If you’re coaching a middle school team, here are ideas for [tag]basketball drills for defense[/tag]. A favorite is this man-to-man [tag]basketball drill[/tag].  This can turn your team around!

The defender is on the inside of the 3 point line and the offensive payer on the outside of the 3 point line. In order for a young, inexperienced player to understand how to defend the person they are covering I do the following:

I start out as the offensive player and have one of my players as the defender. Start on the left side or the right, doesn’t matter. Let’s say I’m on the right side. The defender allows 2 to 3 feet between their man. No [tag]basketball[/tag] needed in the beginning. I will run as fast as I can down the side line towards the basket.

Because I make the first move towards the sideline I’m usually one to two steps ahead of the defender. In order for the defender to make up the one to two steps I have the young player cut down more of an angle, moving a bit toward the basket and moving slightly away from the offensive player. This adjustment allows the defender to get back in control and to help prevent the offensive player from going around them and having an open lay-up.

Once they have made up the adjustment they can move up towards the defender 2 to 3 feet once again. I then run back up following the 3 point line moving towards the other side with the defender covering me allowing 4 to 5 feet between each other.

Keep in mind that the offensive player is running. Just as the offensive player reaches the other side of the lane I have the defensive player begin to again cut down more of an angle again moving towards the basket and slightly away from the defender. Once again when the adjustment has been compensated the defender will move closer to the offensive player.

This drill has taken my players from playing average or below average on defense to become one of the best defensive players in the league.