Being a strong defender is going to make you a better all around player. It is true when people say that the best offense is a good defense as your goal when playing basketball is not just to score for your team. Your goal should be to prevent your opponent from scoring while helping your team put up some points. Today we will be covering a couple of fun basketball drills that will help you build up your defensive skills on the court.
React Defensive Drill
This is a fun basketball drill that helps in improving agility, quickness, and defensive skill. Begin by pairing up with a teammate.
Begin in a strong defensive stance. Either another teammate or your coach needs to stand in front to give hand signals for you to respond to:
- Down – You as a defender bend down to hit the floor with both hands. When you hit the floor, loudly yell defense, then begin to sprint in place until the next signal is called.
- Up – You as a defender stand up with both of your hands high in the air as if reaching up for a rebound coming down from the basket.
- Right – You as a defender slides to the right at a fourty five degree angle until the next sign is given. If the next sign is a slide to the left, you need to perform a drop step to change your direction prior to sliding.
- Left – You as a defender slides to the left at a fourty five degree angle until the next sign is given. If the next sign is a slide to the right, you need to perform a drop step to change your direction prior to sliding.
Perform this drill for ten full minutes to gain both speed and defensive skill.
Deny The Pass
In this drill, you will learn how to prevent the offense from passing the ball to another player. This drill works best in groups of three players. Two of the players will be on the offense, and the third will be on defense.
To begin, one of the offensive players begins at half court with the basketball. The second offensive player begins standing on the side of the free throw line. The defensive player begins in a good defensive position near the offensive player without the basketball.
The offensive player who does not have the ball needs to work to get open. The defender needs to react by moving with the player to remove the passing lane. The player on offense only has five seconds to get free as the first player with the ball will pass the ball within that time. If by chance the offensive player recieves the pass, the defender needs to go one on one with the offensive player and attempt to prevent them from scoring.
When running this drill, each player will switch up the roles after each pass in. Ensure that you perform this drill at least five times in each position.
Checkout the video below for more information on how you can work on denying the pass.
This is one of the best basketball drills I’ve taught to my offensive and defensive players. When watching basketball, you will notice that the best scorers utilize skills and techniques like what you will be learning in this drill. A good offensive player understands that you need to create space between the defender and yourself. To effectively create space between you and your defender, you need to get the defender to move aggressively in one direction which will create space then make your move. The object of this drill is to learn how to fake your defender out in regards to which direction they believe you will be going in, then once they move the wrong way, you make your move. Practising this drill will make you a much stronger offensive player.
To perform this correctly you will want to be extremely aggressive on the court. Being aggressive will help you build the space you need when you fake out the defender. With a lot of power move in a direction and get your defender’s velocity going after you. As the defender moves to follow your direction, quickly step backwards to create a gap. Now that you have some space, take a few more steps around to create additional space to take an accurate low stress jump shot. Using this technique is much easier than trying to take a shot while being covered and well defended at the rim. It is important to remember not to take short steps backwards, you want to create a lot of distance between you and the defender.
To prepare for this drill, you and a team mate should begin at half court. You are on offense and your team mate is the defender. Let your team mate check the ball in to you and from their aggressively head towards the rim. Attempt to fake out your defender and create space at least two to three times before taking your shot. If you make your shot, begin the drill again with you as on the offense and your team mate as the defender. If the defender is able to stop you from making your shot or steal the ball from you, switch roles and begin the drill again. Perform this for at least 10 minutes a day and you will greatly improve both your offense and defensive skills.
For a great visual of these basketball drills in action check out the video below
Thіѕ drill рrоvides prасtіcе іn closіng from а diѕtancе аt thе bаsеlіne аngle and рlаying еffесtіvе onе-on-onе dеfеnѕе. Emрhаѕіѕ іѕ оn not gеttіng bеаt on а drіve fоr a lау-іn, and уоu can аdd your оwn defеnsivе emphasіѕ іf yоu wіѕh. For inѕtаnсе, you could іnsіst оn nоt gіvіng uр any baѕе line drіveѕ.
Use the following instructіonѕ to perform this drill.
Thе drіll ѕtartѕ wіth thе defender throwіng a раѕs tо а рlауеr аt the toр оf the key, who thеn throws а pаss tо аn оffеnѕivе рlаyer іn the right cornеr аrea. Aѕ ѕооn аѕ hе throwѕ to the tор оf thе keу, the dеfender sprintѕ to clоѕе on thе оffеnsіvе рlaуer іn орроѕіte соrner.
