Basketball Defense Drills

Improve your man-to-man and zone defense with these defensive basketball drills. These drills focus on defensive discipline and concentration.

These defensive drills help prepare players for solidify the defensive side of the court via communication, positioning, rotations, discipline, concentration, and hustle. Whether you are playing man-to-man or zone defence these drills take players through game-like situations to fortify the perimeter.
Start by focusing on individual defensive skills and move into transition and half-court defence drills.

Browse the latest basketball defense drills for basketball below or browse our drills by age or skill using the links on the right side of this page.

Basketball Defense Basketball Drills

1vs1 Close-Down/Box-Out

This 1 on 1 basketball rebounding drill will focus on rebounding, closing down a shooter, and boxing out the rebound.

Around the World Rebounding

This basketball rebounding drill will focus on close-outs, boxing out, and winning the rebound after a shot.

Pick And Roll Drill

This basketball drill focuses on the pick and roll move in basketball. The pick and roll is an offensive play in basketball in which a player of the attacking team creats a pick for the ball handler to slip by, the pick player then rolls out towards the ball handler who then receives a pass and attempts to get the shot off.

Hitting your Free Throws when you're tired

The objective is to improve a player's free throw shooting in a more game-like situation. Too many players practice free throw shooting when they are fresh and not focused. This drill will make a player have to hit their foul shots when they are tired and breathing hard and also make consequences for missing their free throws.

Faking to Create Space for Your Jumpshot

The objective of this drill is to develop a comfortable basketball move that will allow a jump shooter to create space and get away from a defender to get a good jump shot away. It's not difficult to drain that wide open jumper, but the real offensive basketball stud is the player that can create space and score when being covered. It becomes more and more important the older the player gets.

The Four Minute Shooter

The Four Minute Shooter To improve the player's overall shooting ability while creating a more game-like and competetive environment. The drill works on the layup, midrange basketball shot and the three pointer. Finally the rotation ends with two pressure free throws.

4v4 Round Robin

4v4 Round Robin is a game the kids love. This takes the place of an end of practice scrimmage or can be played on a free day. The 4v4 will give more space on the court allowing the players to be more creative and attacking in the offense. It will also encourage better 1v1 defense as there is less defensive help available.

Dribbling With Chairs

This drill is for younger basketball players learning the basics of dribbling. The object is to focus on keeping the ball in the hand away from the defender as well as dribbling with both hands. It will also emphasis keeping your head up and seeing the court.


Knockout is a wonderful basketball shooting competition your players will love. The drill works on hitting pressure shots and forces your players to quickly get the ball in the basket. Knockout is competetive, fast and can be used to work on jumpshots from anywhere on the court.

Working on Defensive Transition

Everyone always focuses on the offensive side of the game of basketball. Score, score, score, but the most succesful coaches know the importance of transition. Transition defense is how fast a team can change from attacking to defending. Here is a drill on teaching transition defense. The objective is to focus on players getting back on defense and preparing for their defensive responsibilities.

The Backboard Touch

The objective is to increase jumping abilities, leg strength, explosiveness and fitness as well as proper jumping technique.


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