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Crank up your players’ defensive pressure with this drill from University of Colorado head coach Tad Boyle. Coach Boyle likes to run this drill because it promotes good communication on defense, rebounding fundamentals and also helps players learn to fly to the ball.
Drill Summary: Three defensive players begin in the lane with four offensive players evenly spaced out around the perimeter. To begin, the coach rolls the ball to an offensive player. The offense gets a maximum of five passes before they have to shoot the ball. Until the ball is shot, the three defenders must use good closeouts and defensive rotations as the ball moves around. Once the ball is shot, the offense crashes and a fourth defensive player who has stayed under the rim until the shot enters the drill. The fourth defender’s duty is to pick up whoever the other three defenders haven’t boxed out. If the defense gets the rebound, they get a point. If the offense gets the rebound or makes the shot, the defense goes back to zero points. The goal of the drill is for the defense to get three stops consecutively.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Move your feet.
2) Pressure the ball.
4) Box out.
Head women’s coach at the University of Tennessee, Holly Warlick, presents a fun rebounding drill that inspires competitiveness and improves team tenacity on the boards. Want to own the glass? Incorporate this drill into your next practice!
Drill Summary: Five offensive players line up around the three point line and are assigned numbers (1-5). Three defensive players begin in the lane underneath the hoop. To start the drill, a coach yells out three numbers between one and five as they shoot a ball. The players with those three corresponding numbers are the players who crash the boards for the offensive rebound. The defensive players must communicate with each other and box out the players crashing on offense. If the defense gets the rebound, they must clear the ball past half court. If the offense gets the rebound, they may continue to try to score a bucket. Points are awarded as follows: 1 point for a defensive rebound, 2 points for an offensive rebound, 2 points for a score, bonus point for three rebounds in a row. The first team to 10 points wins. Variation: Allow offensive players to move around before the coach shoots the ball.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Know your number.
2) Box out.
3) Communicate with each other.
4) Crash around defensive players, not into them.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Competitive Rebounding, Defense & Transition Drills.” View other world class Basketball videos!
Terry Layton is a highly respected basketball coach, scout, and consultant both here in the states and internationally. Internationally, most practice facilities are only limited to two baskets. So coaches try to use as many drills, which combine multiple areas of skill development at once. Coach Layton shows phase one of the “Chinese Drill.” With this single drill you can brush up on passing, screening, shooting, rebounding, spacing in transition, and defending the 2-on-1 break.
Player Movements: Three players begin the drill by passing along the baseline out-of-bounds. Those players then move to the perimeter, where a player will sprint into a wing ball screen. With this phase of the drill, the person using the ball screen throws the ball back to the screener, who is popping and spacing for a long jump shot. The passer and the third player (not involved in the ball screen) then go to the opposite side of the floor and battle for the rebound (most rebounds on a long jump shot will end up on the opposite side of the rim). The two players battling for the rebound then do a 2-on-1 break going the other way with the shooter in the drill being the lone defender back.
In the later phases of this drill (not shown) you can use a pick and roll where you hit the screener with a bounce or lob pass at the rim or the person using the ball screen shoots a step-back jump shot.
1) Solid Passing
2) Communication when passing
3) Sprint into a ball screen and the space properly when popping
4) When battling for the rebound, attack the other person’s arm
5) Spacing and converting on a 2-on-1 break
The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Explosion and Full Court Drills from Around the World.” To view the latest video selections on Conditioning, click here.
Win the battle of the boards this season by incorporating these proven rebounding drills into your practice plan. The following drills — which are perfect for middle school, high school, and college level programs — are first explained step by step before a real team runs through them live on the basketball court.
Rebound Pit Drill
Submitted by Larry Inman, Former Head Women’s Coach at Eastern Kentucky University and Current Coach at Tennessee State
Overview: This is a demanding drill that challenges players both mentally and physically. Position two lines of players hitting the boards every time a coach or manager shoots it. Look to start out on the lane line extended and just above the three-point circle.
Drill Movements: Two defensive players will step up just in front of the offensive players and will box out and secure the board until they rebound three consecutive times. If they don’t get three rebounds in a row, they must start over from scratch. Also, players should rotate through and get to play both positions.
UNI Rebounding Drill
Submitted by Scott DeJong, Ankeny High School, Ankeny, Iowa
Overview: This is a competitive rebounding drill that simulates game conditions. There are four offensive players set up; One on the wing, one up top, one on the block, and another player on the weakside post/baseline area.
Meanwhile, the defensive players set up like this: One player is guarding on the weakside, another at the top of the key, a third in the post, and a defender X1 guards the ball.
Drill Movements: To begin the drill, X1 makes a bounce pass to the wing shooter and then closes out on the shot. All other players must block out. If the defense gets the ball, they must outlet to the coach. The coach then passes to the next defender in line. Players will rotate on defense through the different positions. Defenders are up for 10 shots and then switch with the offense. Keep stats and the team with the most boards after 10 total shots is the winner.
Coaching Tip: Mix up your post defense. For instance, try a fronted post on several reps and see how your players respond.
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.