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Open Practice: Defense Drills


(See more by Greg Lansing)

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Open Practice: Defense Drills



Open Practice: Defense Drills

Improve team defense by learning three major components of defensive fundamentals!

  • Learn to run a shell drill against ball screens and post double to improve team defense by breaking down scoring options
  • Add three closeout drills to your practice library to help individuals get to proper guarding position
  • Get two toughness drills that will enhance the fundamentals of rebounding in a competitive setting


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with Greg Lansing,
Indiana State University Head Coach;
2011 MVC Tournament Champions

Defense is always a hot topic for coaches across the country. In this 'open practice' session, Greg Lansing hits on three major defensive fundamentals that will help your players become better at defending individually and as a team.

Take a step onto the court and watch as Coach Lansing runs a full practice guiding, instructing and correcting his athletes through a number of individual and team defensive drills. He shows you how to run shell drill three different ways, four different closeout drills, and two blockout drills. Pair this with some of Lansing's favorite toughness drills and it makes for an open practice series that is sure to make your defense better.

Shell Drill to Guard Different Scoring Actions

Learn how to run shell drill in various ways with constant communication and proper technique in defending ball screens, doubling the post, and transition defense with talking. This segment concentrates on jumping to the ball, taking away the first pass, help and recovering and communicating.

  • Defend Ball Screens - Lansing goes over defending ball screens with his over option. This is taught with the on-ball defender fighting through the screen while the screener defender helps on penetration before the recovery and the other defenders get to help position.
  • Double the Post - The ball goes to the post to start this shell drill with a double team once the post puts the ball on the floor. Once the ball comes out of the post, a scramble situation is taught to close out on the ball and in help position.
  • Full Court Shell - This drill is a three possession drill with full court man defense. Talking in transition is emphasized in order to get matched up and in help position.

Closeout Drills for Proper Guarding Position

Athletes must be able to close out to discourage the shot; however, they must be balanced and able to move in such a way that they defend the drive. Lansing shows four drills that each teach a different form of closeout depending on the situation the defender is in. The drills focus on taking away midline drives, popping off defender after initial closeout, and closeout to help position. Closeouts emphasized in these drills are with a dig in the post, a bluff or stunt, and a closeout with the offensive player not a threat to shoot (ball down).

  • The Diagonal closeout drill teaches technique in closing out to the gaps in help and closing out on a skip pass.
  • Three Line Closeout is a drill that has constant motion and is a great defensive warm up drill to do every day to begin a defensive session.

Toughness Drills to Teach Blockouts

Increased toughness and competitiveness allows you to establish a hard-nosed culture that will reap the benefits of outworking your opponent. Lansing shows two drills to build individual toughness to "go get the ball."

  • Morningside is a 2-on-2 drill to work on blockouts and finishing through contact.
  • 5-on-5 blockout drill is a structured drill that allows coaches to get an exact spot for where the blockouts will occur and for team rebounding.

Transition Drills

Run and defend in transition using 11-man drill and Full-court shell. Lansing takes you through full court drills to improve defensive transition and recovery. He starts from a set piece, then flows into a few back and forth possessions before correcting and adjusting his athletes.

In order to develop a championship level defense, teams need to nail the basic fundamentals. In this video, you'll learn the three basics in shell drill, closeout drills, and blockout drills. Add in Coach Lansing's intensity and high level of communication and this video will help your team become great on defense.

"Coaching defense fundame


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