To teach players the fundamentals of transition defense.


Split the team into 3 teams of 4. One team will start in the backcourt with a ball, 2 players on the wings and 2 on the lane line. The defense will start in the half court, with 1 defender at the top of the arc and the other 2 down on the block. The 3rd team will start on the far baseline.


  1. On the coach’s signal, the ballhandler will begin to dribble down court.
  2. The wings should spread out and the big should run to the rim.
  3. The defender at the top of the paint should step up, stop the ball and force the ball to one side.
  4. When the ball is swung to the wing, the defender should come out to challenge the shot, with the last defender protecting the rim down low.
  5. The offense has 12 seconds to shoot, at which point the rep is over. One player will step to the baseline while the other 3 get in position.
  6. The defense turns to offense and will continue the drill heading back down the opposite way, where 3 players from the other team will be lined up in defensive position.
  7. The drill continues until a team reaches 7 points.

Coaching Tips:

On defense, the shot we are okay giving away is the skip pass 3 pointer. It is a tough pass, and will have enough air underneath it that if the defender’s hustle they should still be able to get a good contest on the shot.

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • Encourage younger players to always communicate on defense. Shouting “ball,” “help,” and “switch” helps ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
  • Emphasize the importance of sprinting back on defense for younger players. Teaching them to hustle back and get into position quickly can prevent easy baskets.
  • Focus on fundamental positioning. Make sure they understand where they need to be on the court, both offensively and defensively.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • Work on advanced ball-handling skills, especially under pressure. Encourage them to use crossover dribbles and hesitations to break the press.
  • Teach experienced players to read the defense and make quick decisions. Whether it’s passing, driving, or taking a shot, the ability to make smart, fast choices is crucial.
  • Emphasize the importance of transition awareness. They should always know where their teammates and opponents are, ensuring they can effectively switch between offense and defense.