Theу ѕhоuld plаy оne-on-оne lіvе. The offеnѕivе рlауer іѕ lіmіtеd tо fоur drіbbleѕ. Aftеr the inіtiаl ѕhоt, the ball rеmainѕ lіve untіl thе defender gеts thе rebound or the offensе ѕсоrеѕ, but the оffеnѕе iѕ lіmіtеd tо a ѕinglе drіbblе per rebоund.
Thе rоtаtіon thrоugh thе drіll іѕ аѕ fоllowѕ: Defendеr goes tо thе раѕѕіng lіnе at thе top; Pasѕer аt the toр јоіnѕ the ѕhооtіng linе; аnd thе Shооtеr jоinѕ the Defеndеr line. Thе diagram showѕ thе sесоnd rоtatіon оf the drіll wіth plaуеrѕ in рrоper linеѕ.
This basketball drill will focus on putting pressure on the opposing team’s offense. In order to be strong defensively, you need to have good focus on the ball, and also be able to get your arms and hands up to not only attempt to block shots, but put pressure on your opponent.
When practising the Advanced Defenside Slide basketball drill, stand defensively at the corner of the court. Begin to slide as fast and as forcefully to the free throw line. As you reach your destination on the court, pretend that you are defending an opponent who is about to go up for a shot. At this point you will want to jump with as much strength as you have to pretend to block the shot. When you reach the ground, rotate and pretend to block your opponent. Perform this basketball drill a total of ten times, alternating your starting point from each side of the court.
As you get more comfortable with this drill, you can add a twist to it to help you rebound the ball better once your opponent has missed the shot due to the pressure you put on them. Similarly to the last drill, begin at one corner of the court and slide as fast and strong as you can to the middle of the lane. When you reach your destination, pretend that your opponent that you are guarding is going for shot. Jump up with as much strength as you can to attempt to block a shot. When you return to the ground, rotate to block your opponent. In this situation, pretend the ball is bouncing off the rim, take a couple of steps towards the rim, and jump as high as you can for the rebound. Be sure to land safely with balance, and rotate in the direction of your basket and pretend to pass the ball to your team mate. Perform this basketball drill ten times, alternating your starting position from each end of the court.
If you take a look at the best defensive basketball players, you will notice they all have one thing in common and that is their speed and quickness to react on the court. In order to become quicker on the court their are are few things you can work on. I recommend performing foot speed types of drills which include defensive slides, jumping rope, and practising your sprints.
To perform defensive slides, begin at the corner of the court on the baseline. Slide to the middle of the lane, and then slide back to the sideline. You want to continue performing this drill up court until you reach the opposite baseline. This drill will really improve your quickness when it comes to switching directions and staying focused. See the video below for an example of defensive slides.
When it comes to jumping rope, you will want to begin with a 60 second warm up. During the warm up phase, jump rope as a slow pace. Once your warm up is complete, begin jumping rope with both feet for 60 seconds, then alternate feet for 60 seconds, then jump on one foot for 60 seconds, and finally jump on just the other foot for 60 seconds. Perform five sets of this basketball drill and watch your foot speed really improve!
Lastly, you will want to focus on building up your sprinting ability. This will help you catch a quick offensive player running down the court. The best way to build up your sprints is to go to a track and begin with an easy warm up lap. Take this initial lap at a jogging pace. Once your done with the warm up, make your way over to the longer straight away portion of the track and just run sprints back and forth. Start with a shorter distance and work up to more as time goes on. I recommend beginning with about twenty five yard sprints. Perform at least twenty sprints, resting when needed.
This is another drill that will really build on your speed, agility, and balance on the court. To perform this basketball drill, you will want three cones. Place each cone approximately two to three large steps away from each other.
Start in a balanced position facing forward behind the middle cone, push off the floor with your left foot laterally and move either to the right cone. Quickly push off of your right foot to move back to the center cone, and again push off your right foot and move to the left cone. Push off of your left foot and return to the center cone. At minimum perform this drill for five sets at one minute per set.
As you progress with this drill, you will want to change it up a little to include cross over movements with your legs. Instead of moving your feet in a lateral motion, you will cross over your feet when moving between the cones.
Check this video out for a clear explanation of this basketball drill.