7 defensive drills that produce results

If your team wants to protect the basket this season, you’ll need some effective, efficient defensive drills that produce in-game results. Here is a listing of our most popular drills that can easily be installed in your practices.

1. ‘Guard the Yard’ closeout drill.

This defensive drill teaches your players to effectively and fundamentally close out on potential shooters. It’s also great for conditioning.

2. The ‘Pride Drill.’

Teach gritty defensive play with a drill that exercises more than a dozen different techniques, including help-and-recover, taking a charge and diving for loose balls. This drill requires a maximum effort from players.

3. Three-stop drill.

Getting stops on the defensive end of the floor is among a coach’s main goals. This drill teaches players to not only stonewall offenses, but also to build on that momentum and shut them down on ensuing possessions. It’s an excellent conditioner that emphasizes communication and effort.

4. Tom Izzo’s competitive rebounding drill.

This defensive drill comes from Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo. It stresses boxing out, physicality and positioning for securing rebounds. It also brings a high level of competition to practices.

5. Gary Williams’ ‘Paint Drill.’

The Hall of Fame coach, who spent 22 seasons as the men’s basketball coach at the University of Maryland, used this drill to emphasize both offense and defense. On the defensive side, it improves boxing out, transition play, rebounding and conditioning.

6. 5-on-4 scramble.

Taking the shell drill to another level. This is a great half-court game that teaches players to interrupt passing lanes, help on defense and protect the paint. If your players are struggling on defense, this is a great drill to remind them of the fundamentals and key aspects that are necessary to play at a high level.

7. Deflections drills.

As many basketball coaches will attest to, deflections can win games. But are you practicing how to get them? This includes tips for tracking deflections along with two defensive drills that teach your team to hound ball handlers and play passing lanes.

These are just seven of Winning Hoops’ most popular defensive drills. To see more — and to explore our library of offensive drills — click here.





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