The Single Best Drill to Teach Great Individual Defense

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We know what makes your skin crawl, your blood boil, and your
temper flare...

Bad defense...thats what you hate. When your players can't seem to
contain the other team, it really ticks you off. We can't blame
you. Almost every coach's worst nightmare is terrible individual
and team defense.

You can work on team defense in practice, by setting up different
formations and running various drills and plays...

But, individual defense is hard to teach, because you just don't
have the time in practice to work with each and every player. It is
each player's own responsibility to improve their individual
defense in their own spare time, so all you have to focus on is
teaching defensive formations.

The reality is that most players love offense, and they hate
defense. In this email, we'll give you some individual defensive
tips that you can share with your players.

Take 1 or 2 practices to share these defensive tips with your
players and tell them that it's their own personal responsibility
to improve at an individual level.

*Note*:In the rest of this email, we'll be talking to the player
directly. You can just read this email out loud to your players OR
print it out and hand it to them...

It doesn't matter how good your offense is, if you're not
defensively sound, you WILL be the "bench warmer" for
your team.

Believe it or not, coaches do care about defense more than offense.

Coaches know that the key to winning is slowing down and stopping
the other teams' star players.

Now, you don't need to constantly steal the ball from them, or
block all their shots to be an effective defensive player.

Simply being able to stay infront of him/her and force them into
tough, low percentage shots does the trick.

The key here is to make your man work extremely hard to get off a
shot.  Your mind set should be to wear him out and make him tired.

Even if he/she starts out hitting those tough shots, it doesn't
matter. As the game progresses, the amount of work, and energy they had to
use will show its effects.

Now, realize that all this is only possible if you're able to stay
infront of your man.

Let's take a look at some of the things you can do to stay in front
of your man...

TIP: Keep your eyes on the defender's abs.

=> No matter what fake the offensive player performs, they can only
go where their abs take them.

TIP: Play defense with your feet not your hands.
=> Don't be lazy, you need to move your feet.  Reaching aimlessly
with your hands will only lead to pointless fouls.

TIP: Go for the steal on the up-bounce.

=> This is when the ball is moving the slowest, and when your
player has the least control.

TIP: Get low.

=> When in your defensive stance make sure to get low and wide,
while staying on the balls of your feet. This will maximize your
ability to stay in front of your defender and not let him blow past


- Here's a great drill to become a better defender. Start underneath the
basket, and run to the free throw line under control. As you
approach the free throw line, slow down, and get under control and
ready to slide (this is "closing out" on the offensive player).

Once you're at the free-throw line, slide to the right side of the
court by quickly moving side-to-side. You're NOT moving forward, you're
moving sideways. The goal is to move your feet as quickly as possible
without overlapping one foot over the other. Once you finish
sliding to the right-side of the court, slide back all the way to
the left side of the court, and repeat this drill until you get

You'll be surprised at how much better just this one drill will make
you at defense, because it teaches you to run and close-out a defender
under control, slide your feet, and improve your overall conditioning.

Remember to stay low, and you'll really work your thighs and calves.


This article is featured in our popular "Elite Coaching" Newsletter. Subscribe to "Elite Coaching" for free here...