Find a body to box out

From Derek Brown of CoachTube

The ‘Nearest Man’ Drill teaches players how to control the glass even when there isn’t an opposing player in their immediate vicinity

Why use it

During a game, players may be caught in the paint without an offensive player near them to box out. You still need those defensive rebounders to have the ability to read the floor and put a body on an opposing player before securing the rebound.

Set up

One defensive player is in the middle of the paint facing the top of the key in a defensive stance. Three perimeter players are stationed at both wings and the top of the 3-point line.

How to play

Before play begins, designate one random perimeter player to crash the boards when you shoot the ball.

This designation is made without the defensive player’s knowledge [1].

Shoot the ball.

The perimeter player you chose now crashes the boards.

The defender locates the player, takes a step toward him or her and boxes out that person before going for the rebound [2].

If the offensive player retrieves the rebound, the defender must do five to 10 push-ups.

The defender cannot become a perimeter player until securing two rebounds in a row [3].


The key to this drill is to impede the offensive player’s momentum and progress to gain the advantage. Reading, reacting and securing the ball are all elements of rebounding and this drill utilizes each of them.

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