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Basketball Defensive Drills - Spider Drill

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The drill starts out with one individual, either in the gym or driveway. He should imagine that all the other players are on the court. The player starts off guarding the ball. He should think that his man is driving on him and then shuffle his feet correctly. Next, his man just passed the ball away. He should then move into off-man, on-the-ball defense, in which he can stop the pass but be able to recover if there is a pass or a drive. The ball should be then swung to the opposite side of the court and the player should move into zone side help defense. Next, the defender should simulate that his man is cutting through the lane and he should stop his progress. The defender should then play correct post defense, including high and low side defense and moving around the man with correct footwork. The player should use his imagination to think off where the players are and when the passes are made. The drill should start off for a short time period, because the player will not be used to it, but after practicing for a while, the player should be able to do the drill for a couple of minutes straight. The purpose of the drill is not only to familiarize the player with how to play every defensive position, but also to increase his stamina on the defensive end.


There are no special instructions to doing the drill. The only thing that the player needs to be aware of is that there is no room for relaxing in the drill, for it is designed for him to move quickly and recover when necessary. The player should also perform correct defensive stances, which will allow him to perform in the game.

Number of Players:



The major tip that the player needs on this drill is to continue even when tired. In the game, if you relax on defense, then your opponent will score. If you are able to do this drill for a sustained amount of time, preferably about 5 minutes straight and at full speed, then during a game you will have the ability to continue at your regular speed.

Also, the player must be able to do this drill alone and use his imagination. The drill is designed to better your defensive awareness and positioning. Be able to take any jokes about the drill you are doing from your friends. In the long run, they will work on their offense all the time, while you will spend major time on defense. This will result in you being able to shut down your man, while they are defeated because of bad positioning and the inability to keep up the pace.


The only real variation that can be used is by adding a couple of people to the perimeter to pass the ball around. If you do the drill with three people, have two be on offense and the third on defense. Then have one dribble the ball around the perimeter while the defender gets into correct postioning each time. After a while, switch the players so the everyone gets time on the defensive end. Finally, when you do the drill with multiple people, do not let the defender ever relax. Make him move constantly and do not wait for him to get into position before you decide to move. The drill is designed to get him to move faster than the offensive players.


practicing all of the defensive positions


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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