Product Review: The First Team Block Aid

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The First Team Block Aid is one of those simple ideas in a training aid that can help a practice tremendously. It helps practice by making your rebounding or transition drills go much more smoothly. The Block Aid is a lightweight durable aid that is placed in the basketball hoop that doesn’t require the use of tools. It is placed in the hoop using a broom handle and can be removed easily with that same broom handle. This Block Aid is placed in the hoop so the shot is missed and creates a realistic rebound in order to work your drills.

I have been coaching youth basketball for many years and have found the Block Aid makes my transition drills and rebounding drills go much more effectively. Before I had the Block Aid I would set the drill up and would purposely try to miss the shot. I found this created very unrealistic missed shots. Many times I would lower the shot trajectory in order to ensure I missed the shot and the rebound would come off the rim very hard. I found this was consistently creating long rebounds and scrambles for the ball away from the basket. This is good to work on also as you will find in games players will shoot “bricks” and create long rebounds, however I found way too much time was being spent on these long rebounds. Plus I had one too many ankle injuries from this type of scramble away from the basket! The other scenario that was created too often was I would accidently make the basket. This is pointless to work on, as there is no such thing as a rebound on a made basket!

The other drill I found good use for the Block Aid was transition drills. This is the drill where you go from defense to offense on a missed basket and rebound. This is a drill I like to increase the tempo of and get them transitioning up and down the court at a good pace. This most realistically simulates a fast break and also gets some conditioning in. The Block Aid creates a realistic rebound around the basket, which allows for a good outlet and getting into the fast break lanes to work on the transition. This puts the emphasis on timing of the transition and you don’t have to worry about the rebound flying out of bounds (low trajectory problem again) or slowing it down to a halt getting a made basket out of the net and then getting the outlet.

As I become more seasoned in my basketball coaching and was around more coaches each year I found ways to make my practice more efficient and effective. When I only get to have 3 hours a week to practice with my team, using that time wisely is critical. Wasting time during any drill chasing the ball around or creating situations that are not realistic is something that doesn’t make any sense when time is limited!

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  • Ashley Hewitt
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