In this behind-the-scenes look, we visit Cincinnati, Ohio for a glimpse inside a recent Xavier University men’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Chris Mack leads his squad though a competitive team full-court transition drill called “War Rebounding.”
War Rebounding – Overview
For this drill, we’ll go 4 on 4. All four guys on offense must start beyond the three-point line. Meanwhile, all four defenders must be inside the lane with both feet.
To initiate the drill, the coach shoots the ball. If you’re an offensive rebounder, you can crash the boards. If you get the rebound, play it out at that basket. If the offensive team can convert quickly and easily, do it. Otherwise, set things up, get spacing, and look for a good shot.
However, if the shot goes up and the defense gets the rebound, they are allowed to push the ball down court. From here, play it out until there is a score, turnover, change of possession. If the (new) offense gets the offensive rebound and scores, stay right there.
Scoring: Keep track of scoring throughout for both teams. If you get an offensive rebound, it’s + 2. A three-pointer is + 3, a two-pointer is +2, and if you get fouled, it’s +1.
Overall Drill Goals: The entire goal for the defense is to not allow the offensive guy anywhere near the paint. If you’re an offensive rebounder, do what you have to do to get the offensive rebound.
Now watch as Xavier goes 4 on 4 at full speed. Notice that the team changes up the lineups after each down and back. Try to make your transitions as seamless as possible.
Coaching Tips: You must stay balanced to get the respect of the officials. Also, if you get the ball down low, especially after an offensive rebound, don’t put the ball back on the floor.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Xavier Basketball Practice with Chris Mack.” To check out the latest videos in our All-Access lineup, click here.
Pick up a pair of proven defensive basketball drills from Northern Iowa head men’s basketball coach Ben Jacobson. These “fundamental” drills are considered crucial pieces of Jacobson’s practice plans throughout the basketball season (Yes, even in March) and are considered to be very effective tools for improving team defensive play.
Numbers Rebounding Drill
Overview/Set-up: Start in a 3-on-3 format and get the ball up top. There will be three defensive players in the middle of the lane facing away from the basket, almost stacked but spaced apart by a foot. Meanwhile, there are three offensive players around the horn, two in opposite corners, and one up top.
The Action: The first defensive player is 1, the second is 2, and the third is 3. Those are their assigned numbers. The coach will pass the ball to one of the three offensive players around the horn. The coach will also call out a number. That assigned player will then go out and contest the basketball. For example, if the coaches passes it to the top and calls out 1, the first player will come out with high hands and contest the shot. The remaining players will communicate and then split and block out to get the rebound. As for the offensive players, all they do is catch the ball and shoot.
Coaching Points and Tips: When blocking out, whichever way the offensive guy goes, it’s important to get our contact and ride with him. If he goes to the middle of the floor, we must front pivot, put a forearm in his chest, ride with him, open up, put your tailbone into his legs, and block out from there. Then go get the rebound. If the offensive player goes baseline, we need to pivot, get inside the man, ride with him, and then go get the ball. Fight until you come up with it.
Set-up: In this 3-on-3 defensive drill, three offensive players will set up around the horn with three defenders as well. The ball starts up top midway between the top of the key and half court.
The Action: The drill starts with an advantage for the ball handler. He will drive it hard to the hoop until he gets stopped. The defender’s job is to catch up and get things leveled off. The help defenders must stay and help.
After a pass to either wing, the new ball handler will sweep and drive baseline as hard as they can. Our job defensively is to cut this off. We can do this in two ways: Work on taking a charge OR cut them off and hold your ground. Next, the ball handler will pass it baseline to his opposite teammate. From here, the help defender will look to bat that pass down. After the deflection, a coach will take a second ball and pass it to the opposite wing player. Finally, players will scramble, recover, and the action is now live from this spot.
Goal: Get a stop out of this, whether through a knockdown, steal, rebound, charge, etc.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Ben Jacobson: Fundamental Drills for Basketball Practice.” To check out more basketball DVDs featuring drills for both offense and defense, head over to our basketball library.
Spice up your practices this season by implementing this pair of proven rebounding drills. Between second chance opportunities, transitional basketball concepts, and strategies for controlling the boards defensively, these drills cover a ton of ground and are bound to become staples of your practice plan. Start by reading the drill synopsis provided before seeing each segment played out at full speed.
Submitted by Paul Foringer, Quince Orchard HS, Gaithersburg, MD
The Set-up: This is a terrific drill that works on transition rebounding. Set up three lines of players on both ends of the court. The player in the middle starts the drill with the ball.
The Action: Start by weaving, passing, and cutting behind the other players. The player in middle line shoots a mid-range jumper after three passes down the court. The other two players block each other out at the basket and aggressively go after the rebound. Even if the shot is good, the players fight for the ball and play 1-on-1 under the basket. The player who gets the rebound goes to the middle line. The shooter goes to the line to the right. The losing player goes to the left line.
