Basketball Defensive Drills

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Basketball defensive drills are mandatory for any player who hopes to dominate on the court. There's no question that the "glory" in basketball comes with scoring points, a fact that often relegates defense to a secondary status. Talk to any great coach, however, and he will tell you that what coaches in all sports will tell you: offense wins games, but defense wins championships.

The key to basketball defensive drills is teaching proper footwork. A defender may have a condor-like wingspan and natural athleticism, two undeniable assets on the court. Still, without the right footwork, those gifts are wasted. A player must not only know how to move his feet on the hardwood, but when different techniques are called for.

Various Basketball Defensive Drills

Any basketball defensive drills that require various stepping techniques are fantastic practice for young players. They may be required to "shuffle" to keep pace with ball-handlers, "crossover" or "slide step," or simply flat-out sprint depending on the game scenario. Long inbound passes demand that defenders beat the ball on its way to the opposing player, while passing in the post requires the jamming of passing lanes. Each comes with its own attendant type of footwork.

Basketball defensive drills let players practice these maneuvers before they find themselves in game situations. Coaches will want to supplement these skill-intensive drills with basic conditioning exercises such as "suicides" or other wind sprints. Together, the two can form a deadly combo as well as a nightmare for opponents.


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