Defensive Breakdown Drills

Pre-Season build your defense first. You can add offense at any time. However, pre-season training is the only time during the season that provides ample time to build a fundamentally sound defense. Once the season starts, it is very difficult or impossible to install a solid defense. In installing your defense first, it also provides offensive benefits since you want to practice against good defense. Practicing against poor or “dummy” defense will not adequately prepare players for games. To be successful, players need to practice against good, hard nose defense. Your offense will most likely struggle at first. However, players will soon learn to adjust to creating good leads, making crisp, accurate passes, etc.

Team defense is best taught using a series of breakdown drills progressing from 1-on-1 to 2-on-2 to 3-on-3 to 4-on-4 and finally to 5-on-5.

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Defensive Breakdown Drills

First Pass Denials "Dancing" (2-on-2)

Executing Double Teams (4-on-4)

Helpside Defense (3-on-3)

Triple Closeouts (3-on-3)

Denying Ball & Basket Cuts (3-on-3)

High/Low Post Defense (3-on-3)

4-on-4 Defensive Shifting (Shell)

Helpside Rebounding

Combo Screens: HP Rub, Down, Side (3-on-3)

Combo Screens: Back Cut, Diagonal, Mid (4-on-4)

Defensive Transition Drills

Wolf: One-on-One Full Court

Cut Off & Control

3-on 2 / 2-on-1

Continuous 3-on-2 with Trail 

Back Court Double Teaming (2-on-1)

Circuit Training

On-Ball Fundamentals

Off-Ball Fundamentals

Off-Ball Screens

On-Ball Screens

Related Links:

Individual Defensive Skills & Drills

Player Defensive Skill Development

SOS Defense - Bob Kloppenburg

Coaching: The Art of Teaching Basketball


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