Purpose:

To teach defenders how to deny the flash to the middle of the paint.

Setup:

Coach will start on one wing with a ball in hand. The defender will start in the middle of the paint, and the offensive player will begin on the opposite wing with the rest of the players in line behind them.

Execution:

1. The coach will slap the ball and the offensive player will sprint across the paint.

2. The defender will stay between the ball and their man, keeping the defender above them and their butt to the baseline.

3. The defender will deny the pass and force the offense to receive the pass outside the three point line.

4. When the offensive player receives the pass, the offense will go live – limited to 2-3 dribbles before the ball is dead.

5. Offense rotates to defense, defense heads to back of the line, and next player in line steps up to play offense.

Coaching Tips

• Whatever the defender does, they cannot let the offensive player get behind them.

• The defender shouldn’t be afraid to get physical and stand their ground in the paint

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • Encourage defenders to maintain a low, wide stance with arms extended to make it difficult for the offensive player to receive the ball.
  • Reinforce footwork, teaching them to slide and pivot quickly while staying balanced to keep their body between the ball and the offensive player.
  • Emphasize staying alert and reacting quickly to the coach’s signals to develop better anticipation and awareness on defense.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • Teach them to read the offensive player’s eyes and body language to anticipate their movements, enabling them to cut off passing lanes more effectively.
  • Encourage them to apply pressure early by establishing position quickly, using their body to deny access to the middle and force the offensive player toward the perimeter.
  • Emphasize the importance of transitioning smoothly from denying the pass to contesting the shot or challenging the drive, ensuring that they maintain their defensive stance throughout.