How To Build Your Defense During The Preseason Without A Ball and Without Assistants

Here is something that will INSTANTLY give you an edge over your opponents when developing your defense. We are really excited to introduce this to you as it could be a game-changer for your season.

The way that NBA Player Development Coach and 25-year Collegiate Coach Don Kelbick teaches his defensive system is extremely unique and it could be extremely beneficial for you.

You'll see in the video clips below that the way Don teaches differs from most coaches in a few big ways.

  1. You don't need offensive players.
  2. You don't need a basketball.
  3. You don't need assistants - especially helpful for youth coaches.
  4. You can apply this to ANY defense since these defensive principles are universal.
  5. You can save practice time teaching the defense.

Use during the preseason too! You can also classify these as "conditioning" drills since a ball is not needed and get your defense installed before the season even starts.

Can you imagine walking into the first day of practice already having your team on the same page defensively? This will make you competitive from day 1.

Watch the following 3 short video clips:

When Don builds his defense, there are over 20 drill progressions that flow seamlessly together and improve retention based on prior progressions. In the video clips below, you will see a couple of progressions of how Don builds his defense.

Video 1 - Explanation

Don explains why he uses his teaching method.

Video 2 - Stance and Perimeter Pass Progression

This is the 3rd progression of Don's off-ball drill to give you a visual of how he progresses. It covers defensive stance and defending backdoor passes and perimeter passes.

Video 3 - Final Off-Ball Drill Defense Progression

This is the final progression of the drill to give you a big picture of how Don progresses through all of the principles for teaching off-the-ball defense. As you can see, it is a highly efficient way to first teach the principles in a team setting.

These drills and many more are from the Match Up Zone DVD set.

Click here to learn more or puchase the videos.

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

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Coach Currey (Aust) says:
9/17/2013 at 6:27:34 AM

Excellent footwork. Little hard to follow the positioning but otherwise excellent defensive movements.


Sly says:
9/17/2013 at 8:08:51 AM

good drills


Mrs P says:
9/17/2013 at 8:51:43 AM

watching the preview of the defensive stance I am a little confused. At times the defense seems to be spinning in a circle with their eyes neither on the ball (which I presume is either you or the other player) nor their player and certainly not both. There is no time for that type of spinning delay - the player they are guarding would be long gone. I am sure that there is some rationale, or maybe I don''t follow the drill. What am I missing?


Jeff Haefner says:
9/17/2013 at 9:33:45 AM

Mrs P - In video #2 the defender is working on footwork and positioning when playing "1 pass away" from the ball.

When Don says "slide" players are simulating defense against an offensive player v-cutting to get open.

When Don says "recover snap" players are imagining the offensive player takes a hard back door cut to the basket. In this case (hard back door), Don wants the defender to snap their head so they can see the back door bounce pass and take away that penetrating pass. Hopefully that helps clarify.


Joe says:
9/17/2013 at 11:51:39 AM

This looks great. What are the differences between this DVD and the 4 DVD set on teaching man-to-man defense found elsewhere on Breakthrough Basketball? Thanks.


Jeff Haefner says:
9/17/2013 at 1:41:07 PM


The 4-DVD set by Jim Huber is exclusively about man to man defense. Don Keblick's 2-DVD set mentioned above is about "match up zone" defense. To build the "match up", Don teaches man to man principles first. Those principles are the same as what Jim Huber teaches. However, Don has a very unique way to teach defense without a ball and during the off season as conditioning drills (if you want).

Jim Hubers's DVD set goes into more detail about man to man defense. Don Kelbick's DVD gives you a very unique way to teach it.

Hope that helps.


GC says:
10/14/2013 at 3:16:10 PM

I had to watch it a couple of times to get Mrs P's question. To expand on Jeff's note, the ball is where the coach says it is. He will say "Corner" and the defense takes the position as if the ball were in the corner, then he goes to "Top", and the defense shifts to guard as if the ball is at the top of the key or high wing. In these cases, the defender would be able to see both ball and defender.


Rodolfo says:
8/27/2015 at 3:29:08 PM

this is dvd explain o example?
what is the name of DVD?
what is the cost?

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
9/1/2015 at 6:54:02 AM

Here is a link to the DVD:


Coach Jeff says:
8/23/2017 at 12:55:47 PM

I love these drills on D, create foot work


Bobby says:
8/24/2017 at 9:03:32 AM

When the ball is at the "top", why is the defender on the high side denying the pass?

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
8/25/2017 at 9:09:11 AM

It's simulating a situation where the defender is "one pass away" from the ball and denying -- outside hand in the passing line.

This is a fairly common concept taught in man to man defense. -- denying one pass away from the ball. Another method often taught one pass from the ball is in an open stance... packing it in... allowing the pass but taking away all dribble penetration.

There are different ways to defend when one pass from the ball. You can modify the drill based on the defensive principles you use with your team.


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