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Open Practice: High-Intensity Defensive Practice Drills & Concepts


(See more by Travis Steele)

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Item Number: BD-05669B

Open Practice: High-Intensity Defensive Practice Drills & Concepts



Open Practice: High-Intensity Defensive Practice Drills & Concepts

Make perfect defensive execution a priority for your team at practice!

  • Learn the basics of the pack line defense and drills that will help your team make it tough for opponents to score
  • Create a strong on-ball and off-ball defense with goals of no rhythm 3-pointers, no layups, and no free throws
  • Observe a 4v4 Shell drill that puts together all principles of Coach Steele's defensive approach against any offense


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with Travis Steele,
Xavier University Head Coach;
10 seasons as an assistant at Xavier before being hired as head coach;
8x NCAA Tournament appearances; 2017 Elite Eight

Head coach Travis Steele has carried on the high level of play that he helped Chris Mack establish over a decade at Xavier University. Much of Xavier's success is due to their lock-down defense. Coach Steele has established a repeatable defensive approach based on pack line principles in which players create a protective wall around the rim. In this video, you will get an inside look at how Steele puts together a practice with the goal of creating a sound team defense.

On-Ball Defense

Starting with drills to pressure the ball, Steele has players build their closeout skills through a solid foundation of high hands, choppy feet, elbows tight and with constant movement of their feet. In Vegas Closeouts, players are trained to closeout with high hands and pressure the ball handler. After popping back off a jab step, players work on their push steps in order to stop the driver from getting around them.

In 2v2 early stunt, early recovery players use their closeouts and progress into a 2v2 situation. Athletes start in the gaps and must closeout and be there on the catch to prevent a rhythm 3-pointer. Drills like this will force your players to focus on being in help position, but still possess the ability to recover.

Off-Ball Defense

Beginning with a 3v3 situation, players build their back-side defending abilities by guarding cutters. Coach Steele has his players progress in 3v3 and eventually adds a fourth defender and offensive player to simulate a post-up. You'll get breakdown drills to help your post players work on fronting, being in the gap, and walling up when the ball goes into the post.

In 4v4 Shell, Steele simulates game situations and actions for players to work on their defensive rotations in the half court. You'll see how to improve your athletes' ability to defend drives and create early stunt situations, as well as defense against passes and cuts where players build walls around gaps and avoid getting face cut.

Ball Screen Defense

Rounding out the defensive practice, Coach Steele teaches his team how to hard hedge ball screens on the wing. Once post players hard hedge, the back-side help must rotate over to maintain the wall that was created around the ball. Post players specifically will learn how to "X-Out" and switch post defenders.

Coach Steele's players work hard to create a wall around the ball so offensive players struggle to get a good look at the rim. If you're looking to advance your team using pack line principles, this is an incredible look inside the practice of an up-and-coming head coach!

81 minutes. 2020.


This item also belongs to the following series!

See more products by: Travis Steele

See related products: Man-to-Man Defense Pack Line Defense
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