3 on 3 Trap Drill - Improves Passing and Defense

- By Kevin Germany

Home > Coaching > Drills > Passing > 3 on 3 Trap Drill - Improves Passing and Defense

This is a drill from Larry Shyatt, the head Men's Basketball Coach at the University of Wyoming. Shyatt's teams have always been elite on the defensive end of the floor.

This drill not only teaches your players how to pass out of a trap and develop toughness with the ball -- but also teaches your defensive players how to trap the ball.


The drill starts out with six players forming a circle. The drill should last about 15 seconds. Switch the offense and the defense once play ends.

The offensive players cannot leave their spots.

The defense is allowed to move anywhere within the circle to intercept any passes.

When play starts, the two nearest defenders (X3 and X1) trap the ball. X2 plays the passing lanes to both 2 and 3.

X1 and X2 trap the ball when the ball goes to 2. X3 plays the passing lanes to both 1 and 3.


X2 and X3 trap the ball when the ball goes to 3. X1 plays the passing lanes to both 1 and 2.

Allow the players to "play" for a set amount of time. You can reward players for maintaining possession for the duration of the drill.

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


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Jay says:
2/25/2020 at 12:50:30 PM

Can the 2 trappers steal the ball or just want them to have active hands to make the passing more difficult?

  1 reply  

Jeff Haefner says:
2/25/2020 at 2:04:11 PM

With young players you might want to restrict the defenders to start out. But normally you want the trappers going all out stealing the ball. Another suggestion is to reward the trappers for steals and/or deflections... this encourages players to make it more game like and motivate them to player harder.


Scott says:
3/19/2014 at 2:46:18 PM

How big of circle should they make?


coach joseph says:
2/24/2014 at 9:54:48 PM

Thank you for a simple but I think easy to follow for my new players


Joe Haefner says:
2/24/2014 at 8:14:38 PM

Jason, I'm not sure.

Personally, I would run the drill and tell the players that I don't want them to trap.

Each team may respond differently.


Jeff says:
2/24/2014 at 1:22:45 PM

Jason- we have used this drill (13-14''s) and it''s every bit as effective for breaking the trap and decision making as it is for the Def side and causing TOs....just have to keep the intensity up...create rules like- no over the top passes...no dribble but have them use their guard pivot skills to create separation if they are trapped..ripping it across/pivot and use their back side etc..


Jason says:
2/24/2014 at 1:01:46 PM

As a coach of a youth team, we don't run coordinated traps, but we DO face them.

Would you still recommend running this drill? or am I likely to see a spontaneous outbreak of traps from my defense if I do?


Hasaun Hunter says:
2/24/2014 at 10:55:11 AM

I'm going to try this today with my girls


SV says:
2/24/2014 at 10:35:56 AM

I know my players will ask: Can offensive players use pivot, or must both feet remain set?


Anthony T Hankins says:
2/24/2014 at 9:55:26 AM

wow this is an awesome looking drill.. I will run it at practice today.


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