Basketball Drills for a Power Forward
The power forward has become one of the most important players on the basketball court. The power forward has to be a presence on the offensive end, must be stalwart defensively and must be a battler when it comes to rebounding. While aggressiveness is a big part of a power forward's game -- particularly on the offensive end -- the defensive technique must be one that allows him to cut off his opponent's angle to the basket. As a rebounder, he must be a worker from the start of the game to the finish.
Quick Shot Drill
In this drill, the power forward will position himself in the low blocks -- also known as the post area -- with his back to the basket. In this drill, he must receive the basketball from a teammate and take one dribble before spinning and shooting. This drill will enable the power forward to get familiar with the post area so he can release the ball quickly when he shoots. Catch 10 passes from your teammate and take five shots spinning to the left and five shots spinning to the right. Don't take more than one dribble.
Power Baseline Drill
The power forward must be decisive when he makes a move with the basketball in his hand. That move will almost always come from the wing area and he will drive down the baseline for a dunk, a layup or reverse layup. This calls for a quick first step to get started and power once the move is underway. In this drill, the power forward must make a jab step fake to the inside, then cut to the baseline with one or two dribbles, then explode to the hoop. Try this five times from the right wing and five times from the left wing. The power forward has to develop his dribble with both hands or else he will be easy to defend.
Defensive Presence Drill
In this drill, the power forward will use his size and strength to defend in an outnumbered situation. The opposing point guard will dribble the ball past midcourt and pass to a teammate the frontcourt. The two offensive teammates must complete three passes before attempting to shoot. The power forward must steal the ball, force a turnover, force a missed shot or get the rebound to be successful in this drill. If the defensive player can defeat the 2-on-1 three times out of 10 attempts, he has been successful.
To help your team control the boards and demonstrate its power and strength, you must get to the correct spot on the floor. In this drill, the defensive player starts in the middle of the defensive lane and the opponent will shoot the ball. The defender must get himself into the ideal rebounding position, which is at a 45-degree angle to the basket on the side opposite of the shooter. The opponent will pass the ball to get a good shot, so the defender must pay attention to where the shot comes from. He must get himself in the proper position by getting away from his opponent on eight-of-10 shots to be successful in this drill.
A good power forward will be able to finish the fast break whenever the opportunity comes. To do this, the power forward has to have the ability to command extra speed at the correct moment. This demands outstanding conditioning because the opportunity may come late in the fourth quarter when fatigue is an issue. That can't stop the power forward. In this drill the power forward must run from his baseline to the free throw line and back, then from the baseline to mid-court and back, then from the baseline to the far free-throw line and finally from the baseline to the opposing baseline and back. When the power forward is returning on the final leg of this drill, a coach or teammate will pass him the ball at mid-court, and he must drive with the ball for a layup or dunk.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.