UP AND DOWN THE RIVER

Summary
A defence-focused drill that centres on your players’ ability to defend in different combinations – two on two, two on three and three on three – and quickly switch between different defensive styles based on opposition numbers.

Difficulty
Intermediate-advanced

Players
6

Equipment
1 ball
3 bibs

Coaching points
– Before introducing this drill in your training, you may wish to first cover “BASIC DEFENCE IN THE V” and “SWITCHING IN THE V”, as those skills are important for your defenders to be able to complete this more advanced drill more effectively.
– The drill is completed sideline to sideline in one third – first as a “two-on-two” from one side to the other, then adding an attacking player to create a “two-on-three” back across the court, and finally adding a third defender to create a “three-on-three”, which is contested across the court and back again.
– In the video we stop the players regularly to highlight the important coaching points, however usually you would run the drill non-stop, to force the defenders to quickly switch their style of defence as more players are added.
– In the two-on-two, the defenders can defend with a mix of hands over and two-on-one defence, as well as working together to channel the driving player into the other defender’s space and create opportunities for tips and turnovers.
– In the two-on-three, they’ll need to avoid hands over defence, as that will leave one defender to cover two driving players. Instead, they should work together to quickly switch and help each other to ensure the two driving players are covered as best as possible each time a pass is made.
– In the three-on-three, the defenders can use a combination of different styles. They may choose to go one-on-one, work together to channel the attackers into each other’s space, or a defender may also choose to leave their opponent in order to attempt to intercept a pass thrown to a teammate’s opponent.
– One of the most important tasks for the defenders is to avoid giving their opponent too much space and being beaten on a long drive downcourt. They should attempt to keep the attackers up the court and restrict their space for as long as they can, by blocking and using their body to channel their opponent.
– If a turnover occurs, take the ball back to the sideline and start that repetition again.
– You may wish to give each group of defenders 2-3 cycles through, before switching in new defenders.