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Basketball Defensive Drills - Watson Star Drill

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Full-court defensive slide drill


At the beginning of each practice, form 2 lines on the baseline under the basket. 1st player in each line position themselves under the basket. In unison, they jump 3 times as high as they can and try to touch the net/backboard. After the 3rd jump,they assume a sound fundamental defensive stance and precede to slide defensively from lane line to sideline on their respective sides of the court.

Focus should be on quick defensive slides as they imagine they are pressuring their offensive opponent full-court man-to-man. Also, players should have their eyes up at all times, while digging for the ball with their hands. Players on both sides of the court should be sure to slide all the way to the sideline to simulate the importance of using the sideline to their advantage as another defender. Players need to realize that if they beat their man to the sideline, they can either set their man up for a charge,forces their man out of bounds, or make their man pick up their dribble near the sideline where another defender can run and jump and trap the ball.

Players should also focus on turning their man several times down the court and should 'swing their elbow ' through as they pivot to increase speed.

As the players reach the end of the court, they jog back to the other end of the court and begin the drill again. Next 2 players begin as players reach free-throw line extended. This drill is a great way to begin practice as it gets players loose, focused, and in a defensive mindset. It is also a great drill to do half-court as your team enters pre-game warmups.

Number of Players:



Encourage intensity during drill to get practice off to a great start. Don't let players slack off as they cross half-court. Possibly, stand at half-court and make them see the ball. Ensure they are simulating digging for the ball to force a steal.




Man-to-Man pressure defense


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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