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Basketball Defensive Drills - 5 Minute Defense

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Transition Man Defense 4 on 4/5 on 4


Assign 4 players the role of playing defense (it is best to flip jersey colors). The drill begins by playing half court man defense against four offensive players, much like you would do for shell drill. The teams play at that end of teh court until the offense score, the ball is turnover over, a foul occurs, or the defense rebounds the ball.

When one of the above occurs, the ball is outletted to one of your coaches at mid-court. The Coach passes the ball to one of the new five offensive players who are waiting on the baseline. The new offense runs onto the floor and transitions the ball to the other end trying to score. The four defenders must talk and identify who is guarding the ball. The defense is not allowed to play zone and must guard players on the ball side. The help side defenders must play 1 and 1/2 offensive players, this teaches good help side coverage. If the offense scores, turns it over, a foul occurs, or a defensive rebound, the ball is outletted to the coach who throws it to the waiting team (4 man offense) and play continues.

Player offense always stays at their end of the floor. The play will continue up adn down the floor for five minutes. The transition offensive team must run back to the baseline and prepare to transition again, they always transition to the same basket!

Number of Players:



When the ball is outletted to the coach we will often roll it up the floor to an offensive player to allow for a realistic transition look in terms of timing. You may vary this to fit your needs. We have found this to be a great conditioner and forces communication.


We keep score of the offensive output versus each defensive team.

The defense that gives up the most points has a line drill. This becomes very competitive and forces players to be accountable for their effort defensively. Offensive rebounds count as a +2 points for the offense, taking a charge counts as -2 for the offense.


Communication and Defending in Transition


This basketball drill is licensed under a Creative Commons License. This drill is from Pål Degerstrøm at www.degerstrom.com/basketball.

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