Drill: 4-Man Pressure

Good defensive teams have players who communicate well and know how to work with each other. These team skills are complimented by individual defensive skills like agility and hustle – with the overall goal of bothering the ball and the ball handler.

Meanwhile, a good offensive team ALSO needs to communicate well and work with each other. BUT offensive players need to stay cool, calm, and collected under the pressure created by an aggressive defense.

Developing one of these sets of skills is awesome. Developing both is really, really awesome. This drill develops both. This drill is really, really awesome.

Check out the video below for a loud, high-energy, and competitive offense-defense drill for players at almost any age.

4-Man Pressure

DESCRIPTION Break into groups of 8 (two teams of 4) with the option of subs, and mark a large box as the play area using gym lines or cones. One team (on defense) stands together in the middle of the box. The other team  (on offense) stands at the 4 corners. On the whistle, the offense passes the ball to complete as many passes as possible – each pass counts as a point. Offensive players must stay in their corner, taking only 1-step to catch a pass. Meanwhile the defense scrambles to trap the ball handler and deny any passes. On a turnover/deflection the teams switch roles. Play for time (i.e. 2-minutes) or a total score (i.e. 20 passes).
SKILL FOCUS Team Defense, On-Ball Defense, Passing, Communication, Ball Security
AGE (STAGE) 12+ (Learn-to-Train)
PLAYERS 8+ (per group)
EQUIPMENT 1 Basketball (per group)
VARIATION:
ADD A DRIBBLE
Allow offensive players to use one “escape dribble” to make it more challenging for the defensive team. Players can use one step away from their corner to catch a pass, and can then take a single dribble to open up a lane for their next pass. Defenders can steal/deflect the ball on the dribble.

We love this drill because it encourages intensity and communication in a stressful environment. What other drills do you use to step up the energy level with your players? Share your favorites below in the comments!

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