The Perfect 3v3 Drill for Both Offense AND Defense?

By Jeff Huber

In recent weeks, we've discussed the benefits of 3v3 basketball.

Today, we are going to look at an example of a 3v3 basketball drill that works at all levels!

WATCH the drill here!

3v3 Closeouts To Live Drill


Position 3 offensive players anywhere around the perimeter.

Have 3 defenders start in the paint.

The coach has a ball.


The coach passes to any player on the perimeter.

The defenders close out.

Play is live.

3 Key Defensive & Offensive Teaching Points for Maximum Improvement


  1. Good closeout technique on the ball: Your players close out with proper technique. This drill gets them a lot of reps to practice containing the ball.
  2. Closing out to the right spot off the ball: Too many youth players are always hugging their player. This prevents them from being able to help. Stress to your defenders to close out to the proper help position as shown in the picture above.
  3. Defensive mentality: Coach Huber gives the players points for stops. This builds a defensive mentality and gets players excited about playing defense. (As he notes, you don't have to run the drill this way. You could alternate position or play make it, take it.)


  1. Reading closeouts: If the offensive player catches the ball with a lot of space, they should shoot (if it's within their range). If the defense closes out hard, they should look to drive.
  2. Good cuts: Coach Huber uses this drill to teach cutting. Make sure players are cutting to score and finish their cuts before filling out to the perimeter.
  3. Catch and square: This puts the first two points together. Players aren't ready to shoot or drive if they don't get squared to the rim on the catch. Likewise, they can't see cutters if they aren't facing the rim. Make sure players catch and face.

How Constraints Can Take Your Drills to the Next Level

As you can see, this is a great 3v3 drill for beginning players. That said, it would also be a great drill for advanced players.

How? By using constraints.

We will address this more in an upcoming article, but you can easily tweak the drill to fit your team's needs.

Do you use ball screens? If so, start with a ball screen after the closeouts. Are you a pass and cut team? Require a cut after every pass. Are you working on shot selection? Make layups worth 4, 3's worth 3 and midrange worth 1.

The possibilities are endless! That's the beauty of these games. Once players know the drill (3v3 closeout), they can easily organize and get set up.

Then you can tweak rules as necessary to focus on certain skills and actions. Follow this recipe and watch your players develop faster than ever before!

Related Resources

The Youth Coaching System With Jim Huber

The Beginner Basketball Complete Coaching System With Jim Huber (for ages 5-9)

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


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