(Rental)-Half Court Defensive Essentials

(Rental)-Half Court Defensive Essentials

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      John Becker


    Half Court Defense

    Modern basketball offenses now emphasize ball screens, dribble penetration, and perimeter shooting. In an effort to combat this trend, University of Vermont head coach John Becker presents his “Contain & Contest” defense, an adaptation of his man-to-man system. Becker is a four-time America East Conference Coach of the Year and has led Vermont to seven total - four regular season, three tournament – conference titles.

    In this presentation, Coach Becker shares the essential teaching points and the eight practice drills needed to run the Contain & Contest defense. The defense is built upon a foundation of mastering closeouts, off-ball positioning, and fixing disadvantage situations.


    The defense is based upon perfecting closeout technique. Coach Becker goes into detail on the fundamentals of great on-ball defenders – hand placement, foot angles, advancing/retreating on fakes. He demonstrates two drills to work on closeout technique.

    • Partner Closeouts: teaches players to break down in a proper on-ball defensive stance to cut off drives to the middle.
    • Four Spot Closeouts: players stop drives and then pressure the ball once it’s picked up.

    Off-Ball Positioning in Half Court Defense

    At Vermont, Coach Becker runs the Shell defense every day to master their man-to-man principles. The Shell Positional Drill helps players learn to deter dribble penetration while still pressuring passing lanes with the “50” position one pass away from the ball. You will also see how adjusting the weak side defender puts the player in a better position to assist on help rotations.


    The best defenses are always prepared for the worst situations. When breakdowns occur, Coach Becker wants his players to have a solution. He presents four different drills that emphasize the importance of communicating, recognizing immediate threats, and making decisions. The Scramble Drill works on disadvantaged situations and teaches players their help rotations and recovery on kick-out passes.

    Ball Screens

    With the rise in the use of ball screens, Coach Becker wants his players to understand how to defend them. He shows you a strategy for defending side ball screens that teaches players to disrupt the path of the ball handler while still covering the screener on two- and three-man sides.

    If your program is in need of upgrade to your man-to-man defense, Coach Becker has the answer for today’s most common offensive tactics. Rent this half court defense DVD today. 

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