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Basketball Drills: Tips For Training Defence In Basketball

Would you like to improve as a basketball player? If so, you must be skilled in proper defense. Basketball defensive drills may be unfamiliar to you. Find out what they are and how they can improve your game.

This blog will answer all of those questions and more! We’ll talk about different basketball defense drills, as well as tips for training defense in basketball. By the end of this article, you will know everything there is to know about defending in basketball!

What is Defending in Basketball?

As you defend in basketball, you stand between your opponent and the hoop while he attempts to dribble down the court. This defending should be done without fouling or breaking any rules in order to keep your opponent from earning points.

Defense is very important in the basketball game because it helps your team win the game. A good defense will stop the other team from scoring, allowing you to score more points and win! So why not study basketball drills from a defensive point of view?

boy showcasing basketball drills

Training Defense in Basketball Drills | Tips & Drills

Practicing defense can be a pretty tedious task, but it’s definitely worth your time. There are many basketball defending drills that you can use to train defending in basketball, which will prepare you for the game.

Closeout Drill

One of my particular favorites is the first drill: closeouts! Stand with both feet on either side of the imaginary line that goes down the middle of the court to begin this exercise (the division line). Simply visualize a division line and begin at half court if there isn’t one on the gym floor.

Take a few steps backward so that you’re far away from the player who starts dribbling towards you. When he gets within shooting range or near enough to be considered dangerous, sprint forwards as fast as possible while yelling “ball out!” If the player dribbles past you, then turn and sprint back to your starting point.

Closeout basketball drill

Post Drill

Another drill that is great for defending in basketball is called the post drill. This involves defending an offensive player (usually a big man) who’s standing inside of the painted area near either side of the basket. To start this defending drill, stand behind the key with both feet on either side of it (or just imagine where it would be).

The offensive player will now try as hard as he can to score against you by shooting layups, hook shots, or other types of close-range shots like fadeaways. Defend him as best you can! There are many more drills that will help train defense – see what works best for you!

Defending from the Blindside

In this exercise, an offensive player is defended from the blindside. You’ll need at least one other player to play with in order to complete this guarding exercise (typically a guard defending against a large man). The attacking player will start dribbling in your direction or past you whenever he perceives that he has room.

When he does this, quickly sprint around him so that now you’re on his opposite side. This defending maneuver is called going behind-the-back because it goes “behind” your opponent’s back as opposed to defending in front of them like most basketball drills require!

Defending in Transition Defense

This drill will require multiple players defending in basketball. The first one is defending in transition defense after you make a shot at the other end of the court (the offensive end). To practice this drill, choose two teammates to act as defenders while everyone else stands on offense behind them.

One player will begin dribbling toward your defensive team while keeping their head down and their eyes only on the direction they are headed; they are unable to see what is in front of them.

Sprint outward into a help-defense position with both feet facing him when he comes within gunshot distance or close enough to be regarded dangerous. Throughout this defensive practice, avoid moving backwards because doing so could provide your opponent(s) an easy layup opportunity.

Defending on Isolation Moves

This defending drill requires multiple people as well, but this defending drill is called defending on an isolation move. This defending maneuver involves defending a player who’s trying to score against you all by himself.

The way that it works is the offensive player will receive the ball and start dribbling towards your side of the court or past you so that they can try and get off a shot. When he does this, sprint out into help-defense position!

If their head isn’t facing where they’re going during this basketball defending drill then there’s no chance of them scoring if you do it right!

Isolation move basketball drill between two boys

Improve your Agility

If you want to be a good defense in basketball, then improving your agility is crucial. You can do this by running through tires, jumping over cones, and even doing the famous tire flips (although these are very physically demanding).

If you’re looking for some of the best defending drills that will also help improve your agility, see our article on defending drills. There’s bound to be at least one there that works well with what you need.

