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Open Practice: Training for Toughness - Hard-Nosed, High-Intensity Practice

(See more by Brad Underwood)

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Item Number: BD-05497

Open Practice: Training for Toughness - Hard-Nosed, High-Intensity Practice

Open Practice: Training for Toughness - Hard-Nosed, High-Intensity Practice

Create a culture of hard work and grit on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor!

  • Get drills that build a tough-nosed ball pressure style of defense that smothers the opponent for 94 feet
  • Look inside Coach Underwood's spread motion offense and get breakdown drills to teach players to attack the rim
  • Use disadvantage transition drills to instill good coverage and communication habits in your players

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with Brad Underwood,
University of Illinois Head Coach;
former Oklahoma State University & Stephen F. Austin University Head Coach;
3x ('14-'16) Southland Conference Regular Season & Tournament Champions;
2x (2015 & 2014) Southland Conference Coach of the Year; 2014 Joe B. Hall Award Recipient (Nation's top first-year coach),
2014 Jim Phelan Award Finalist (top Division I coach), 2x (2015 & 2014) Hugh Durham Award Finalist (top mid-major coach)

Beginning with his time at Stephen F. Austin, Brad Underwood has taken his teams to the NCAA Tournament on a consistent basis. Using the spread motion offense and a high-pressure defense, his teams have become tough-nosed, gritty and one of the toughest outs on any given night.

In this video, you'll get an inside look at a complete practice for his Fighting Illini. Underwood explains how his coaching staff teaches and installs their motion offense and transition defense.


As Coach Underwood explains, defense is the foundation of hard work. You will learn basic drills that teach the fundamentals of an up-the-line, on-the-line defense and create a culture of hard work. In 3 Line Closeouts, players work to influence the ball sideline and work on the first step to defend an attacker. Underwood teaches players to use a big step instead of a small false step.

For his ball screen defense, Coach Underwood uses a continuous 2v2 drill to teach his players to force everyone left. By using a hard hedge and icing the ball handler, his teams are able to attack dribblers and force teams to prepare for multiple types of ball screen defenses.

Using the Shell Drill, Underwood teaches his players rotations and help-side defense. He builds up from 3v3 to 5v5 teaching baseline rotations, ball screen rotations, and forcing ball handlers to the left to shrink the court.

Rounding out the defensive portion of his presentation, Coach Underwood takes you through his team's 1-2-2 full court pressure that works to get deflections and wear down the offense. By focusing on deflections, his teams set a goal of 35 per game to force opponents to constantly play on their heels and make bad passes.


You'll get an in-depth look at how Underwood builds his spread motion offense in this insightful video. Through build up drills, players take part of the offense and master how to attack the rim off the ball screen or over-closeout. In the Quick 3 drill, his team focuses on getting defensive rebounds and pushing the ball up the floor within seven seconds to try and score. By sprinting up the floor, his teams are able to apply constant pressure on opponents with their culture of no rest on the defensive or offensive end of the court.

You'll see the 2 Man Game exercise, in which guards and posts work together to get downhill off of ball screens in the half court. Coach Underwood's 5 on 0 portion helps players learn how the offense flows effortlessly, as well as how to get 2-3 lifts and ball reversals each time down the floor. This puts constant pressure on the defense and wears them down over the course of the game.

By creating a culture predicated on toughness, Coach Underwood's players have bought into a system that makes them work hard and think of the team first. In this video, you'll get an inside look at how Underwood teaches his young team the basics of their offensive system while pushing his players to play hard-nosed, gritty defense to grind out games!

158 minutes. 2019.

See more products by: Brad Underwood

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