To teach players how to deal with downscreens and backscreens in close quarters.
Have a player start on each elbow and each block. Defender’s will match up accordingly. One player at the top of the arc will start with the ball.
- The drill will begin with the ball handler slapping the ball.
- The player on the elbow will go to set a downscreen for their teammate on the same block.
- The screener’s defender will leave enough space for their teammate to slip around the screen and stay with their man.
- The defense will deny initially before allowing the pass to go through so that the drill can continue.
- After making the pass, they will set a downscreen for their teammate on the block, repeating the action we just saw on the opposite side.
- Repeat, mixing in downscreens and backscreens as well.
- These are the same concepts we were using in the normal shell defense, just tight. This will exacerbate the need for early communication as well as add a more physical element to the drill, as players will have to fight through screens instead of just being able to run around them.
- Emphasize using bodies effectively to navigate through screens, instructing players to use their chest and shoulders for controlled contact with the screener, while staying low for balance and leverage.
- Teach players to anticipate screens using visual cues, including watching the screener’s hips and shoulders, and the ball handler’s eyes and movements.
- Instruct on different switching techniques when dealing with tight screens, such as quick communication and immediate physical positioning to prevent open shots.
For Younger Athletes:
- Focus on the fundamentals of defending screens, such as staying close to their man and not getting caught on the screen.
- Include drills focusing on communication, helping young players learn to talk on the court, which is crucial for effective team defense.
- Work on footwork drills that help navigate screens without losing their defensive position, like side shuffling and quick directional changes.
For Older Athletes:
- Challenge with drills requiring navigation through multiple screens in succession, enhancing their ability to react quickly in game situations.
- Teach to read offensive plays and anticipate where screens will be set for advanced defensive positioning.
- Incorporate endurance training into the drill, ensuring older players have the stamina to fight through screens consistently throughout the game.