Chaotic Basketball Drill for Defense and Offense: The Whistle Drill

As Jim Huber demonstrated in the video, this is a great competitive drill that is one of the best you can use to improve your team offense and team defense.

As stated, the game of basketball is very chaotic. Each possession starts differently and each possession ends differently.

The way that you match up defensively is different each time down the floor and the way that your offense starts is different each time down the floor, so you need to practice this way.

This drill is a great way to practice your offense and defense in a random chaotic environment. This is also great for improving your ability to communicate, transition quickly from offense to defense and your help defensive rotations. The drill can be done in the full court or the half court.


Have your team play 5-on-5 until you blow the whistle. You can decide to blow the whistle at any point.

When the whistle is blown, the offensive player with the ball must set it down on the ground. The defender closest to the basketball can’t pick it up, someone else on defense must pick up the ball.

Once the ball is picked up, everyone must guard someone different from who was previously guarding them.

Your team will continue to play 5-on-5, until you blow the whistle again. You can blow the whistle as frequently as you’d like.

Coaching Tips:

  • Talk & Communicate – Make sure your team is communicating. This will make it easier for the new five players on defense to pick up the new offensive players. If they do not talk, they may end up with two players guarding one person, leaving a player wide open.

  • Scramble to Rotate – Emphasize immediate movement and communication. If you pause for one second, the offense can take advantage. However, this is a great natural self-teaching drill for communication and rotation. If they don’t do it, they will fail. Also, be patient. This will get better with time.

  • Mix it up – Keep your team off guard by mixing up the lengths you will allow them to play before blowing the whistle.

Related Resources:

FREE eBook: The Best 11 Defense Drills

Jim Huber's Man to Man Defense - Videos and eBooks

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


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Jukka Mantere says:
3/10/2020 at 9:48:18 PM

just great


Rob Shone says:
5/2/2019 at 1:12:42 PM

Sounds like an effective drill to run and also fun for the players. I have a few questions if you don't mind:

1. I assume that the offensive team is instructed NOT to shoot or attempt a layup, just move the ball around?

2. What exactly should the defensive players say to each other when transitioning to defense? Just call out who they are covering or something else?

3. Should defensive players always close out on the opponent with the ball with chop steps and hand mirroring the ball?



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