Updated: Oct 10, 2022
This is one of my favorite pressure developing drills. It allows players to experiment with different techniques and get exposure to the tight reads needed when applying pressure - in an environment without much negative consequences. We can always add those in, but here the learning process is still taking place. Therefore every time they get beat, it doesn’t have to result in a given up basket or full court chase down. Instead we limit the space and create a scoring system to foster development.
In this drill, we set up a box about the size of the paint. The offensive player’s goal is to create separation within this box greater than an arms-distance apart. If the offensive player creates this separation, they call out and get 1 point. The defenders goal is to limit space and continually pressure the ball-handler: limit the offensive player’s points. As you can see it is a great drill for both sides of the ball - developing pressure and learning how to handle it.
Three keys will occurs for the defender in this drill. 1) he/she will start to use a chest slide to catch an attack and stand up the offensive player.
2) The player will learn how to takeaway space without being too aggressive. If you storm at an offensive player they will just blow by you. It is a cat and mouse game, getting in and out, when first trying to get a pressure distance. Also when they smell blood in the water, a shaky retreat dribble, a fumbled counter move, not to sit back but really amp up the pressure.
3) And this is perhaps the most important aspect of the drill, players start to develop the mindset of disruptive control. In that by applying pressure to the ball handler, the offense only has one way to truly attack. Now the defender can play one step ahead, know where the next attack is coming and anticipating to cut it off or contain it. This continual disruptive control of allowing defensive pressure to control, not react, will be the turning point of many defenders. Great defenders dictate, they don’t react.
**In some of these clips you may see many instances of hands and fouls that make you cringe. My personal preference is always to rein in fouling progressively, I never want a fear of fouling to limit our defense early on. I rather rein in, then amp up as the season goes on.
This drill was taken from the Pressure Defense Clinic - one of many drills covered in the 39 minute clinic. Also diving into film study, defensive techniques and other advanced topics for developing pressure defenders. Find out more at: www.lockdownhoops./pressure
See you next time.