fundamentals

Defense: Rebounding Drills

As I have outlined in my previous posts, you have to reward yourself for playing good defense by rebounding. Drilling both offensive and defensive rebounding into every practice will help your teams succeed.

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Some basic drills that I incorporated when I first stepped in at Ontario really helped out with improving basic skill level. Here are a few drills that I incorporated to help improve our athletes:

  1. Keep Away (One player trying to get to the ball and another one trying to keep them from getting to it).
  2. Box Outs. (Have a coach shoot it and have a certain number of players on the court on offense and defense. layers must rebound each shot and transition to offense).

If you need a diagram of any of these drills or have questions about my descriptions, do not hesitate to leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Defense: Off-Ball Defense Drills

The basic ideas of help defense is ensuring that if the primary defender gets beat they are in position to help. I would define off-ball defense as being in constant position to guard your player and the ball. Without having all five players contributing on defense, you will be easy to score on.

tony_allen

Some basic drills that I incorporated when I first stepped in at Ontario really helped out with improving basic skill level. Here are a few drills that I incorporated to help improve our athletes:

  1. Skip pass to coach (Three players in defense on one side of the court with the ball, once the ball is skipped, they jump into help).
  2. Bumping cutters. (Have a player guarding another with the ball. The ball handler will pass and cut to the rim and the defender must bump the cutter and deny the pass).

If you need a diagram of any of these drills or have questions about my descriptions, do not hesitate to leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Defense: On-Ball Defense Drills

The basic ideas of defense is ensuring that the opponent does not score. In addition to being able to not allow the opposing team to score, I would define on-ball defense as stopping the player with the ball from scoring with the primary on-ball defender. Without getting stops, you can’t win. Poor on-ball defense will put a great deal of pressure on the rest of your defense.

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Some basic drills that I incorporated when I first stepped in at Ontario really helped out with improving basic skill level. Here are a few drills that I incorporated to help improve our athletes:

  1. Slide-Run-Slide (Staying low and going at an angle. Slide three, run three, slide three, etc. Turn and repeat going the other way once you reach half court).
  2. Closeout Slide. (Closeout to a coach with the ball and slide the direction they point the ball.).
  3. Full Court defense 1 on 1 (Have one defender guarding the ball and allow them to play 1 on 1 in the full court).

If you need a diagram of any of these drills or have questions about my descriptions, do not hesitate to leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Defense: Rebounding

You can play amazing defense for the duration of the shot clock but if you don’t grab a rebound on a missed shot, you are not rewarding yourselves for the hard work on defense. It is crucial to have all five players on defense be involved in the rebounding.

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By implementing rebounding time into every practice, you are teaching the necessary skills to finish off a possession. I am also a tremendous proponent of teaching all players to rebound. Especially for a team that is smaller like mine, you have to get your guards to come back and rebound/

Here are some points that I always bring up to my team when rebounding:

  1. Anybody guarding someone close to the rim needs to box them out and ensure that they don’t get the rebound.
  2. Guards and exterior defenders need to come back to get two feet in the paint and rebound.
  3. Always rebound with two hands.
  4. Once you get a rebound turn and face to assess the court before making a read on what to do with the ball.

Defense: Steals Are Overrated

This will be a short post but I want to give a special emphasis to my least favorite statistic (maybe). I do not like on-ball steals. This is a risky play and can often lead to getting beat and also drawing fouls. The best place to get steals is on poor passes (never gambling though).

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If a player is in good help-side defense they can jump a pass and get a steal if they read the play properly. Another great emphasis that I place is for players to deny once the ball is dead. What this means is that when I ball handler picks up their dribble they are no longer a threat to drive. This means that once we see this, we pick up our man in a full denial.

Defense: Off-Ball Defense

The next type of defense that you need to emphasize with your players is off-ball defense. I will often refer to this type of defense as help-side defense. If you have a player get beat when on-ball, having defenders ready ad able to stop penetration will be a huge benefit to your team. Teaching players what position they need to be in and how to rotate when helping on defense will take your teams to the next level.

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Some teams are able to stay glued on to their defensive assignment and have no breakdowns but we are not one of those teams and I have never had one of those teams. The main teaching point that I emphasize when working with off-ball defense is that players must always see both their man and the ball.

Here are some other teaching points that I bring up when implementing off-ball defensive fundamentals:

  1. If your player is one pass away, you are around 2/3 of the way over and helping down.
  2. If your player is two passes away you need to get at least one foot in the paint to be in position to help.
  3. Side front the low-post.
  4. Play behind the high post.
  5. If your athlete is on the opposite side of the court, you need to be at the midway point of the court.
  6. Always bump cutters.

Defense: On-Ball Defense

The first type of defense that you need to emphasize with your players is on-ball defense. If you can lock down the person that you are guarding, then you are a tremendous asset to your team. As a coach, it is crucial to try and get your athletes to where they are able to be strong on-ball defenders.

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It is a tremendous mistake when coaches teaches players to slide constantly in the full-court. Your athletes are going to have to be able to slide and sprint when guarding someone. A major point of emphasis that I always like to teach is watching the offensive players waist. You can fake with your eyes and fake with the ball but you cannot fake with your waist.

Here are some other teaching points that I bring up when implementing on-ball defensive fundamentals:

  1. Give a bit of a gap in order to stay in front of the defender.
  2. Push off with the opposite foot of the direction you are going in order to power into a defensive slide.
  3. Don’t reach at the ball or defender unless you know with 100% certainty that you are going to get the ball.
  4. When sliding, don’t allow your back foot to come over to far and work on balance.