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Basketball Defensive Drills - The Gauntlet

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This drill will work on offensive ball-handling and defensive trapping and communicating.


Three defenders are spread out at the foul line (1 in middle and 1 each at foul line extended). Another three defenders are spread out similarly at half court and 1-3 defenders at the opposite foul line, depending on number of players you have. A line is formed under the near hoop with at least 3 deep of ball-handlers. On the whistle, the dribbler tries to break each line of defense without committing a violation. Once a dribbler is past the first foul line, blow the whistle for the next dribbler. This will keep the drill active and work on conditioning.

Number of Players:

At least 8


Stress teamwork with the three defenders----they are working together to stop the dribbler from passing them.

Stress forcing the dribbler to the sideline, where the trap is easier because the defense has an extra defender (sideline).

Once the dribbler breaks the first two lines, they look to create a shot against the remaining defender(s). Very rarely will the offensive player score---unless he/she is a special player.

Once the offensive player has passed a foul line or half-court line, the defenders at that line can no longer try to defend that dribbler.


Have each line rotate and allow big men to work on their ball-handling in this drill --- this will also allow every guard to work on trapping.

Each time the defense slaps and/or commits a foul--do 10 pushups, including the coach who did not stress proper hand positioning well enough!


Trapping and Ball-Handling


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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