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!

Step and Slide Drill

86shares Facebook85 Pinterest1 Twitter0Purpose 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…

Slide Run Slide Drill

59shares Facebook59 Pinterest0 Twitter0Purpose 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…

Take The Charge Drill

159shares Facebook157 Pinterest0 Twitter2Purpose 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…

Partner Closeout Drill

72shares Facebook71 Pinterest1 Twitter0Purpose 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…

Defensive Stance Chair Drill

405shares Facebook400 Pinterest2 Twitter3Purpose 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…

Transition to Defense Drill

184shares Facebook182 Pinterest2 Twitter0Purpose 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…

One on One Drill

231shares Facebook226 Pinterest0 Twitter5Purpose 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…

5 on 3 + 2

243shares Facebook242 Pinterest0 Twitter1Purpose To make the defense get two consecutive stops or a three-stop total before they rotate out. Drill Setup Five offensive players are across the baseline. Five…

Shell Drill

344shares Facebook343 Pinterest0 Twitter1Purpose 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…

Pepper Drill

228shares Facebook227 Pinterest1 Twitter0Purpose To improve defensive footwork and conditioning Drill Setup Players spread out in the half court Coach stands in front of group facing the team How it…

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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teamdefensebasketballdrills250The Team Defense Drillbook is jam-packed with 26 fun and effective defensive basketball drills to help you lock down your opponents and win more games this season.

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.

Best of all, it’s delivered in PDF format, so you can get instant digital access… right over your computer screen, smartphone, tablet, or eReader… from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection!