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Keeping score of four-on-four basketball drills and breaking the drills down

Keeping Score

After effectively learning these four-on-four drills, about three times a week, let the offense do anything it wishes in their effort to score. This will help the passing game offense, too. Otherwise, we simply scrimmage four-on-four. We do keep score for the defense on the five possessions allowed the offense. If the defense keeps the offense from getting off a shot, the defense gets two points. If the defense gains possession from a missed shot the get one point. If the offense scores or is fouled, the defense gets no points.

The maximum number of points on five possessions would be 10 for the defense if the offense never got off a shot in five possessions. The Defensive Team of the Day does not have to run sprints at the end of practice. Make these sprints difficult enough to make any player want to be a member of the Defensive Team of the Day.

Breakdown Drills

The preceding four major drills are used by Coach Smith to teach most of #20 Defense needs. He does break these four drills down even further to teach the basic individual skills needed to properly execute this defense.

Diagram D-14 is an example of this breakdown. The zigzag illustrated on both the left and right side of the lower half-court is designed to teach the defender how to guard the dribbler. The defensive manís head should be in line with the elbow of the dribbling hand at a 45 degree angle.

The most important premise to teach in pressure defense is to avoid fouling. Sometimes this drill is used in a specific way during the early weeks of practice to reinforce this point. When used for this purpose, the defensive men in the drill are required to grip their own shirts as they guard the dribbler up the court.

Basketball man-to-man pressure defense diagramX1 and X2, in Diagram D-14, reverse positions when they reach the mid-court line and rework the zigzag back to the end line.

In the upper left half-court, X3 is learning how to keep the ball away from his man. When #3 is very close to the coach initially, X3 must be closer to his man in his overplay position. X3 learns, however, that when there is distance his man and the ball handler, the best way to keep #3 from the ball is to stay away from him. Therefore, as the distance between #3 and the coach widens, X3 allows the distance between himself and #3 widen proportionately. #3 realizes that the best way to get free for the pass is to get extremely close to X3 and then break away. X3 must prevent this from happening by moving away from his man as he approaches. X3 also works to keep his head steady and tries to see both man and ball.

Meanwhile, another drill is shown. In the upper right half-court X4 is learning how to beat his man to the ball when he must come from two passes to one pass away. As X4 comes toward the coach, his left arm is extended in an effort to deflect a possible pass to #4.

When #4 sees that he is being beaten, he reverses to the basket. X4 must turn and extend his right arm onto the new line between the ball and the man as he pursues #4 low.

Allow X4 to turn and face the ball on this reverse cut of #4 if he feels more comfortable. Since there is very little distance from #4 to travel on the reverse, give the defense this option. This situation is somewhat different than the situation of beating the opponent to the ball farther out on the court because of the distance involved.

The Zig-Zag Drill (guarding the man with the ball) is done in practice at one end of the court, while one of the other two drills (guarding the man away from the ball) is done at the other end. The groups are then rotated.

Related Articles:
 How to coach the basketball man-to-man defenses
 Variations of the full-court man-to-man defense
 Drills for teaching the full-court man-to-man defense
 Differences in guarding the players who are one-pass or two-passes away
 Pivot defense inside and out with support
Transition drill: guarding against the back-door cut and All-Purpose drill
Keeping score of four-on-four drills and breaking them down


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