Tuesday, July 17, 2012


"Get back!"  It's a command from coaches you can that can be heard at every game.  All coaches would agree that one of the goals on defense is to force your opponent to work for their points.  One way the offense tries to create an advantage is to get a numbers advantage and run in transition.  Teams that play faster in transition put a lot of pressure on the defensive team.  Obviously it is the goal of the defensive team to force the offensive team to play 5-on-5 basketball.  The more you can force your opponent to play 5-on-5 (when they have the ball) the better chance you have to keep them from scoring.  Forcing your opponent to grind out games when they have the ball can be frustrating to them and take them out of their game or style of play.

Listed below are 3 different tactics to help your team to slow down your opponent when they get a defensive rebound.

1. Mirror the ball on the rebounder.  Teach your players that if they are nearest the opponent who gets a defensive rebound that they must mirror the ball.  This will slow down the outlet pass to a guard.  Every additional second you force the rebounder to wait to make an outlet pass is giving your teammates a chance to get back and get set in your half court defense.
  • This can be practiced in all of your rebounding drills and scrimmage situations in practice.  If you are executing a defensive rebounding drill - add the outlet pass as part of the drill to give your players practice at mirroring the rebounder.
2. Don't send every player to the offensive rebound.  Offensive rebounding can be a big part of your team's offense.  Some teams have a philosophy of sending all five players to the boards. Depending on your opponent, and the priority you place on slowing down their running game you will have to decide on how many players you will "keep back" and not attack the offensive boards.  You might have to make the decision not to send all five, but to send only four, or three players to the boards.  It is important NOT to designate the specific player or players to keep back. You wouldn't want a player who might be in perfect rebounding position to start sprinting back on defense because they have been designated to do so.  Instead of players designate spots on the floor that do not offensive rebound.  For instance, a player at the top of the key will not go for offensive rebounds.  Think about this in relation to the offense you run as to which spots would be best to keep back.

3. Anticipate the outlet and pick up the ball handler in the backcourt.  Once the defensive rebound is secured your players will be sprinting back on defense.  One thing you can do is designate a player to stay in the back court to defend the ball.  This will keep the ball handler occupied and more concerned about taking care of the ball instead of advancing it at a faster pace.  And while this is happening the rest of your team is getting back and set into the half court defense.  A variation would be to designate two players on your team to stay in the back court, and the defender nearest the ball will guard ball while the other will then get back on defense.  This will allow you to cover more of the back court until the ball is being guarded.

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