

There are a number of finishes that are working on in this portion of practice. If you are interested in a more detailed explanation of this aspect of practice I would encourage you to check out our Finishing School Series:


Video - various clips of 1/0 Finishing being executed, using four hoops preferred.


II - Transition

Dribble Drive Motion teams generally have an attack mentality built into their half-court play, and we want them to extend that mindset into the full court as well. We view the transition development portion of our practice as a critical element to our success. In a typical practice, we carve out at least 20-30 minutes to be dedicated to fine-tuning our Transition System.