Basketball Practice
Wildcat Drill

At the end of a tight game defending a lead, often coaches will employ a full court press or full court man to man coverage, really putting the pressure on your ballhandlers to get over half in 10 seconds and the possible trap in dead man’s corner (just past halfcourt along the sideline).

That is why you need make sure to put your players in high ball pressure situations – so that they can develop not only the skill, but the confidence to handle the defensive pressure.

There are three things you will need your primary ballhandler to be able to do in these situations: beat his man 1 on 1 to get into the open court, recognize the trap and avoid it safely, and protect their dribble from a pesky defender in a tight area.

Surprise! I have three great drills that are sure to drastically improve these vital point guard abilities.

Wildcat Drill

Coaching Dribbling
30 Seconds Quarter Court

Have two players start off on the corner of the court, one on offense, one on defense. The goal here is for the offensive player to beat the defensive player in as little time as possible, then attacking the hoop in a full court sprint with the defender on his tail.

The players must stay on one half of the court though – to limit the offense’s space, but also so that you can have 2 other players coming back down the other way.

Remind players not to over dribble, they should be making one strong move and pushing the ball forward until they are cut off.

30 Seconds Quarter-Court

This drill is not only a great conditioner, but a superb drill for the defensive player as well.

First you need to choose which quarter court you are going to be working in, and establish the boundaries so that they are easily visible for the players.

Basketball Trap
Hash Mark Drill

Next, throw in a defensive player and your ball handler, and on your whistle, the defense attacks! The job of the offensive player is to protect the ball from being stolen for 30 seconds –without leaving that quarter-court.

This forces your ballhandler to learn how to use their body and off-ball hand to shield the ball from a defender’s swipes at the ball. Not only that, but they will learn something absolutely key to being able to handle pressure – composure.

To keep the drill competitive, you can offer two points to any defender who gets a steal, and one point for a successful 30 seconds without a turnover. This will keep your defenders from slacking off on that end of the ball.

Hash Mark Drill

And the last thing you will need to teach your point guard, is how essential it is to keep their dribble alive. Especially when they’re dealingwith a trap.

In this drill have your point guard line up just over half by the sideline, with a defender on him, and another defender a couple of feet away from the hash mark.

The ballhandler will then dribble along the sideline towards the second defender, who will sprint out to trap him once he reaches the hash mark.

Your ballhandler needs to then stop, take two dribbles backwards away from the trap, crossover and dribble away. Encourage the defenders to be lively, there’s no point running the drill if they aren’t making the trap game-like.


If you’re more interested in giving opposing point guards pressure, check out this video on full court defense!