Basketball Coaching » Basketball Drills » Defensive Basketball Drills

Here’s a selection of my favorite defensive drills, including techniques for improving individual defense, team defense, and defensive communication. Give ’em a try – and make sure to leave a comment and let me know how they go!

Boxout Drill

123shares Facebook123 Pinterest0Purpose This is a great drill that focuses on boxing out and hustling. How it Works Players will spread out, and partner up along the arc – 1…

Reminder Slides

44shares Facebook44 Pinterest0Purpose Even a player with great footwork needs a reminder every once in a while, otherwise they’ll get sloppy. That’s the goal of this drill –to work on…

Step and Slide Drill

100shares Facebook99 Pinterest1Purpose Players learn defensive footwork fundamentals. Drill Setup Set up two lines on the baseline. The first player in each line stands on the block in a defensive…

Slide Run Slide Drill

60shares Facebook60 Pinterest0Purpose Players learn the proper footwork to recover when beat on defense. Drill Setup Set up two lines on the baseline. The first player in each line stands…

Take The Charge Drill

162shares Facebook162 Pinterest0Purpose Players learn how to get into position to take the charge. Drill Setup Player 1 has the ball at the top of the key. Player 2 stands…

Partner Closeout Drill

91shares Facebook87 Pinterest4Purpose Players practice close out fundamentals. Drill Setup Players pair off and stand 15 feet apart. One player has a ball. How it Works 1. Both players stand…

Defensive Stance Chair Drill

421shares Facebook419 Pinterest2Purpose Players learn the proper fundamentals of a defensive stance Drill Setup Have your entire team stand with their backs to a bench, bleachers, or a row of…

Transition to Defense Drill

197shares Facebook195 Pinterest2Purpose Players learn the footwork for quickly transitioning from offense to defense Drill Setup Two players line up, one on each side of the lane facing the basket….

One on One Drill

226shares Facebook226 Pinterest0Purpose Players learn to put defensive fundamentals into play in real game-like action. Drill Setup Set a line of offensive players at the wing. The defender stands on…

Shell Drill

343shares Facebook343 Pinterest0Purpose To work on team defense, communication and positioning Drill Setup Four offensive players spread out around the arc – two players free throw lane extended, and two…

One of the great tragedies of basketball is that the most important jobs in the game often get the least credit. We’ve all heard that defense wins championships, but scoring sells shoes. And because of this, players who excel in certain areas – your great screeners, the dominant rebounders, and the lockdown defenders – rarely get their due in the media and with the fans.

That’s a mistake you can’t make as a coach.  A lot of the time you’ll hear sports commentators talk about how being good at defense is just about effort. And while that’s true to a certain extent, it’s not just about trying hard. And frankly, saying so is an insult to the great individual defenders who spend all that extra time perfecting their craft.

If you’re interested in some more advanced training, make sure you check out the Team Defense Drillbook and Individual Defense Drillbook as well.

More Defensive Basketball Drills


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You'll learn the best way to teach basic team defense principles, competitive practice ideas to help your kids take pride in their "D" - and advanced in-game strategies to shut down your competition. All explained with simple, step by step instructions and diagrams that any coach can understand.

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