More defensive basketball training drills for children and advanced players.
Improve your defense in basketball games with these challenging game-like drills perfect for a few players or a whole team.
Regardless the age or skill level of your players, you'll find youth basketball drills that will be very helpful in working on basic defensive fundamentals.
Playing tough, aggressive defense for an entire ball game requires good physical conditioning. The resources shown below provide some excellent drills to help players get in shape.
Click on the links below to find drills #1-10 on other pages
To get the most out of the drills, read 20 Tips for Aggressive Defense in basketball.
This drill works on help-side defense and also helps the offensive players read the defense and make good decisions.
Two offensive players start - one on each wing.
One wing player has the ball, and the defender guards the player without the ball.
Since the defender's player is across the court from the ball, the defender lines up in a help-side position, where she is opened up in the lane, one step below the ball line, pointing to the ball and her man. With her eyes facing forward, she should be able to see both the ball and her man without turning her head.
The player with the ball drives to the basket. Before the dribbler enters the lane, the defender slides over to stop the drive.
The dribbler should pass over to the open player across the court who drops to a spot where there is a good passing angle. Play live 2-on-1 until the offense scores or the defense gets the ball.
This drill focuses on learning how to deny the pass to a perimeter player.
It works best with at least 3 players - 2 on offense and one on defense. One offensive player starts at the top of the key with the ball. The second offensive player starts out on the wing about the free throw lane line extended.
The defender reacts by moving with the player to take away the passing lane. If the offense receives the pass, the players go live 1-on-1.
This is a great drill for teaching help-side defense and recovering back to your man.
Start out with 2 offensive players - one on each wing. One player has the ball. The defender starts out in help-side defense in the lane.
The player with the ball drives to the basket, and the defender stops the drive. The dribbler passes the ball to the opposite wing who has cut to the weak-side elbow.
On the pass, the defender recovers to guard the player at the elbow by hustling over to play 1-on-1 defense on the ball. These 2 players go live until the offense scores or the defense gets the ball.
This is an excellent drill for working on footwork and teaching defenders to get in the habit of moving quickly and grab loose balls.
The defender starts down in a defensive stance.
A coach or another player tosses or rolls a ball to one side, and the defender slides to get it. The defender grabs the ball and makes a basketball pass back to the coach.
The coach tosses the ball in the opposite direction, and the defender slides to get it. After a certain number of times, have the player turn and make an offensive basketball move to try and score.
Basketball players LOVE this drill! It's one of those youth basketball training drills that works on both offense and defense skills in a competitive game-like atmosphere.
This is a fun drill for a team that I've included with other free basketball training drills for kids.
This is another one of my favorite basketball drills for children. It's a competitive drill that progresses from 1-on-1 play up to 3-on-3.
It's also an excellent conditioning drill, and it works best with at least 8-10 players to give them a chance to catch their breath in between turns.
Because it's an excellent activity for a group, I've listed it with other fun team building games for kids. Just follow the link to find the directions.
Strength Training for Youth Athletes
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Derek Kellogg - Head Coach, UMass