Great team defenses in basketball are built from trust and a strong foundation. It takes a mixture of individual players, each doing their job, but also all five players working together as one unit to communicate, help each other out, rotate, switch, etc. The Shell drill is great because it can be used in many different ways to work on a specific defensive skill. It allows defensive players to get a lot of repetitions on a particular defensive action while always communicating with each other.
This specific shell drill is going to work on three different types of defensive actions. The first action in this team basketball drill will work on being able to help on a driver and then recover back to the player’s own man. The second action is going to work on how to guard down screens. The defender, whose man is setting the down screen, must communicate the screen and give the teammate room to get through the screen. The third action will work on rotating to help on baseline penetration when a player is beat and then rotating out of the pass. All of these situations require constant communication and need to be regularly drilled with your team.
Basketball Drill Overview
Drill Name: Help Recover and Baseline Drive Rotations Shell Drill
Equipment Needed: 8+ players, a coach, and a basketball.
Similar Basketball Drills and Resources
Goals of the Drill
- Work on defensive communication.
- Improve defensive rotations when guarding the dribble.
- Work on defensive rotations when there is baseline penetration.
- Every defensive player must stay in an athletic position, have active hands, and communicate the entire time they are doing this drill, no exceptions.
- On the dribble penetration help, players should not open up and turn their body fully to the basketball; this will make it harder to recover back to their man.
- Players should closeout with high hands and be ready to slide to cut off the defender.
- On the baseline drive, help defenders should get outside of the paint when cutting off the penetrating player. Other defenders need to rotate to help the help defender.
- On the kick-out, off of the baseline drive, the closeout defender needs to try and be there on the catch with high hands. The other defenders must communicate to recover to the other offensive players.
Basketball Drill Instructions
- The shell drill set up will start with four offensive players spread around the perimeter, two in each corner and two on each wing.
- The defensive players will be matched up with a specific player but with a foot in the paint.
- The ball will start under the basket with a coach.
- To start this basketball drill, the coach will kick the ball out to any of the offensive players, and the defense must closeout, be in the gap, or be in the help.
- The drill will go for as long as the coach would like or until someone scores.
Help and Recover:
- For the help and recover situation, the offense is looking to penetrate to the basket, and the defense is trying to keep them out by guarding the ball and being in the gap.
- The offense will move the ball around as they choose, and each player will get two dribbles to try and get to the basket.
- If they cannot get a driving angle with those two dribbles, they will kick the ball to another player to allow them to try and drive.
- After a player kicks the ball to another teammate, they will return to their original spot.
Defending the Down Screen:
- When a pass is made from guard to guard, have the passer set a down screen for the corner player.
- The player defending the screener must communicate with their teammate that a screen is coming and give them space to get through the screen.
- Once a player sets a down screen, they will relocate to the corner.
Baseline Drive Rotations:
- When the ball goes to a player in the corner, they will penetrate to the baseline (the defensive player will allow them to penetrate to the baseline).
- The weak side help defender must rotate over, get outside the paint, and cut off the baseline penetration.
- The other weak side defender must rotate down to cover the offensive players on the weak side.
- Players must communicate on these rotations to make sure that all offensive players are accounted for.
- Once the baseline penetration is cut off, the player penetrating will pass out of the baseline help, and the defense must then rotate accordingly and pick up a man to guard.
Recommended Time, Steps, Scoring, Repetitions
- Do this drill for 10 minutes, building in each of the different offensive actions.
- Switch the offense and defense every few possessions to make sure that all players are getting equal repetitions.
- You can also keep score by giving a point for each time that a driver gets past his defender and help defender.
- You could also set up scoring so that it rewards the defense. In this setup, the defense will stay on if they get a stop, and you can play to a set number of stops or stops in a row.
Help Recover and Baseline Drives Rotation Shell Drill
The shell drill can be used to teach specific defensive actions. This defensive basketball drill will allow you to instruct your players how to handle dribble penetration and how to deal with down screens. Like any defensive situation, the first thing that players must do is communicate with each other. Team defense in basketball is built around trusting that someone will always be there to help.
This drill will develop your player’s ability to help and recover. It will also help you teach them how to handle down screens and baseline penetration rotations. These basic defensive actions can make your team defense difficult to penetrate, forcing your opponent into tougher shots from the perimeter. Lastly, this is a basketball competition drill because it will allow your players to learn to compete and get the job done no matter what happens.