If your individual defenders can not stop the ball handler, you will be playing at a disadvantage constantly. No matter how good your help defense is, it would be impossible to develop a high-level defense without the ability to stop the ball handler one on one.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you excel at playing one-on-one defense, you could have an excellent defense without great help defense. Obviously, the ideal situation is to have both great one-on-one defense and great help defense.
Well, the Foster Drill is a great tool to use to improve your 1-on-1 defense and your ability to stop dribble penetration for multiple reasons...
- It simulates a game-like situation for transition defense. The defender has come out from the basket and guard someone attacking the hoop.
- It exaggerates the distance that the defender has to come out from under the hoop.
This makes it more challenging than a real game situation. This makes the game feel easier.
- Defensive footwork for close outs improves. The footwork required on a close out when your player catches the ball is almost identical. Therefore, you are improving skill sets for other parts of the game.
Bonus: Your offense improves too!
You could actually take the same drill and turn it into an offensive emphasis.
Typically, the offense only has a fraction of a second to get by the defender. Otherwise, the remaining defenders will recover.
So you can put time limits on the possession. This will improve your ability to handle the ball and make game-speed decisions.
For example, if the offense doesn't shoot in 6 seconds, it's an automatic turnover. You should adjust the time based on skill levels.
In this Defense Video, Jim Huber instructs how to do the Foster Drill.
Offense and defense are back to back at the free throw line.
On the whistle, the offensive player is speed dribbling to half court, then turning and attacking.
On that same whistle, the defensive player is sprinting to the baseline, then sprinting out to stop the ball.
The defender’s goal is to force a contested jumper outside of the lane.
Points of Emphasis
Don’t let the defender get away with hanging back. They need to sprint as hard as they can and slow the ball down as far away from the basket as possible. This is going to require control. They should be sprinting to their target and getting their butt down ready to cut off the ball handler and push them at an angle away from the basket.
Great drill to teach your players the right way to attack in the open court. You are thinking “layup” and you are going in as straight a line as possible to the front of the rim. Welcome contact and keep the eyes on the rim. Attacking a defender head on with speed can put them on their heels and “freeze” their feet, often allowing the offense to blow by them.
Solutions and Resources:
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