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HomeBasketball DrillsDefensive DrillsTake The Charge Defensive Drill

Basketball Drill - Take The Charge Defensive Drill

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @
This is a defensive drill that teaches players how to take the charge under the basket.


(blue = offense, red = defense, yellow = coach or manager).

Defensive player under the basket in helpside against the yellow coach. Blue line is offense. Place a floor mat under the basket to cushion the fall for the defender.

The Drill:

First player in the blue line dribbles to the hoop for the lay-up. Stress that the offensive player must take it all the way to the hoop and make contact with the defender. The defender steps into the offensive player's lane, plants his/her feet with a wide stance and braces for the contact.

Teach the defender that when the contact occurs, avoid injury by just "sitting down" on the mat, with the butt making initial contact with the floor, not the back or shoulders. Immediately after the contact, the defensive player pops back up quickly, the offensive player moves to back of the line, and the next blue player drives for the next contact. Have each player, defend 5 or 6 in a row.

Take the charge drill


1. Make sure the defensive player gets into correct position before the offensive player arrives.

2. Make sure the feet are planted, and that the defender does not move, turn the hips or shoulders, etc. The only movement should be the backward fall when contact is made. Any other movement may result in a blocking foul instead of a charge.

3. The defender should be vocal and yell when the contact occurs ("OH!!!")... and make an academy award "flop" back onto the mat! You've got to sometimes sell it to the ref.

4. Use an extra manager or assistant under the basket to help catch the offensive player after contact is made, to avoid injury.

5. Advise your players that since the officials do not always call the charging foul, it is best not to take the charge if you are in foul-trouble. It's a judgement call and you are at the mercy of the officials.

charging foul

More tips on how to effectively and safely take a charge.
  1. The closer the dribble-penetrator, the lower you get. By getting low, when you fall, it's only a "4-inch fall" to the floor.

  2. Hold your forearm strongly across your body. Use your forearm in front of you to absorb the contact.

  3. Fall on both cheeks. If you land on one cheek in a sideways manner, it will look like a block to the ref and you'll get the blocking foul.

  4. Fall in the direction of the penetration. Again, if you fall sideways, it will look to the ref that you were not there and planted, and you'll get the foul.

  5. When you fall, roll on your back and pull your feet up (feet facing upward) so that if the offensive player falls on you, you can absorb the contact with your feet and protect yourself.

  6. When you fall, keep your hands up and take the contact with the forearm. Don't fall with your hands behind you, as this can result in a wrist or hand injury.

  7. Finally, sell the charge to the ref by exhaling at the point of contact and letting out a groan.

Also see "Charge/Loose-ball Drill"

Helpful DVDs:

Mike Anderson: '40 Minutes of Hell' (Vol. 2)

Mike Anderson: '40 Minutes of Hell' (Vol. 2)
with Mike Anderson, University of Missouri Head Coach.
Hard play and pressure defense are the backbone of Coach Anderson's teams. Stance, hands, balance and closeness to the offensive player are very important principles to Anderson. Using an overhead, Anderson diagrams his defensive system. Ball pressure, anticipation, rotation and trapping are key terms in this system... (more info)

Price: $39.99
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Tom Izzo: Dominating Rebounding & Man-to-Man Defensive Drills

Tom Izzo: Dominating Rebounding & Man-to-Man Defensive Drills
By Tom Izzo, 2000 NCAA Champions, 3X National Coach of the Year. Coach Izzo shares one of the most dominating man-to-man defensive and rebounding systems in college basketball today. Izzo's teams have been among the nation's leaders in rebounding margin (+11.7) and scoring defense (58.9) since he took over in the '95-'96 season. The seven defensive drills that Izzo covers include... (more info)

Price: $39.99
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Jay Wright: Defensive Progression Drills & Techniques

Jay Wright: Defensive Progression Drills & Techniques
with Jay Wright, Villanova University Head Men's Basketball Coach, NCAA "Sweet 16" (2005), Philadelphia Big Five Eastern College Coach of the Year.
Aggressive, no-nonsense defense is a trademark of Jay Wright's teams. Because of the great talent Villanova faces every game, Wright focuses on drills that will help contain quick, skilled ball handlers. This excellent teaching tool progresses from individual defensive stance, to one-on-one, two-on-two, and three-on-three in the half- and full-court. Wright stresses pressure on the ball, stance and vision away from the ball. The 2-on-2 "Whack Out" drill... (more info)

Price: $39.99
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