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With two-time All American defenseman Brodie Merrill leading the way, learn about proper slide techniques and tips from one of the game’s most heralded defenders. Merrill walks through each scenario with you before putting on the pads and simulating the defensive techniques at full speed on the lacrosse field.
Although often overlooked, defensive slides are absolutely critical to a team’s overall success. Slides are all about communication, being on the same page as your teammates, being up-field from your opponent, having your head on a swivel, and having your stick and body in the right positions. Let’s run through a typical slide scenario.
If the ball is behind the goal with an attackman and you are guarding a man in the crease, you are the first slide. Therefore, you need to make sure your head is on a swivel and that you have your stick on your opponent lightly to get a feel of where they are.
If the defender has been beat, you need to slide and take a good angle, get your stick up-field from your man, break down, and get nice and low. At this point, you have two options. First, you could tell your fellow defender to stay and double the ball. The second option is to say, “Find One.” That defender will then retreat to the crease and bump that second slide back to his man, and you are all even again.
Check out some examples below of proper slides in action.
An adjacent slide usually occurs when there is no one in the crease. In this scenario, the nearest man must slide to the attacker that beats our defender.
In the video example below, Merrill is the “HOT” man. First, it’s key to be above GLE. Also, your fellow defender wants to be taking away the top side and force the offensive player inside.
Why inside? Well, if the player gets beats by the attackman, he will ONLY get beat into the help. Therefore with the adjacent slide, you will have to slide cross-crease while your fellow midfielder is sliding down to help on the backside. Remember to lead with the stick and follow with the body. Get as low as you can and power through.
Take a look at a few examples in the video clip below.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Brodie Merrill’s ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ Skills and Drills.” To check out more videos focusing on defense, click here.
Take your practices to another level with these competitive team drills that focus on man-t0-man defensive concepts. Watch your defensive play improve as your squad responds to these demanding but exciting drills. Northern Iowa head men’s basketball coach Ben Jacobson walks you through each drill before letting his players go full speed for multiple reps.
Paint Touch Drill
We start off with this engaging 3-on-3 drill in a half court setting. The goal for defenders: Don’t get beat baseline and keep the ball out of the paint. Look to level it off coming to the middle. Meanwhile, offensive players are working to put the ball in the paint with the dribble. Their goal is to touch the paint as many times as they can OR beat the defense baseline. Your coach should keep track of paint or baseline touches.
Notice that Coach Jacobson places a big emphasis on the angle of approach defensively. Click here to watch Jacobson explain more about this effective individual technique.
Coaching Point: Get your team to rally around charges and loose ball recoveries every time it happens in practice.
How to Turn the Paint Touch Drill into a Competitive Drill:
Give the players 15 seconds per simulation. If the ball gets to the baseline or touches the paint, you count up the points earned. The number of times that happens in the 15 seconds would equate to the number of lines players would have to run.
Seven Point Drill
In this 5-on-5 drill, the defense gets two points for a loose ball recovery or a charge taken and one point for a stop. Meanwhile, the offense gets two points for an offensive rebound, points for any score, and one point if fouled.
The offense has a distinct advantage in this one. The first team to get to 7 points is the winner. If the defense doesn’t get the charges or recoveries, they must get 7 stops before the offense gets about two or three baskets.
This drill really works on that mentality that a team will hang its hat on defense. What’s it going to take to get to 7 points before the offense does?
By becoming proficient at help-side defense, your team will be well on its way towards playing dominant man-to-man defense. In this week’s team concepts feature, follow along with legendary basketball coach Bob Knight as he breaks down help-side defense in a half-court setting.
When it comes to help-side defense, it’s important to remember that there’s a line right up the middle of the floor that separates help-side and ball-side. For help-side defenders, you want to stay one step on your man’s side of the basket. Up top, players should be slightly open to the ball and with hands out in the passing lane and down. Meanwhile, in the post, play your man one step slightly open to the ball and one step on the man side of the bucket with the ball above the foul line extended.
When the ball is moved to from the top to a wing area (let’s say the left wing for this simulation), all players should be focused on the ball. Watch the clip below to see the players move now when the ball goes from ballside to helpside.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Advanced Tactics & Techniques for Man to Man Defense.” To check out more videos featuring Coach Knight, click here.
In this week’s team concepts feature, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reveals one of his all-time favorite defensive drills. Extremely competitive and fast-paced, this particular team drill helps establish defense as the foundation of your squad. Coach Popovich will first walk through the drill and hit on key coaching points before letting the players go full speed for multiple reps.
4-on-4-on-4 – How it Works
This is a competitive defensive drill that helps establish defense as your core. According to Coach Popovich, it’s also a drill that tells you how minutes will be determined. In other words, if you can’t play defense, you’re not going to play as much.
This half-court drill is more basketball oriented than other defensive drills, which is a big reason why Coach Popovich uses it so often with his own team. At the end of the day, you win by playing defense.
Start the drill off by eliminating pick & rolls and post ups. Now this is real basketball. You can pass and go through or pass and screen away. You can dribble all you want. You score by making stops. The first team to 7 stops is the winner.
As soon as the ball goes through the net or the play is over, the next team is ready and waiting at half court. The reward for the defense making a stop? Staying on DEFENSE. Meanwhile, the previous offense moves off the court and a new team comes on and attacks. If you score, your reward is to go on defense. There are no points rewarded for scoring. You only accumulate points for stopping. If the defense doesn’t get possession, it’s not a stop.
Drill at Full Speed
On the heels of walking through the drill, the three teams of four are now ready to play at full speed. Since we are eliminating pick & rolls and post ups, it’s crucial that players are moving well out on the basketball floor.
Coaching Points: The new defense must pick up the new offense instantly during transitions. There’s simply no room for a slow response. If you are slow reacting, you’re going to get burned. Also, be careful not to shoot too quickly or put up bad shots. You can get into a hole real quick and have agitated teammates at the same time.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Gregg Popovich: My Favorite Drills and the Motion Offense.” To check out more videos featuring defensive concepts, click here.
In this week’s edition of All-Access, we return to Lawrence, Kansas for a behind-the-scenes look at a Kansas men’s basketball practice. Head coach Bill Self leads his squad through defensive stations, which includes back/fade screens, fronting the cutter, and down screens. Follow along with Coach Self and the Jayhawks and look for ways that you can implement these drills with your own squad this season.
First the team breaks down to three baskets for three different defensive stations. Essentially, each station breaks down the shell drill, which the squad eventually gets into later in practice.
Notes: Players must go full speed at all times. Also, every time that a player closes out, it’s critical to keep the hands high.
The action starts with the down screen station. Players go 2-on-2 with a separate passer and work on proper down screens (both offensively and defensively). Then the action moves into fronting the cutter, where in a 1-on-1 situation, the bigs must fight for positioning down low. Finally, we switch to back/fade screens at the third basket.
Watch below as the Jayhawks rotate through the drills and seamlessly transition to a different defensive technique. When implementing this drill on your home court, always look to switch sides of the floor in each rotation as well.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Kansas Basketball Practice with Bill Self.” Check out our entire collection of All Access videos by clicking here.