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Developing Defense Through Practice Drills


(See more by Bruce Weber)

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Developing Defense Through Practice Drills



Developing Defense Through Practice Drills

Train your team defense using some of Bruce Weber's cornerstone drills!

  • Teach transition defense with the Rush drill to slow your opponent's offensive attack
  • Utilize multiple pick & roll coverages to have the ability to adjust your tactics mid-game
  • Learn how to prevent dribble-unders to protect the paint with great help defense


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with Bruce Weber,
Kansas State University Head Coach;
2013 Big 12 Coach of the Year;
2x Big 12 Champions (2013, 2019);
2019 USA Men's Basketball U19 World Cup Team Head Coach (Gold medal);
former Head Coach at University of Illinois and University of Southern Illinois;
In 2005, was awarded: Naismith 'College Coach of the Year', Adolph Rupp Cup, AP Coach of the Year, Henry Iba Award, NABC Coach of the Year, Big Ten Coach of the Year;
2005 NCAA Final Four & National Runner-up (Illinois);
2x Big Ten Champions;
2x MVC Champions; 2003 MVC Coach of the Year;
Southern Illinois Salukis Hall of Fame (2018)

Bruce Weber loves defense. He establishes a defensive culture on the first day of practice in the summer and then emphasizes this side of the ball through the rest of the off-season and season.

In this video, Coach Weber explains how he maintains one of the top defenses in college basketball year in and year out. His style of man-to-man protects the paint while still managing to excel at defending 3-point attempts. Weber presents six practice drills in total that will help you install a foundation for your defense along with a discussion of important concepts that you should consider regardless of the style of defense you play.

Run to the Ball Closeout Drill

Coach Weber teaches several interesting concepts within this drill that will teach your players closeout technique, on-ball defense, and helping in the gaps. You'll see how you can adjust the path of your closeout to cut off dribble penetration by "looping." Learn how to refine your terminology to get players recovering to the ball faster. You will also see how Kansas State deters passes with their ball pressure, rather than denial in the passing lanes.

Ball Screen Coverage

You can't be a one trick pony in an era of basketball where higher levels of competition use ball screens nearly every possession! Weber demonstrates three different ball screen coverages used by the Wildcats. You will see a 3-on-3 format for teaching the hard hedge that reinforces the two defenders on the ball, along with the help defender who needs to tag the roller. You'll also see how to set up 4-man and 5-man drills to teach the flat hedge and how all five defenders should support their teammates with stunts. Lastly, you will see a 5-man set up for teaching how to ice the ball screen.

3-Pass Drill

Breakdowns occur in even the best defenses. The top defenses in the country are still able to prevent the opponent from scoring in these disadvantage situations. This drill will challenge your defenders to improve their closeouts, communication, and rebounding while playing in a drill that simulates a scramble situation.

Rush Drill

Preventing early basket opportunities is paramount for building a great defense. Coach Weber demonstrates a drill that is run every day at Kansas State to reinforce their transition defense principles. You will see how to deter fast breaks by slowing the ball and dropping to the rim with great communication. Three additional variations to the drill to are shared to help you add variety to the drill over the season and integrate other concepts into this practice segment.

Shell Drill

A great defensive coach considers how their team will defend every situation they might encounter in games. More importantly, your players need to learn how to guard these actions. Weber shows his go-to drill for installing these concepts. Defending the stagger screen is demonstrated along with explanations of additional variations that can make your Shell drill more competitive.

Play Hard Drill

Build a culture for playing tough, energetic defense by reinforcing these concepts in practice drills. This drill teaches how to get out and pressure passing lanes, help rotations from the weak side, taking charges, and diving for l


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See more products by: Bruce Weber

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