The ONE undisputed quality of a championship squad is a good team defense. Good team defense comes from communication, awareness, and a trust in teammates. But even before all that, a good team defense starts with good individual defenders.
Defensive slides are as fundamental as it gets for a defensive drill. There is no equipment needed, and the drill can be performed with any number of kids in any amount of space (technically you don’t even need a gym!).
The concept is simple: defenders imagine an offensive player in front of them with the ball, and then slide (in a defensive stance) to follow along with that offensive player. The variation in the video takes it one step further by adding a sprint. We like this drill for two main reasons:
First, the drill contains a combination of lateral and vertical movements. This blend of lateral (slides) and vertical (sprints) movements allows players to develop compound movement skills as they continuously switch from slides to sprints.
Second, it teaches the ABCs of defending a moving player. Because the offensive player is imagined initially, players can focus on good execution of the movement: butt down, head up, back straight, arms out, not crossing feet, and taking explosive steps.
Check out the video below to see how it’s performed:

Defensive Slide & Run

DESCRIPTIONPlayer assumes defensive stance and imagines an offensive player in front of them. Player slides diagonally (in stance), leading the imaginary player, before turning into a sprint and recovering in defensive stance at the far side of the court. Player then performs a drop step (planting their outside leg) and repeats going in the opposite direction.
SKILL FOCUS Defense, On-Ball Defense, Defensive Stance, Conditioning
AGE (STAGE) 10+ (Learn-to-Train)
Advance this drill with an actual offensive player, though the focus remains defensive. The offensive player will go at a pace to challenge the defender without beating them outright. The defender uses slides to guide the ball handler to the edges and catches up with a sprint when the dribbler changes pace.
Continue reading Drill: Defensive Slide & Run

Source: The SNYB Blog
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  1. You guys post a lot of good drills but this is not one of them! There is a place for the defensive slide in the game but it has been proven to be a slow and impractical way to defend. The whole idea of being low and wide (stability) goes against quickness (upright, unstable).We are slowing kids down by showing them inefficient movement patterns like this. Any good defender, when moving at speed, will cross their feet.

    In an up-down direction or position. Upright.

    Example: trees grow in a vertical direction.

    (Side-to-side is called horizontal)
    See: Horizontal

    "First, the drill contains a combination of lateral and vertical movements." Not too sure about the vertical movements in the drill (but i could be wrong)
    Show the kids how you want them to defend, then get them to play 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 fullcourt. "The offensive player will go at a pace to challenge the defender without beating them outright." Why??? Why not let the kids practice in a live situation. This drill is a good example of a false fundamental, it makes the coach look good because it is structured and organised but has very little crossover to the game. If the defensive stance was an efficient way to defend in the full court, why do they have to run? They have to run to catch up because they can't keep up with the offensive player in their stance.


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