The King of the Court Drill is one of the more well know drills around any basketball court, and many other sporting fields as well. The King of the Court Drill focuses on creating a highly competitive environment in which players can challenge each other for supremacy. There are many different type of activities which can be performed or integrated into this context. This is one of the reasons that make the concept of the King of the Court Drill so useful and special.
When basketball coaching it is important to provide your players with opportunities to refine and use their skills in competitive situations. This is especially important once a player has reached an initial level of competence with a new technical or tactical skill. The King of the Court Drill provides such an opportunity to the player as well as numerous repetitions being possible in which players can perform, make mistakes, and learn on their feet in real time about what works and what does not.
The King of the Court Drill starts by breaking the court up into four areas. As diagrammed in the example above these sections are numbered One, Two, Three, and Four. The goal is for a player to win their way from Court Four to Court One.
All play must be confined to each area so to avoid any collisions and subsequent injuries.
If a player loses at any time, they remain on the court they have lost on and meet the next challenger who is progressing from the court below.
An example of the progression is Player X starts on Court Four. They win and progress to Court Three. The loser of the match-up remains on Court Four to meet the next challenger.
At any time Player X loses then this player will remain on that court and the winner progresses.
So how do you determine a winner?
Well there are any number of different goals that can be set. You are only really limited as a coach by your imagination. Some examples of which could include:
- First player to score: this will make the movement on court very quick and very intense
- First player to score two baskets in a row
- First player to make two stops in a row
- First player to make three baskets; this will take some time for a winner to be reached so be prepared for a slow rotation
- First player to take a Charge
Defence can be a focus the same as offense, so just tailor the goal of “winning” each game to meet the need of your team’s develop.
Any additional players not able to be on court wait on a sideline of Court Four and just rotate in as a player’s progress and a space becomes available.
The King of the Court Drill is one of the more flexible activities a coach employ. One of the best features of the King of the Court Drill is that even the structure of the court can be changed. For example if you want to run an activity which progresses from the front court to the back court, just divide the basketball down the middle along the split line. This will only give two courts to compete on, but if more players are involved in the activity this should not be an issue. The same can be undertaken by cutting the court in half so two half courts are created to compete on.
In the diagram above, there are a number of different examples of what types of activities can be easily facilitated by the King of the Court Drill.
Court One pictures a simple one on one scenario. This is great for players just developing individual offensive and defensive skill sets.
Court Two features a simple too many game breakdown. This tactic is just a simple pass and then on-ball screen scenario.
Court Three again is focusing on the on-ball screening situation but this time with three players to integrate into the activity. This is great for helping players develop reads and adjust on the fly to what is happening on the court.
Court Four just displays a change-up to the one on one situation. Instead of thinking about the King of the Court Drill as a perimeter orientated, it can also be used for post play.
As a point of note, you would choose one of these examples and implement that tactic on all four courts. Just be mindful of the number of players needed. There is no reason you cannot just use three or four courts if player numbers are lower.
The King of the Court Drill provides a great vehicle for players have multiple drill repetitions in a competitive environment. This makes the activity great for real game situations and development.