Open Practice: Man-to-Man Defense
Offense will win you games, but defense wins championships. Former Mercer University and current Central Oklahoma head coach Bob Hoffman can attest. In 2014, Hoffman took Mercer to its first ever NCAA tournament and proceeded to knock off No.3 seed Duke in the first round.
One of the keys to Hoffman’s success has been an aggressive but flexible man-to-man defense. In this presentation, Coach Hoffman emphasizes the fundamentals of closeouts, footwork, and communication in every drill of this live practice video. You will see how Coach Hoffman balances the importance of these fundamentals while teaching different shell drill variations as well as different ways to defend on-ball screens.
Small Group Stations
The practice begins with a series of stations. One of Hoffman’s assistants does the teaching as the team is run through a series of drills focused on improving defensive tactics. The drills include:
- Single-Double Drill: Players learn to coordinate single or double off-ball screens.
- Closeout-Contain-Chest Up Drill: Helps players improve their on-ball defense by recovering and stopping the offense from scoring.
- Show Drill: Focuses on hedges when defending a side ball screen.
Handling On- and Off-Ball Screens
Most coaches use some form of the shell drill to teach and practice team defense. In this segment, Coach Hoffman delivers a number of ways to handle on- and off-ball screens. Players work on defending basket cuts, staggered weak side screens, staggered screens, and baseline drives.
The Box Screening Drill is great for working on setting and defending screens. In a small area in a 4-on-4 situation, offensive players work on their timing and spacing while the defense works on fighting through and around down and back screens.
The practice session ends with a 5-on-5 scrimmage segment. Here, Coach Hoffman shows you how you can mix up different strategies to defend on-ball screens with switches, jamming the roller, and more.
Coach Hoffman’s presentation will prompt you to examine how you play defense. A great communicator who emphasizes fundamental defensive skills, Coach Hoffman presents something that any coach at any level can use in his or her program.
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