George Mikan and Ray Meyer remain forever in the heart of all basketball players and lovers for a lot of reasons – one of the reasons being that these pair have given us basketball times and memories worth reminiscing and celebrating. Another reason which could pass as the most important is the fact that a very rare and special skill was left behind by one of them for basketball lovers to continue seeing players perform excellently.
The Mikan drill that is named after George Mikan has been used over time by coaches and team managers to build up all basketball players, especially their forwards and centers. In developing rhythm, keeping to time, rebounding and others, this drill must have been founded and practiced by a player.
While it does these three things for centers and forwards, it is a great drill for other basketball players too. This is because it helps to strengthen muscle (arms and legs), increase stamina, and better their layup.
Before you wonder too long about who first made a note of the drill and where the drill started, find the brief history of the Mikan drill below;
Brief History of Mikan drill.
In the space of a decade, the 1940s–1950s to be precise, the famous basketball player named Mikan dominated the world of basketball with his skill that always left spectators, commentators and all the other basketball fans in awe.
He developed a hook shot which he never hesitated to use to defeat his opponent. Given his conviction about this skill he has so much worked on, he used it not only in mundane games but also for very serious games that could win him medals and cups.
He was very confident in his personally developed skill, and it fetched him the success that all basketball lovers could attest to.
After resigning in the year 1956, he had 11,764 points to his name which automatically made him an all-time scorer in the game. Not only did he have these points to prove that he indeed did well for himself, but he also had three scoring titles to his name.
So, it made sense that after he stopped playing, the skill that earned him that much would be adopted by other players. It also makes a lot of sense that until today, Mikan drill remains one of the most important basketball drills.
Mikan drill has been for that long and will be for even longer. The skill is worthy of all the attention it gets, and players who have decided to sacrifice enough to learn the skill can shed more light on its purpose and importance. From testimonies and observation. Some of the purposes of Mikan drill are;
It is a great tool for improving the coordination of all players’ especially the forwards and centers.
It is also useful in stamina creation and serves as a means of learning rhythm.
Basketball players without the exception of any position could use the Mikan drill to serve a good purpose for their personal gains and ultimately for the game.
It is a great time to be alive to see that a good number of serious basketball players have made the Mikan skill a routine in their practices. For the sakes of the up and coming stars of the game who are probably confused about the right steps to take when reversing the drill, the following may be very instrumental.
How to do the Mikan drill perfectly
It is great that an ordinary basketball fan knows the Mikan drill and recognizes it. For a player, it may not be too great that all he knows about the drill is how the drill looks. A player needs to know how to practice a Mikan drill and some of the steps to follow if you must practice the Mikan drill and you want to do it well;
When you are about to start, you have to begin under the basket. The best way to make this a perfect start is to ensure that the basketball faces the base line.
You need to make a layup that will be at the right side of the basket. This, you do with your right hand. As you make the layup, you jump off our left leg.
Ensuring that the ball comes in rebound is also an important exercise. After this, you make a layup. Although unlike the other, you do this rebound completely with your left hand.
You will be doing 20 layups. Yes! You read that right. To make things easy for your arms and legs and make things interesting, you should alternate sides for all the 20 layups.
Consistently practicing without altering this routine will give birth to perfection or at least, excellence. So, it is advisable that all basketball players sees this skill as an important one and work towards reaching excellence.
According to Kyrie Irving, Mikan drill works with twelve variations that will interest all basketball players. The variations include; inside hand.
One leg finishes.
This will have you face the baseline with your chest and start in front of the hoop. It has the;
Inside foot, outside hand
Inside foot, inside hand.
Outside foot, outside hand.
Outside foot, inside hand.
One leg reverse finishes
This variation allows a player the luxury of starting underneath the hoop with the back facing the baseline. The next four are perfect examples to explain one leg reverse finishes;
Reverse- inside foot, outside hand
Reverse- inside foot, inside hand
Reverse- outside foot, outside hand
Reverse- outside foot, inside hand
Two feet finishes
The following two were fishes off two feet, and players should be excited to learn this. The chest faces the baseline as variation is done.
Two feet- outside hand
Two feet- inside hand.
Two feet reverse finishes.
The back faces the baseline here, and you always remember to start underneath the hoop. The nest two were reverse finishes off of two feet.
Two feet reverse- outside hand.
Two feet reverse- inside hand.
The 13th variation – change your finishes.
You need to add a little spice to your finishes. Doing the same things over and over may become tedious, to avoid boredom at all cost, and a basketball player has to be ready to embrace a huge amount of variability.
This variation does not have to be sudden or brusque. It is even advisable that as the player practices. He ensures that changes are introduced gradually.
When he introduces a slight change, he dwells on it in the place of practice until a level of excellence is attained. Only then should he try to add more.
Add something extra to your finishes.
The reason for adding difficulty is so that nothing on the court meets you be surprised or catches you off-guard. It is wisdom to prepare with and for difficult tasks.
There are several ways to make things a bit difficult for you while you practice and as a good player who values the place of rehearsal, you need to find the kind of things that work for you.
Mikan drill is a youthful and legendary basketball drill that has been for almost a century. Hopefully, it will live to in the hearts of players for more.