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Basketball Defensive Drills - Grizzly 'D'

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4 on 4 drill focusing on defense. First team to 6 wins, the losers have to run. A team can only score on defense.

Points are taken away for fouling, whether on offense or defense.

Main focus of this drill is to get your athletes to focus on the basic fundamentals of defense. (Stance, quick feet, boxing out, close out, communication, help and recover, rebounding, seeing man and ball and basket.


Divide players into even groups of 4, one team starts on offense and one starts on defense. The other teams are on the baseline waiting to come in. A team comes in on offense the only way to get on defense is by scoring, but no points. (Remember the only way to gain points is by stopping a team defensively) Defense stays in as long as they keep stopping the offense. Each time the offense is stopped a new team comes in on offense, trying to get on defense. (a team will only come in on offense, the only way to get the defense out is by scoring on offense.) The game continues on the half court until a team reaches the designated score. (Whatever the coach may choose) Offense needs to check the ball every time in with the coach. (who is standing at free-throw line extended).

Number of Players:

min. 12 - max 16


Emphasize the importance of communication on defense.

Emphasize the importance of staying low and bending your knees, not at your back.

Teams standing out are ready to come right in, the second the ball has gone dead.

All four people crashing the boards.

Get on the floor after loose balls.

Emphasize defense intensity.

Have a coach standing under the basket calling fouls and possibly directing teams.

Teams should be in different colors.

Teams keep track of their own scores, or if you have enough coaches designate a coach to each team.

Look at defense, offense can do whatever they want. As long as they focus on their skills, and give their teammates good competition.

Your kids should love it, as long as they work hard.


If the offense shoots and misses, and defense gets the rebound, they can take it on a fast break to the other end. If they score on the break they get an extra point and stay on defense. If they don't score right away on the break, that team stays on defense, and a new team comes in on offense. If on the fast break the team turns it over, the series is over and they loose the point they just gained from the rebound, they stay on defense and a new team comes in on offense.

Offense coming in can get the ball right away above the three point line, they don't not have to wait for the defense to get set. This makes the defense have to be very aware of what is going on, helps develop great communication with their teammates. Don't have to check ball with coach, can grab ball out net and dribble to free-throw line and go!

Focus on the offense aspects of the game, instead of some much on the defense.

Put a time limit, the team with the most points at the end is the winner, the others owe you some conditioning.


man-to-man defensive skills


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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