Basketball Skill Development with Billy Donovan

Notes taken from the 2012 Brayden Carr Foundation Coaching Clinic. University of Florida Men’s Basketball Coach Billy Donovan spoke on the importance of individual skill development in his program.


  • Individual Instruction is a year-round project at Florida. If you’re only running skill sessions outside the season, your players’ games will suffer.billyD2
  • You CANNOT rely on your practices to keep your players’ skill sets polished. Do yourself a favor and chart how many shots your guards get up during your next 2-hour practice.
  • How do we make our guys better outside of practice? Bring them in for 30-40 minute skill sessions 3 times a week. During these sessions, it’s their time to be selfish.
  • As guys see themselves getting better, they’ll want to be in the gym more.


  • Chart everything during individual instruction
  • Post all shooting % numbers (post daily-weekly-yearly)
  • Great to be able to point to tangible evidence when trying to explain to a kid why he’s always open!
  • We don’t want to put our players in a box, but we want them to have a realistic understanding of where they are.

Elements of Florida Workouts

  • Hates shooting for the sake of shots (“Getting shots up” makes me sick)
  • All drills consist of competitive pressure or goal pressure
  • Game speed + charting of all shots taken


  • If there are 2 or more players in a drill, the players pass (coaches don’t)
  • Bad passes take guys out of their shots
  • Throw to inside shoulder of the shooter

Shooter’s Fatigue

  • We want to fatigue our shooters
  • “Beat the Pass”…be shot ready when the ball arrives
  • 1:00 minute on the clock, get up as many shots as you can (whether it’s from one spot or going back-and-forth between two spots)

Teaching Points

  • Everyone struggles over inside-foot/hop. Whatever the player is comfortable with, we allow them to do it.
  • “Drive your legs on your shot”
  • Our aim on our drives: straight line and very precise
  • Does not like shots taken right inside of or on the 3-point line

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