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

Boxing out is a way to block an opposing player with your body to prevent them from getting a rebound. This is a great drill that focuses on boxing out and hustling.

Reminder Slides

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 footwork in a safe environment where there is no concern of an offensive player taking advantage.

Partner Closeout Drill

A closeout is a defensive tactic where the player on defense quickly closes the open space between themselves and the offensive player with the ball, in an effort to limit their progression towards the basket. This drill allows your players to practice close out fundamentals.

Defensive Stance Chair Drill

Players learn the proper fundamentals of a defensive stance in this fundamental drill that is great for beginners!

One on One Drill

Players learn to put defensive fundamentals into play in real game-like action in this high-paced drill.

Shell Drill

This is a great drill for working on team defense, communication and positioning.

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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