Basketball Rebounding Drill: Close Out Box Out

Drill Purpose (All Ages)

This drill provides a competitive situation for practicing boxing out. This drill emphasizes principles of closing on a shooter and maintaining a box out for the defensive players, and it teaches offensive players to follow their shots. It will give players practice in sustaining the intensity required to box out and to beat a box out.


closeoutbox1 (5K)
  1. Position five offensive players just outside the three-point line as shown. Five defenders match up and assume position at the edges of the key as shown. Place a ball on the ground just in front of the hoop.

  2. On the coach's first whistle, defensive players sprint to close out on the offensive players. The last three or four steps should be wide and choppy with the body leaning slightly back and arms raised to shoulder height.

  3. One the coach's second whistle, all five offensive players "shoot" a jump shot (none of them will have a ball). Defenders contest the shots by shouting "shot" and by moving close to the shooters with arms fully extended straight up and keeping their feet on the ground.

  4. As the shooters come down, the defenders turn and box out. The offensive players try to get to the ball near the hoop, and the drill remains live until one does get to the ball. The coach times this starting on the second whistle and ending when an offensive player gets to the ball.

  5. The coach blows a third whistle to signal that the repetition is over.

Points of Emphasis

  • Defensive players finish the close out with a low and wide center of gravity.
  • Defensive players establish contact on the shooters without low-bridging.
  • Holding, tripping, and/or any other illegal techniques should be pointed out and penalized.

Motivation / Teaching Tip

  • Coaches can attach some incentives for the team that gets the best time in keeping the offensive players from reaching the ball.

Related Articles and Products

Basketball Rebounding Tips & Drills eBook

More Rebounding Drills

Don Kelbick's Rebounding Tips, Strategy, and Fundamentals

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


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Justin says:
10/2/2013 at 11:04:13 AM

Never teach kids to follow their jump shot.


Cory Dougan says:
1/15/2009 at 12:45:13 PM

I cannot wait to use this drill with my JV girls.


Johnson says:
1/13/2009 at 4:33:32 AM

i cant get or imagine the drill... can any show me a video.... pls...


G says:
1/12/2009 at 4:00:36 AM

thank you


Michael Mackenroth says:
12/7/2008 at 5:19:31 AM

I find it is easier to stop players from jumping at a shot (or worse a fake), on a close out, by taking the focus off the ball. It is virtually impossible to block a shot without jumping. Forget the block and try to get your player's hand up into the shooter's line of sight. It is a lot harder to shoot at something you can't see and having your vision disrupted can be quite offputting. It is also less likely to draw a foul because I have never had a player make contact with an opponent, trying to disrupt his line of sight.


Coach says:
10/31/2008 at 12:47:17 AM

I can't wait to we have practice to receive praise from my boss for finding such an excellent drill. May the CREATOR Bless you with goodness because my team needs as many boxing out drills as possible. Thanks for helping out so many people.


morina says:
2/21/2008 at 6:27:48 PM

this drill is so good


Robert Avery says:
11/21/2007 at 10:09:25 PM

Rebounding, especially boxing out aspect, may be toughest fundamental to teach children. To make it more enjoyable, as if it's a game within a game, I set a team goal of 21 rebounds per game (we have 24 minute games). When we meet our team goal, I hand out two packs of basketball cards to my top 2 rebounders and possibly more if there's a tie. It's very rewarding to hear my kids ask me on the bench how many more rebounds we need to meet the team goal. This drill is a good one. I'm anxious to try it when our practice begins.


Hesham Saleh says:
8/3/2007 at 8:07:28 AM

Very Effective Drill


Martien says:
6/27/2007 at 5:38:04 AM

Great drill


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