1-On-1 to Master the Closeout

Building great defenders starts with properly closing out against pass-catching perimeter players, use this 1-on-1 Closeout Drill to sharpen the skill.

Why use it

Closing out is a skill needing constant repetition. Players tend to slack off a bit when it comes to closing out hard on the perimeter. Put a focus on it so players understand how critical it is to your team defense.

Set up

You are at the top of the key with a ball. An offensive player is on the left block with a line of defensive players on the right block.

1-On-1 to Master the Closeout

How to play

The offensive player sprints to the wing as the defensive player hustles to close out on the catch. Make the pass as the offensive player reaches the wing outside the 3-point line. The defender closes the gap with hands up. The ball handler attacks the basket as the defender defends it live and looks to force baseline while not fouling.


When closing out, the defender’s hands are up to disrupt the ball handler’s vision, which makes finding a passing lane more difficult. Plus, it helps the defender contest the shot if the receiver wants to catch and shoot the ball. Use short, choppy steps to close out quickly yet under control to shift directions immediately if necessary.

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