Slide Into Defensive Position

A skill to work on every day in practice, the defensive slide isn’t as easy as it looks, especially when facing a gifted ball handler.


The defensive slide is a critical skill to contain dribble penetration. It requires excellent footwork and coordination, so needs to be drilled daily.


A ball handler and defender are positioned in each corner. Designate one group as the ones to start.


The ball handler dribbles at about 75 percent effort to the elbow as the defender slides to keep the defender in front [1]. The ball handler now speed-dribbles in the open court. The defender now is trailing the ball and sprints to a spot ahead of the ball handler. At the same time, the second group from the opposite corner begins the first phase of the drill [2]. Once the defender is back in front of the ball handler, the defender gets into the proper stance and slides the ball handler to the sideline [3].


Be sure the group in the opposite corner waits long enough as not to run into the initial group. You want to be efficient … but also safe. To increase the difficulty of the drill, the ball handler can dribble back toward the rim to make the defender’s recovering and square-up more challenging.

Share this drill

Get hundreds of time-saving, stress-busting "print and go" practice plans




No commitment. Cancel anytime.


Follow us