3-on-3 Rush Drill
Submitted by Steve Alfonso, Archbishop Rummel HS, Metairie, LA
Overview: This drill simulates both strong and weakside rebounding plus fundamentals of solid rebounding. Also, it puts emphasis on team play.
The Set-up: The three defenders (set up inside the three-point circle) must get three straight rebounds to get out of this drill. If the offense gets the rebound, the teams must play it out live and the defense goes back to zero.
The Action: The drill begins with coaches skipping the ball back and forth to each other. At this time, all defenders must jump to the pass. Eventually, a coach shoots the ball and all defenders must locate their assigned man and block him or her out.
The Finish: If the defense gets the rebound, they must kick it out to a coach and then get back in a defensive stance. The defense stays in until they get three rebounds in a row. The rotation goes like this: Offense to defense and defense to the end of the line.
In the latest edition of All-Access, we return to College Park, Maryland for a behind-the-scenes look at a University of Maryland women’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Brenda Frese first leads the Terps through an effective rebounding drill before getting into 2-on-2 closeouts. The squad finishes up the action with a competitive full-court layup drill.
Triangle rebounding starts with three defensive players in the paint and facing away from the basket. Three offensive players will line up inside the three-point arc. Each defensive player will start moving around in the paint clockwise until a shot goes up. Once it does, the players yell “Shot” and proceed to box out the nearest offensive player. If the offense gets it, they should look to score.
There are a few ways to make it competitive. If you crash the glass and score, you get a point. If you get an offensive rebound, you get a point. If the defense gets the rebound, they must outlet to a coach right away. Rotate players immediately after the rep is over.
Next up is a 2-on-2 drill focusing on closeouts. Players start on one side of the floor and then must change their defensive positioning based on where the ball is on the perimeter (the ball gets passed from coach to coach). Players must play helpside defense and then be able to closeout off the kick.
There are two major points of emphasis here. First, players should either close out short or close out long. Short means you close out against a driver. Long mean to close out against a three-point shooter. Make them put the ball on the floor and look for opportunities to take charges. Defensively, don’t get beat down the middle. Instead, force your opponent to the baseline.
According to Coach Frese, the players can’t stand this full-court drill but it’s quite effective. The drill starts with an outlet off the backboard and players sprint the length of floor for a layup. The outlet person must follow and get that rebound and run the floor as well. Every layup counts as one. Set a make goal with your team and look to move the bar up.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Maryland Women’s Basketball Practice with Brenda Frese.” To check out more All Access videos in our exclusive collection, visit our basketball library.
In this week’s team development feature, legendary basketball coach Bob Knight leads you through three drills instrumental in building mental toughness. Coach Knight has used these same drills throughout his esteemed coaching tenure with great success.
The drills focus on ball handling, rebounding, and passing fundamentals – all while under pressure. After picking up each drill, look for ways to incorporate them into your practices this season.
This is a great drill to start off practice with and really get some energy going. While it’s primarily about dribbling the basketball, it also hones defensive footwork and positioning on the ball. Look for the defensive man to see if he can keep his head on the ball at all times without using his hands.
Start at one end of the floor and get into a 1-on-1 scenario. Have the defenders put their hands behind their backs and concentrate on footwork. Make sure that they get their butt down and head up. They key is to keep moving those feet and get quicker. Offensively, have players work with both hands. Once they make it to the other end of the floor, have them come right back.
Use this drill for 3-5 minutes in practice. This is one example of a drill that makes kids work and forces them to pay attention.
It’s important for kids to get after the basketball. Simply, we don’t want them to be afraid of mixing things up when going after a rebound. This is a terrific drill for reinforcing those principles.
Start off with three rebounders. The coach should put the ball up on the backboard and the kids will go after it. After a rebound, you either want a good shot or a pass back to the coach. Keep them going and see how hard they work over a two minute period. This drill is a great way to keep your players active and it forces them to get tough. As for the coaches, don’t call many fouls in the drill, either.
Players often forget important information from a time out to a play. There’s too much game slippage or time out slippage. Therefore, use this drill to force them to be active, quick, and remembering key information in pressure situations.
Use three balls for this drill. Players have three tasks when they have the ball: Pass, return, and hand off (and go to the inside). Using four lines (in a box formation), just keep going right around the square. When you catch the pass, you return the feed and move on. Start with one ball and then work in two more balls for three total at once. Make good passes and good catches and don’t forget to go inside. Also, call out the name of the teammate you are passing to.
Next, to develop a sense of teamwork (or a reliance on each other), if you mess up (let’s say you go to the outside), everyone must do 50 pushups. That’s a way for the coaches to get you to do what you are told to do.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Practice Planning and Drills for Mental Toughness.” To check out more drills in our Bob Knight catalog, click here.