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Open Practice: Building a Defensive Mindset

(See more by Bruce Weber)

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Item Number: BD-05137A

Open Practice: Building a Defensive Mindset

Open Practice: Building a Defensive Mindset

Build your team defense through the shell drill!

  • Get variations of the shell drill that teach defending actions, help side defense, ball screen defense, and defensive rebounding
  • Rotate defenders to stop dribble penetration to help on drives without giving up open shots on the next pass
  • Fight through the "New York" action to avoid getting caught in challenging screen-the-screener actions

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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)

At the beginning of every season, high school coaches understand the struggle of trying to install enough of their defensive system to be successful by the first game. With limited time, decisions must be made on which defensive fundamentals get prioritized and how they can be efficiently taught.

Bruce Weber demonstrates how he approaches this same challenge with shell drills that will develop the team concept of his man-to-man defensive system. With modern basketball, stopping dribble penetration must be a collective effort. In this video, you will learn how to help through defensive rotations in addition to shutting down a variety of on-ball and off-ball screens.


The strategies behind coordinating the rotations of all five defenders are diagrammed in a lecture segment where Coach Weber explains the most important concepts of his man-to-man defense. He describes how they build on basic defensive concepts - closeouts and positioning - using the shell drill. From there, his teams build up into help side defense, rotations off of a drive and kick, jumping to the ball, and being on the line of the ball.

As his teams progress and get better each day, he continues to use the shell drill to build his team defense philosophy. By using 3v3 and 4v4 shell drill, players have to concentrate on guarding more ground and getting into the right position to help each other.

Coach Weber builds all the way up to 5v5 shell defense and is able to teach schemes and defending different actions and situations players will see during the season. You'll see how to help on "alley" drives down the lane and how to stop dribble penetration along the baseline. Beyond stopping the ball, you will learn how teammates take away the next pass by sinking to the line of the ball.

Individual Build-Up Drills

To help build his shell defense, Coach Weber focuses on individual defensive segments within practice. Players progress from working on maintaining proper position against ball and player movement all the way up to guarding complex offensive actions. From 2v2 and 3v3 guarding the ball screen, to individual post defense, Coach Weber is able to teach detail and technique his players need to become a force on the defensive end of the floor. Each drill is designed to be competitive with a winner and a loser to help reinforce the idea that defense wins championships.

Full Court

Coach Weber outlines a variety of full court drills to help build his team's pressure. In 4v4 full court shell, players are forced to contain in the open court and work to stunt. This helps slow the offensive player down and force them to give the ball up, allowing his team to get set in the half court.

The rotations for stopping alley drives are demonstrated in addition to how Kansas State defends high ball screens and dribble hand-offs. Your players will learn how to chase cutters off wide pin downs and flare screens. The techniques and team concepts for defending common screening plays such as Floppy or single-double screens, Horns and the New York screen-the-screener action are also included.

Coach Weber also shows how you can apply these concepts at game-speed with several competitive drill formats. These competitive drills develop d

This item also belongs to the following series!

See more products by: Bruce Weber

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