MAN IN THE MIDDLE CLOSEOUTS
This is a simple closeout drill that not only focuses on proper closeouts and on-ball defense, but it also allows offensive players an opportunity to focus on ball security and passing.
The drill begins with 2 passing the ball to 1. x1 immediately closes out to 1 as if he were a shooter. In our pack line defense we always want our players to closeout with an angle to take away a baseline drive. After x1 traces the ball and practices jumping up/back, 1 will pass the ball to 2 and then become the "new x1." He will proceed to closeout to 2 and the rotation will continue as such. Make sure to rotate your players from right wing, to top, to left wing, so that they get an opportunity to practice at various spots. Below are some teaching points and a diagram of the drill.
- Sprint to closeout into 3-4 short, choppy steps.
- Closeout with angle to take away baseline drive.
- Make sure to have high hands. One or two hands is up to you as a coach.
- Keep legs loaded; ready to move and explode on dribble penetration.
- Encourage offensive players to be strong with the ball and make game like passes.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS
- Perform each skill at game speed.
- Expect lots of communication & voice pressure.
- Practice from different spots on the floor (corners, wings, top).