Basketball Drill - Take The Charge Defensive Drill

By Dr. James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
This defensive drill 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 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.

6. At the college level, and for many state high schools as well, the defender taking the charge must be planted with his/her feet outside (above) the arc under the basket, feet must not touch or be inside the line.

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 short 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"

  Copyright © 2001 - 2021, James A. Gels, all rights reserved.

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