‘4v3 Contest’ Builds Scramblers

Defenders must learn to react and recover (scramble) when passes are flying around the perimeter — use this disadvantage drill to sharpen those skills.

All great defenses scramble well. This means they sprint to recover as the ball is moving around the perimeter and know when to dive into the lane or cut off the ball handler. 

This is a disadvantage drill so there are four offensive and three defensive players. The offensive players are stationary and spaced around the perimeter with two on the baseline and two pinched toward the middle on the wings. Have one defender ready to jump to the ball, one in the middle and one guarding the weak side to start.

1 jumps to the ball as 2 moves out of the lane with the ball on the right side. A pass is made to the baseline, which means 2 now jumps to the ball and 3 slides to the middle of the lane as 1 drops slightly toward the baseline [diagram 1]. A diagonal pass is made to the left wing, so 3 sprints to guard the ball. 1 drops into the middle and 2

A diagonal pass is made to the left wing, so 3 sprints to guard the ball. 1 drops into the middle and 2 comes high to guard the backside [diagram 2].

The ball quickly is passed to the left baseline. 1 sprints to guard the ball as 2 moves to the middle and 3 slides down [diagram 3].

Defenders never guard the ball on two passes in a row. Communication is critical. Players must loudly say who is taking the ball. The offense takes the first open shot available. Give the defense a point for boxing out and rebounding and the offense one for scoring or rebounding. Play to a set number.

    1. On a pass to the baseline, 2 jumps to the ball with arms up and communicating to teammates he/she now has the ball

    2. Diagonal passes are difficult to guard with just three people — 3 must sprint to take away the passing angles for the new ball handler
    3. There always must be a player covering the middle and once 1 makes the decision to take the middle, he/she communicates that to 2

    4. 1 closes out with high hands and choppy steps as the baseline player may have an open shot at this point
    5. With the ball in the corner, 2 steps into the middle as 2 now also has backside-coverage duty

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