Defense Drill
Shell Drill

While you want to practice keeping your defender in front of you in practice, it is important to teach your kids what do to should they get beat.

Help and recovery are key components to any successful pressure defense and your players need to know their rotations like the back of their hand.

The Shell Drill is perfect for this. You can use it as a teaching tool, slowing it down and emphasizing the proper positioning for your defenders.

But you can also play it live, which will work your rotations at game speed, and test your help defenders ability to recover to his man and close out under control.

The Shell Drill

You’ll start off with 4 offensive players spread out around the three point line. You should be standing at the top of the key, with your assistant coach and 4 defensive players facing up from the baseline.

Have your assistant coach pass you a ball, and on his release, all the defensive players should sprint and close out their offensive player.

Now pass the ball to one player, and your players should all shift. They should always be just under halfway between their man and the ball, regardless of their positions. If they are within one pass of the ball, they should be in denial, making it tough for the offensive player “ to receive the pass.

As your players pass the ball around the shell, you should be checking to make sure they are in the proper position. Once they have it down, you can let the offense start trying to score – using only downscreens and backscreens.

Limiting the offense’s ability to dribble the ball, whether you say 2, 1, or none at all, keeps the drill under control and forces them to get creative.

Coaching Keys

Basketball Defense
Shell Drill

  • Teach your players to ‘chop’ their feet with a bunch of small steps as they close out – it will allow them to react much quicker than a jumpstop
  • Don’t be afraid to step in, or move a player physically to the spot he should be
  • While the drill runs better with 4 players, you can throw a player on the block and have him slide from the block to the high post as the ball is swung around
  • Defenders should be just under halfway up the line, and standing about two feet off it, preventing the back door cut
  • Show your players the ‘Guns’ if they’re having any trouble keeping their eye on both their man and the ball. One gun should be pointed at the ball, and another at their man. This will teach them to stay far enough off the line that they can see them at the same time.

If your looking for more defensive drills to throw in practice, check out this one with an emphasis on on ball defense, called the Kick the Can Drill!