‘Close & Board’ Creates Competition

A big part of rebounding comes on perimeter shots when defenders first need to close out on a shooter, then box out that responsibility to get in perfect position to secure the ball.


This is a drill for all players but especially important for guards who primarily are closing out on shooters and need to be in the proper box-out position to keep people off the boards. There also is a competitive element to the drill as players are attempting to reach a certain point total and the loser completes a punishment.


Place a coach on the baseline with a ball. There is another coach at the top of the key. Two defensive rebounders start on the baseline while two offensive players are positioned at opposite elbows.


The coach with the ball passes to the coach at the top of the key. On the pass, the two defensive players close out on the offensive player in front of them. On the catch, the coach takes a shot (intended to miss) from the top [A]. All four players now battle for the rebound and once someone secures the ball, the drill turns into a 2-on-2 battle [B]. Either team can score and you are staying at the same end of the court regardless of which team grabs the initial rebound. Score a bucket, get a point and the ball goes back to the baseline coach [C].


1. On the initial pass, the defensive players along the baseline close out on the offensive players and get in position to box them out
2. The coach at the top catches and shoots with the intention to miss — hopefully this coach has the ability to miss to either side of the rim, as well as short and long to create multiple rebounding angles for all players


3. On the shot, all four players are battling in the lane for the rebound and prepare to track down the loose ball if the bounce takes it far from the painted area


4. Once one team grabs the rebound, that team now is on offense and is trying to score in a 2-on-2 setting — if the player can go right up, go for it but many times they need to clear out to open up the offense
5. Run some 2-player offense with pick and rolls, pick and slip or other types of plays in which you can gain an advantage on the defense


Set a number of points as the goal. Many teams play to 5 while others may go to 7 or 9 depending on how many baskets are available, how much rebounding work players need and how much time you have available for that particular practice. There is no out of bounds and only call egregious fouls.

Share this drill

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




No commitment. Cancel anytime.


Follow us