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Cutthroat 4-on-4 Drills & Variations

(See more by Terry Layton)

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Item Number: BD-05356A

Cutthroat 4-on-4 Drills & Variations

Cutthroat 4-on-4 Drills & Variations

Add some energy to your practices with Coach Layton's 'fresh takes 'on these recognizable, familiar drills!

  • Improve transition offense and defense with high-paced cutthroat drills that replicate the chaos and unpredictability of game situations
  • Reinforce proper spacing, activity without ball, gap penetration, and pitch-aheads via 4v4
  • Learn how to re-imagine your drills to that they have minimum downtime for players who aren't active in the drill

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with Terry Layton,
Nike Scout and International Consultant for Latin America;
300+ Wins at the High School, Junior College and College level (in the U.S.);
300+ wins at the International level; Nike
Talent Scout for Latin America; International work with Athletes in Action

The utilization of the Cutthroat drill in basketball practice has become a staple in NBA and FIBA basketball. This 4-on-4 drill has been used primarily as a critical defensive drill. Latin America Nike talent scout and longtime coach Terry Layton uses this drill as the cornerstone to his approach to coaching basketball.

Derived from basic Shell drill, Cutthroat has been long used to develop a sound defensive unit. In this video, Layton shows how this drill can be used in additional ways to maximize practice time by also working on offensive concepts and defensive fundamentals.

Setting Up the Cutthroat Drill

This drill incorporates three teams of four in its traditional sense. However, to make Cutthroat a more effective drill, offensive concepts are explained and taught as a means of improving the drill. By improving offensive play, Cutthroat becomes more of a challenge, requiring defense to be even more sound.

Coach Layton's offensive teachings for Cutthroat work on basic maneuvers that a team can see in a game, as well as varying formations. In addition to the traditional 2-2 formation, Layton shows how the offense can also operate from a 1-2-1 alignment, one that teams tend to use more frequently than the traditional 2-2 formation.

Defensive Basics

Layton breaks down defensive fundamentals; first with proper defensive closeouts. With a four-line closeout drill, he teaches to close out with feet parallel and pointed at the ball to create a wall that prevents dribble penetration. From here, reaction to pivot actions by offensive players is taught.

Once closeouts are understood, live 4-on-4 is introduced. The drill starts with the ball being passed out to an offensive player on the perimeter with the defensive players then touching hands before closing out to guard. From here, the offense looks to attack the defense in a live situation.

Offensive Concepts

Offensive Cutthroat concepts include creating movement, stepping toward pass, cutting, and communication. This version of Cutthroat has more energy and movement than a normal standstill passing drill. The transition portion maintains spacing and running the floor. You'll appreciate the simulation of a fast-paced nature in a controlled environment.

Incorporating Players on the Side

No coach wants to have players standing around while a drill is in progress. To rectify this, Layton uses a variety of ways to keep as many players active and engaged as possible. For him, it's essential to have 75 to 100 percent of his players active at all times during practice.

While on the side and not in the drill, sidelined players can work on conditioning or passing fundamentals. With two balls and four players on the side, Layton places emphasis on improving closing out on the ball and tracing it with the defender's hands. This allows for defensive skill and technique to be improved with extra time before getting into the flow of the drill.

Coach Layton teaches what every coach should want: a competitive environment to keep players moving and getting better. Your players will learn to move toward the basketball to receive passes, step towards their passes, and cut or screen depending on situation. This is a fantastic video that will have a lasting impact on your everyday basketball practices!

67 minutes. 2018.

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