The aim is to improve defensive footwork. The coach starts on the half court line. The team stand a few strides back, facing the coach, making sure they have an arms length of room in all directions. Each player gets in a strong defensive position with their left foot forward.


Basketball Defense Drills

The coach can either call out advance, retreat, or swing. Whichever command is given the players have to react to and execute the correct step.


  • Increase speed
  • Get a player to dribble a ball slowly down the court, changing direction, and the other players have to react to these changes in direction and carry out the correct defensive step.

Coaching Points

  • In a strong defensive position a player would have a wide base and knees slightly bent with arms out in font and palms facing forward towards opposing player or the ball.
  • Advance step - Push off the back foot while taking a step forward with the other foot, and slide the back foot forward. To maintain balance feet should stay shoulder width apart.
  • Retreat step - Push off the front foot, and take a step back with the other foot, and slide the front foot back.
  • Swing step - Pivot on the back foot, and swing the front leg around towards the offensive player. This will regain the position of the defender being between the attacker and the basket.
  • Defenders chest should remain facing the ball at all times.
  • Defenders must stay low throughout all steps.

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