Inspired by TJ’s emphasis on not playing backwards, Blue Devil came up with a creative drill and posted it in the forums. Thanks to both of you (and to MJL23 for adding to it). And, of course, I’ve added some additions as well (I couldn’t resist).

Yesterday we came up with some solutions against a sagging defense, but the opposite can also cause problems. A defense that focuses on extreme half court pressure has the tendency to push offensive players further and further away from their spots, interferes with their concentration, and yet, it’s excessive spacing opens up a lot of holes as long as your players can spot them and exploit them – it’s difficult to look for cutters when your face is in a defender’s chest.

To help your players see those opportunities and make the right decisions, practice time is key, and hopefully this drill will be a fun addition.

Set Up: 5 OUT against a live D. Those players who are not in the drill currently (or coaches, assistants, passersby) stretch out jump ropes about a foot behind the 5 OUT spots.

Scoring: Offense cannot dribble and can only score in the paint off of front cuts, rear cuts, and read line cuts. They cannot operate beyond the jump rope barrier. A score in the paint is 1 point.

On a turnover or defensive rebound, the defense gets the ball and becomes offense. If the turnover was caused by a steal or deflection on the perimeter, the defense gets 1 point and the ball. This should encourage the defense to play the aggressive style that you are trying to mimic.

First team to 7 wins.

Just a side thought: instead of a jump rope as a barrier, perhaps the waiting team (who are lined up a foot behind spots) have blocking pads and push offending players back into the field of play. If you don’t want to get hit, don’t play backwards. Use at your own discretion, we don’t want it to get out of hand, but I think it could be fun and toughen up some players at the same time.

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