Teaching Defence Through Games of Purpose

Posted on Feb 14 2023

Basketball New South Wales and the City of Sydney Basketball Association recently joined forces to provide a coach education clinic, with a focus on engaging drills for youth players and using games of purpose to teach defence.

As part of the clinic, Basketball Australia’s Peter Lonergan presented on some concepts in using games of purpose to build from the close-out to containment to team positioning at the defensive end of the floor. below are some general notes and video from the clinic.

General Thoughts –

  • Constantly coach the hands
  • Include a close-out in as many drills as possible
  • Consistency of being able to guard the first two bounces
  • Include a change of stance
  • Incorporate movement and navigation prior to the 1 v 1

1 v 1 –

  • 4-6 second shot clock
  • Play off the close-out or change of stance – e.g. denial
  • Incorporate close-out decision making
    • Shooter – high, early hand
    • Driver – “catch” the first bounce with square hips
    • Define and refine foot angles
  • Teach and drill shot contest
  • Foul discipline

Shell (4 v 4) –

  • Drill static shifts every day – jumping to the ball, stance and hand positioning
  • The “eye-test” of your team defence
    • Stance – on and off the ball
    • Hands – constantly coach the hands
    • Eyes – head on a swivel, teach awareness
  • Define your language and be demanding in this area
    • Ball
    • One-pass away
    • Two-passes away
    • Rotations
    • Situations
  • Drill rotations every time – “everyone wants to stay out of rotation, but the reality is team defence is closing-out, containment and rotations”

Thanks to Jarrod Moore from Basketball New South Wales for the continued spirit of sharing and also to Ben Madgen and Alex Cantori from City of Sydney Basketball for hosting the clinic.

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