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Organizing a Lock-Down Man-to-Man Defense


(See more by Kellie Harper)

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Organizing a Lock-Down Man-to-Man Defense



Organizing a Lock-Down Man-to-Man Defense

Give focus and direction to your man-to-man defensive philosophy to make it tough for your opponents to score!

  • Use the On Ball and Lane Slide drills to reinforce cutting your man off on the first step
  • Defend the post by fronting and using the "push-down" technique, depending on where the ball is on the court
  • See how Coach Harper wants her players to guard off the ball, as well as her preferred ball screen defense methods


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with Kellie Harper,
University of Tennessee Head Coach;
former Missouri State University Head Coach;
2x MVC Tournament champions (2016, 2019);
2019 Kay Yow Coach of the Year; 2019 MVC Coach of the Year;
former North Carolina State University Head Coach;
former Western Carolina University Head Coach;
2x SoCon Tournament champions (2005, 2009);
2007 SoCon regular season champions;
3x NCAA champion as a player at Tennessee under Pat Summitt

The Tennessee Lady Vols have a rich history of success. Pat Summitt built a program with a foundation of doing things the right way. One of Summitt's most accomplished players, Kellie Harper, is following in her footsteps as the current head coach of the Lady Vols.

In this video, Harper breaks down her defensive philosophy that is a combination of what she learned under Coach Summitt and what she has picked up during her own career as a player and coach.

On-Ball Defense

While playing under Pat Summitt, Harper had a great ability to stop the player she was guarding in their tracks. She had a lock-down mentality that whoever she was guarding would not get past her.

In this section, Harper teaches her players how to use a push step and cut off the offensive player. In her 1-on-1 Drills, she has athletes work on the push step by closing out and having the offensive player take 1-2 dribbles in one direction. This helps build great defending technique and athlete confidence.

Off-Ball Defense and Philosophy

With the philosophy of playing on one side of the court, Coach Harper demonstrates how her team allows the first pass to be made while positioning help defense in the gaps. Once the ball moves to the wing, she demonstrates why wing defenders need to close out high side and while the top of key denies the reversal pass.

Using 5v5 Shell Drill, Harper shows how to teach your players technique, stance, and positioning. The Lady Vols' golden rule for half court defense is to, "Be where you're supposed to be on the catch."

Ball Screen Defense

Defending the ball screen has become a top priority in today's game. Coach Harper demonstrates how her players get physical with their ball screen defense using their "locking up" technique. In a 2v2 drill, post players jam the screener and push them higher up the line as the guards get under the screen and beat their man to the middle.

Much like the legendary coach Pat Summitt taught her while a player for Tennessee, Coach Harper, to this day and now as the coach at Tennessee, focuses on 'the details' and 'doing things the right way.'

Harper's aggressive style of defense is on display in this excellent video that will greatly benefit your own defensive philosophy and drills!

58 minutes. 2020.

See more products by: Kellie Harper

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