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Basic But Effective Basketball Defense Drills

August 12, 2012 | Michael Coleman

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During the off-season, many basketball players choose to focus all their training on “fun” skills like ball handling and shooting. Improve your all-around game and take your team further this year by incorporating these two basketball defense drills into your training.

Footwork Defensive Drill

Because effective basketball defense begins with footwork, it’s important to regularly practice drills that focus on proper stance. Improve your footwork with this basic speed drill, which you can easily do at home or in the gym with a jump rope, cone and stopwatch.

Stay balanced with straight back and focused lateral movement.

  • 30 seconds jump rope
  • 30 seconds jump rope (left foot)
  • 30 seconds jump rope (right foot)
  • 30 seconds jump rope side-side (two feet)
  • 1 minute defensive slides through cones on angles

Basketball Defense Drill: Man-Help (2-5 players)

Basic man-to-man defensive principles are pretty simple: try to stay active in the passing lanes, move your feet and talk to your teammates. This defensive drill uses flat cones, a tennis ball and a whistle to help build these principles into your game.

Rotate from man to help defense for 20 to 30 seconds straight using correct man-to-man rotations.

  • Set-up flat cones inside the three-point line, in the post area, corner, wing, elbow and top of the key.
  • Players start in the middle of the paint.
  • Coach blows whistle and tosses a tennis ball toward one of the spots.
  • Players sprint to their place for man or help side.
Take your game to the next level with more basketball drills.

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