George Mikan was the original big man. During his upbringing he needed help with footwork and coordination. Enter the Mikan drill.
George Mikan was the first dominating big man in professional basketball history. Mikan played college basketball at DePaul, then enjoyed a nine-year pro career during which he averaged 23.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He was a five-time first team All-NBA selection and was elected to the basketball Hall of Fame in 1959. The 6-foot-10, 245-pound Mikan combined size and strength with tremendous agility and leaping skills. He honed his agility, in part, with a drill developed for him by his DePaul coach, Ray Meyer. The “Mikan Drill” remains a staple for basketball teams at every level in the 21st century.
Most players think the mikan drill is only for improving hook shot but it offers so much more. It will help improve finishing at the rim from all angles. It is a great drill to work on shooting close to the basket. It’s a great warm up drill to start every shooting workout with. Rebounding and quick feet also play a role in this drill.
It was Mikan’s deadly hook shot that became the foundation for Abdul-Jabbar’s magnificent skyhook and which prompted the rule-making powers of the early pro game to legislate against him. The lane was widened in 1951 from six to 12 feet — “The Mikan Rule” — to move him. The stalling tactics to keep the ball away from Mikan by the Ft. Wayne Pistons in 19-18 win over the Lakers in 1950 eventually led to the 24-second shot clock. But even in that game, Mikan scored 15 of the Lakers’ 18 points.
1. Stand to one side of the basket slightly inside of the block facing the baseline. Jump and power the ball up for a lay up. Make sure to use the backboard.
2. Soon as you land, jump back up and rebound the ball out of the net. Try to rebound the ball as high as possible. When you grab the ball, keep it above your head. Your jump should transition you to the other side of the hoop. If you shoot on the right side, your jump should take you to the left side.
3. Continue the process side to side working on your left and right hands.
4. Continue this pattern back and forth for a set number of repetitions or time(ex. 20 makes or make as many for 30 sec).
*Reverse Mikan: Perform the Mikan drill with your back to the baseline instead of facing the baseline.
- Explode towards the basket on every jump.
- Keep the rebounds above your shoulder and progress to the next shoot from your shoulders.
- Get the ball up and off the glass. Aim for the top corner of the square.
- Don’t let the ball hit the ground.
- Develop a rhythm and routine with each shot