Closeout and Contest Defensive Basketball Drill

Closeout and Contest Defensive Basketball Drill


Being able to closeout and contest under control is essential when it comes to playing team defense in basketball. The defensive player must work on being there on the catch, staying under control, and then taking away an open shot and a straight-line drive. If not, the offense will be able to catch and shoot or catch and rip through, which will cause problems for the defense.

This defensive basketball drill will help players work on closing out and then slide in either direction to cut off the defender. Doing this at a high level takes numerous quality repetitions, and basketball drills like this one will provide these essential repetitions. So make sure to take advantage of this drill on your own as a player or with your team as a basketball coach.



Basketball Drill Overview

Drill Name: Closeout and Contest Defensive Basketball Drill

Equipment Needed: Basketball and a partner.


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Goals of the Drill

  • Work on the proper technique of closing out an offensive player and then slide to cut them off when they drive.
  • Get plenty of quality repetitions and teach players to feel natural when closing out their man/woman.


Coaching Points

  • Players need to stay low and athletic, chop their feet, and keep their hands high.
  • Make sure not to over-closeout or be out of control. The player must be balanced and under control.
  • Be ready to plant and slide in either direction to cut off the offensive player.
  • When the player defensive slides after the closeout, they need to take a good angle on their slide.


Basketball Drill Instructions

  • The line of players will start under the basket, and the coach/partner will start on either with a basketball in their hands.
  • The first player up will get in an athletic stance and be ready to go.
  • When the coach says “go,” the first player in line will closeout the coach and either defensive slide to the right or left (determined beforehand by the coach).
  • They will then get back in line, and the next player will repeat.
  • After the desired amount of repetitions, have the players switch which way that they slide.
  • To progress the basketball drill, have the player closeout, slide right, slide left, and then closeout again in a triangle pattern (or reverse the pattern and have them start sliding left first). This will allow for more repetition on each player’s turn and develop mental toughness and endurance.



Closeout and Contest Defensive Basketball Drill Conclusion

This is an excellent defensive basketball drill that is easy to set up and can be used in a number of different environments. Whether it is a small group of players, a team practice, or a large group setting like a basketball camp, this basketball drill is an excellent way to work on closeouts and overall defense.

As you go through this defensive drill, make sure that players stay mentally engaged and focus on their technique. Each repetition needs to be valued, and it is critical that players aren’t developing any bad habits as they closeout and then slide.


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