1 on 1 Plug and Closeout Basketball Drill

1 on 1 Plug and Closeout Basketball Drill


When you are trying to set your basketball team up to be great defensively, you first need to break down some of the individual responsibilities and explain to your basketball players what and how they are supposed to be playing defense. You can then move into 3 on 3, 4 on 4, and then 5 on 5 defensive strategies.

One of the bigger responsibilities of team man to man defense is to plug the gap and then recover to close out your man if it is kicked to them. This defensive basketball drill is designed to work on that exact situation and will give some good reps against live competition. Your players will learn the correct technique, communication, etc., and then rep it out against live competition. Along with working on defense, though, this competition basketball drill will teach your players to compete. Having to play against live competition will force your players to learn to get the job done regardless of what happens.



Basketball Drill Overview

Drill Name: 1 on 1 Plug and Closeout Basketball Drill

Equipment Needed: 1 Basketball, a coach, and at least 2-3 players.


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Goals of the Drill

  • Work on plugging the gap and then closing out your man on the kick out.


Coaching Points

  • Don’t open your chest up to the ball when you plug the gap.
  • You want to already be in the gap on defense and the closeout while the ball is in the air; be there on the catch.
  • Closeout with high hands and be ready to slide laterally and cut off the offensive player.


Basketball Drill Instructions

  • One defender starts in the paint, and then there are two offensive lines on either wing.
  • The one wing will simulate the drive and then kick the ball to the other offensive player on the opposite wing.
  • The defender in the middle must plug the gap on the first drive and then close out and recover on the kick out.
  • The ball is now live on the kick-out, and the players will go one-on-one until either the offensive player’s score or the defender gets a rebound.
  • For this basketball drill, you want to be on defense, so if you get a stop, you stay on defense.
  • The offensive line is behind the first driver, and after they drive the next time, they will be in the “live” line.
  • You can limit the number of dribbles allowed by the offensive player to make this drill more game-realistic.


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