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4-On-4 Basic Rotations

This shell drill focuses on basic defensive rotations.

Set Up

Begin with four offensive players evenly spaced around the perimeter and four defensive players inside of the paint, each matched up with an opponent. Coach starts with the ball near the top of the key. The drill initiates on the coach’s pass.

How It Works

On the coach’s pass, the defenders close out to their match-ups. The defender guarding the ball should apply pressure. Defenders who are one pass away should have one hand in the passing lane with an eye on both the ball and their match-up. Players who are two passes (or a skip pass) away should be on the basket line, evenly splitting the ball and their match-up.

As the offense works the ball around the perimeter, the defense rotates as demonstrated in the diagrams. For young teams, the ball should move fairly slow, allowing the defenders to properly understand and execute each rotation. As the drill progresses, the offense can move the ball more efficiently and challenge the defense to keep up.  

At any point, coaches can yell “Go!” to turn this drill into a live game. Once live, the defense should continue communicating and rotating as practiced until the possession ends. Coaches may determine whether or not the offense can move without the ball, set screens or run handoffs. These require more advanced defensive understanding and may be exempt until the team fully understands the basic rotations.

Key coaching points

-Assure your defenders understand the proper rotations before going live. Walk your team through the drill, discuss rotations and different scenarios, then let them practice/experiment in a live situation.