Embrace Contact in Basketball With This Tool

Basketball coaches and players can use E.A.T. Battle Pads to simulate contact during practices. Learn more from STACK Expert Mike Atkinson at STACK.com.

E.A.T. Battle Pads

When preparing for competition, it's vital to replicate game situations and train with focus and purpose. Cones, ladders and agility poles are great tools for visually and physically cueing basketball players during drills. But once players master the fundamentals, it's important to apply other variables to training so athletes can adapt to different situations on the court.

Coaches and players who are doing skill work without contact or "live" reads are missing a big part of the puzzle. I use E.A.T. Battle Pads to simulate live situations. Designed to slide over your arms, the pads allow trainers to simulate realistic physical contact during training sessions while protecting players and coaches from injury. The Battle Pads give a coach the freedom to use his or her arms like a defender applying pressure and contact, which is a huge benefit when working with players on their offensive game.

The drill below uses E.A.T Battle Pads for an active "Rip Through Series," which engages players' core muscles and give them complete confidence and ability to handle and redirect physical pressure from the defense out of the triple threat position. In my basketball dojo, we call this "embracing the contact."

Active Rip Through Series

Athletes work on various counters and movements designed to relieve or redirect pressure from the defense. Use the series as a warm-up or part of skill work as a contrast once movement without contact is solid.

In the video below, we are using a Heavy Basketball and E.A.T Battle pads.

Starting Position

  • Players start in triple threat position
  • Coach or training partner applies contact with pads


  • Sets/Duration: 10 sets of 20- to 60-second intervals with 30- to 60-second rest, depending on the goal of your training session
  • Depending on the type and intensity of pressure applied, the player rips through or uses the contact and counters to create space
  • Add different basketball-specific movements as you get more advanced
  • Offense uses body, jab steps and pivots to counter and redistribute pressure from the coach

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock