Basketball Drills: 3 on 3 Defensive Drills

These 3 defensive drills are from Matt Monroe’s Hoops Roundtable site. He posts a new article daily and has a lot of really good articles that he has written as well as contributions from several other coaches.

Modify these drills to fit what you need to use to teach and reinforce and your defensive rules, concepts, and principles.

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3 on 3 Random Movement Drill

Scott Miller, Head Boys Basketball Coach, Glenbard East High School (IL):


• Coach sets the ball down anywhere on the floor
• Offensive players position themselves anywhere on the floor
• Defensive players get set in proper defensive position
• On “play!” by coach, offense runs motion offense while the defense adjusts accordingly
• On “freeze!” by the coach, offense stops and coaches check for proper defensive positioning

• Can go 3 on 3 or 4 on 4
• Have coaches in practice coach a particular player on defense


3 on 3 Baseline Charge Drill

Matt Monroe



• #1 passes the ball to #2

• All three defenders jump to the ball

• #2 drives

• x3 helps on the baseline drive and takes a charge

• x1 covers down





• #2 kicks the ball out to #1

• #1 passes to #3

• The defenders rotate on the passes







• #3 drives to the baseline

• x2 helps on the drive and takes the charge

• x1 covers down





3 on 3 Closeout Drives



• Coach passes to one of the offensive players (O’s), who catches and drives.

• The defenders (X’s) all close out with proper technique to correct position.

• Play live to a score or a stop

Note: Add back cut if defense over plays when they closeout to a player who does not have the basketball or add a jump shot if the defender closing on the ball is late.


This final drill is obviously not a 3 on 3 drill, but one to think about adapting to how you defend the low post.

Scratch and Closeout Drill



• Players align as shown

• Coach passes the ball to #3 on the baseline

• #3 makes a pass to the player in the post as the defender (x2) slides down and knocks the ball out of bounds







• #4 immediately picks up a second ball and passes to #1

• #1 passes to the coach, who reverses the ball to #2

• x2 closes out to #2 and they play 1 on 1




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