Better Close Outs
Great close outs are VITAL to your defense.
If you're constantly getting beat by the offense due to poor close outs, your team defense instantly becomes worse.
When the offense is at a constant advantage due to poor close outs, your team defense will suffer. The offense will get more easy looks and your defense will get more fouls which leads to key players spending less time on the floor and the offense getting more easy foul shots when they get in the bonus.
Here is another thing to think about...
On every single pass that the offense makes in a half court setting, there should be a defensive close out. Now how many times does that happen in a game? Against good offensive teams, you could have at least 5 close outs per possession. 50 possessions in a game and you have at least 250 close outs.
30 games in a year and there is at least 7,500 close outs!
Poor close outs wreck your team defense and lead to more points scored against you. And close outs occur hundreds of times per game!
That's why some of the great defensive coaches start most defensive drills with a close out. They understand how vital it is to a team's defense. It'd probably be wise for you to do the same.
Here is a sneak peak into our NEW product called Jim Huber's Man To Man Defense. In the video clip below, Coach Jim Huber does a great job of breaking down close outs.
Why should you listen to Jim Huber?
For those of you unfamiliar with Coach Jim Huber, he coaches some of the best high school players in the nation. He is a coach and director of operations for Mokan Elite who is a team in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL). Since Jim's team competes nationally and they often face teams with more physical talent, great defense has been a staple for Jim's teams to win tournaments and compete in the EYBL.
Jim has coached defense at almost all levels, ranging from 4th grade to college.
5 Keys to Better Close Outs
Here are 5 tips mentioned in the video above.
- Be in your defensive stance.
If you are in an athletic stance with hips back and knees bent, this saves time because you are ready to sprint to the shooter.
"Be like a sprinter."
- Sprint to the ball.
Sprinting to the shooter as quickly as possible is VERY important.
1 - If the offense is going to shoot, they will have a contested shot which dramatically lowers their shooting percentage.
2 - A properly timed closeout will make it more difficult to drive past you. If you delayed your closeout and are still sprinting to the shooter who already has the ball, they can easily use your momentum against you and drive past you.
- Chop your steps.
You want to chop your steps or use a quick stop to slow your momentum so you can defend the dribble drive.
- Hands Up
By having your hands up, this leads to a contested shot, prevents direct post passes, and results in more deflections for your team.
- Mirror Offense and Force East-West
"Feet to feet."
"Belly button to belly button."
The purpose of mirroring the offense is to force the offense east-west and away from the basket. You don't want any easy straight line driving lanes to the basket because this typically breaks down the defense and gives more efficient scoring opportunities to the offense.
We hoped that these close out tips helped you in some way. If you have some more helpful tips, please share below.
What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...