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Team Defense Drills

by eBasketballCoach

The Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net

Playing effective team defense allows your players to match up in a man to man scheme, while giving you many of the advantages of a zone. All five players work together to stifle the offensive attack, denying easy passes, while clogging up the lane to cut off penetration.

Depending on the position of the ball, every player has a specific role. And it's essential to rehearse these roles in practice so your team can execute the scheme at game time.

1. Guarding the ball - Hands up, close pressure on the defender
2. One pass away - Deny position, preventing your player from catching a pass
3. Two passes away - Help position, up in the passing lane 1/3 of the distance toward the player with the ball
4. Three passes away - Help position, up in the passing lane 1/2 of the distance toward the player with the ball.

Below are three simple and effective team defense drills that will help you master these concepts.


Drill #1: Ball Side Help Side


Purpose:
Players transition back and forth between playing ball side and help side defense.

Setup:
Team forms two lines in lane. Two players (or two coaches) join head coach on offense.

Ball Side Help Side Drill
Defenders go from ball side to help side defense
as ball is moved around the perimeter.


Execution:
1. Coach passes ball to wing.
2. Players on that side of lane play ball side defense.
3. Other line of players plays help side defense.
4. Offensive players move ball back and forth from wing to wing and defensive players adjust accordingly

Coaching Tips:
Players should communicate as they move on defense.
Offensive players should drive and shoot, forcing defenders to move to stop the drive and to block out.


Drill #2: 4-on-4 Shell Drill


Purpose:
Players work on defensive technique and concepts in a 4-on-4 situation.

Setup:
Four defenders, four offensive players.

4-on-4 Shell
Players practice their team's man to man
defensive concepts in this 4-on-4 drill.


Execution:
1. Offense passes ball around perimeter and also drives to put pressure on the defense.
2. No shooting to start.
3. Defense must react as the ball changes location.

Coaching Tips:
Emphasize stance and positioning, particularly help side defenders sagging down to prevent penetration and close to the rim shots.
This drill is run 4 on 4 so you can better see what all your defenders are doing - 5 on 5 adds more clutter and can make it more difficult. Focus on fundamentals and adherence to your team's defensive concepts.


Drill #3: Take the Charge Drill


Purpose:
Defensive player learns how to take the charge from a help side position.

Setup:
Player with ball on wing. Defensive player in the lane.

Execution:
1. Coach says "go."
2. Offensive player drives in at walking or one-quarter speed.
3. Defensive player moves outside of lane and gets in position to take charge.

Coaching Tips:
Defensive player should fall on his butt first, tuck his chin into his chest and roll back onto the ground.
Avoid placing your hands behind you to brace the fall, which can put dangerous pressure on your wrists. Place your hands beside your hips, with fingers pointed forward (not back), then push off slightly as you hit the ground, sliding backward with the momentum of your fall.


Next Steps


If you're looking for more defensive drills, check out Total Basketball Skill Development. You'll get instant access to 86 championship-proven drills covering footwork, shooting, passing, ballhandling, passing, layups, free throws, defense and rebounding.

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