The Star Close Out Drill (Great for a warm up too!)

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This drill works on several components, sprinting to a close out, contesting the shot, blocking out and the push step. It’s also a great warm up drill to use for games or practice.

In this video clip from the Man To Man Defense System - How To Build It Step By Step, Jim Huber instructs how to do this drill.

Players are on the baseline.

On the whistle, the first player will sprint to close out on the first cone on the baseline.

After contesting the shot and shouting, “shot”, the player will box out on the cone, then quick turn inside and push step back underneath the basket.

Once under the basket again, the defender will sprint to the next cone and repeat the process.

As that defender sprints to cone 2, the next defender in line sprints for cone 1 and starts the same progression.

Points of Emphasis

Make sure we are sprinting all out before beginning to chop our feet and getting our butt down and weight back on the close out. Both hands up. Staying down.

Watch to make sure your players are keeping their hands high as they box out. Hands down low on the box out make it easy for the opponent to reach over and maybe get a hand on the ball or a tap out. Hands high, flippers out (elbows extended).

Solutions and Resources:

Jim Huber’s Man To Man Defense Video - Step By Step System

Breakthrough Basketball Camps - Elite Guard, Shooting, Youth, and More

The Defensive Shell Drill Sucks?

4 Strategies For Defending A Dominant Post Player

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Greg Ernst says:
12/8/2016 at 11:41:29 AM

Interesting tidbit midd44, about not backing into the shooter and the game situation / reality of defensive rebounding stats

I do see the point in the drill however, which is build and reinforce the mechanics of consistently blocking out, rather than turn and ball watch - which 90% of youth players do !


midd44 says:
11/6/2016 at 10:43:08 AM

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: we NEVER have our high school kids "step into & block out" perimeter shooters, the reason being that it's too easy to pick up a foul on the shooter {eg: some kids don't let the shooter land before making contact, smart shooters flop on contact, bad call by ref, etc}.... instead we have our kids face the shooter and block out "face to face" and trust that their team mates will get the rebound.

try keeping track of how many rebounds are actually made by the defensive player boxing out the shooter. we've gone game after game without having a single one [which is why we changed our philosophy.] for us the risk/reward is not enough to chance making this foul.


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