Throughout your team’s Read & React training, you’ll need to run diagnostic tests. You can do this in scrimmage situations, in game situations, or as a final progression to a drill.
To use a drill as a diagnostic tool, you must make it competitive. This video shows you how TJ Rosene takes a basic Natural Pitch drill and adds pressure and consequences by making it competitive.
If you watch closely (well, honestly, you don’t even have to watch that closely), you’ll notice that once the players begin focusing on the competition (doing everything as fast as possible), their fundamentals begin to deteriorate.
There are two takeaways from that deterioration.
First, you may have put this drill in too early. Maybe the habits aren’t engrained enough to push your players to that next level, yet. That’s good to know. Keep drilling and they might be ready next week.
Second, their slippage will show you what elements of the basic actions you need to emphasize more. If their footwork is poor, spend more time telling them what you expect from their feet. If their shooting suffers, use the earlier drill progressions to get more shots up. And, if the reactions aren’t quick enough, see the previous paragraph – go back to the basic drills.
Remember, this progression was designed using a basic Natural Pitch drill, but you can easily tailor any Read & React drill to build from the most basic 3-player drill, to a team drill, to a competitive team drill.
And, for those of you starting practice this week, good luck and let us know how it goes.