Defending in basketball isn’t an easy task; it takes time and effort to get better at defending. By practicing certain defensive skills like closeouts, post defense, or even footwork like backpedaling, however, it is easier every day!

More Tips on How to Improve your Defensive Game in Basketball

Basketball defense is a skill that can be improved through practice, commitment, and a desire to get better. Here are more tips to help you become more adept at defending yourself:

  1. Acquire good footwork:
    • In basketball, playing defense requires having strong footwork. To prevent your opponent from slipping by you, practice sliding your feet and maintaining strong defensive positioning.
  2. Enhance your lateral quickness:
    • Playing defense requires being able to move rapidly from side to side. Include lateral agility drills in your workouts, such as defensive slides or ladder drills.
  3. “Reading” and anticipation:
    • Determine your opponent’s movements by observing their body language and general trends to determine what their next move will be. By doing this, you can better position yourself and make it more difficult for them to get by you.
  4. Communicate with your teammates:
    • To play effective team defense, you must effectively communicate with your teammates. Let your teammates know where the ball is, when to switch, and when to assist you.
  5. Stay low and relocate approximately:
    • A low defensive stance will make it more difficult for your adversary to get past you. Be active with your hands as well and attempt to stop your adversary’s dribble or pass.
  6. Film Study:
    • Watch game recordings of yourself and other top defenders to observe their tactics and techniques. You can use this to pinpoint your areas for development and learn new abilities.
  7. Practice against different types of players:
    • To improve your defensive abilities against a range of opponents, play against different types of players. This will also assist you in determining your defensive strengths and weaknesses.

In basketball, defense is equally as crucial as offense, and playing strong defense can help your team win games. You can improve as a defender and have a big impact on the court with practice and commitment.

By following these tips, defending in basketball can be easier every day. Soon enough, you’ll become one of the best defenders that you can be! Basketball is all about teamwork – so always remember to work together with your teammates.

It doesn’t matter which positions they play or who starts – what matters most is how well everyone works together as a unit by communicating and helping each other out during games. By doing so, there’s no doubt that defending in basketball will be a little bit easier for you!

Some of the Best Legendary Defensive Basketball Players

The following are a handful of the greatest defensive NBA players in history, however there have been many others.

  • Bill Russell: Russell is renowned as one of the NBA’s all-time best defenders. Throughout 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, he won 11 titles, and the team’s success was greatly influenced by his outstanding defense. He had a reputation for intimidating opposition players and was a great shot blocker and rebounder.
  • Hakeem Olajuwon: With the Houston Rockets, Olajuwon was a tenacious defender who won two NBA titles. He was renowned for his fast hands, which allowed him to grab the ball and thwart opponents’ offensive attempts. He was also an excellent shot blocker.
  • Michael Jordan: Jordan is recognized as one of the best all-around players in NBA history, and his defense played a significant role in his accomplishments. He was recognized for his ability to contain the top scorers of opponents by being named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times.
  • Gary Payton: In 1996, Payton, a tenacious defender, was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. He had a reputation for being able to subdue opposition guards and stop their aggressive momentum.
  • Ben Wallace: During the Detroit Pistons’ early 2000s championship run, Wallace, a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, was a member of the team. He was well-known for his grit and passion on defense in addition to being a great shot blocker and rebounder.
  • Tim Duncan: With the San Antonio Spurs, Duncan was a great defender who captured five NBA titles. He was renowned for his abilities to defend both big guys and guards and was a superb shot blocker and rebounder.

Among the numerous outstanding defensive players in NBA history, these individuals are just a few. They were all renowned for their extraordinary talent and capacity to make a difference in games on the court’s defensive end.


Defense is an important but mostly underrated aspect of winning games and championships. As they say, offense wins you games and defense wins you championships.

This article should have given you everything you need to know about how to train your defense game in basketball and we hope that this information helps improve your skills on the court or field of play! If any other tips helped make your defensive skills better please let us know – our team would love to hear from more people who want help with their practice sessions.


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