We’ve done a complete breakdown of Coach Shaka Smart’s “Havoc” 1-2-1-1 full court press before. If you want to implement this press, here are 7 killer drills you can use.
To implement this high intensity defensive system, your players need:
- Get comfortable in a defensive stance. Stay low, don’t bob up and down. Imagine a glass ceiling they can’t hit.
- Attention to detail when trapping. Practice 2 on 1 trapping. You should never let someone split your defenders. The two defenders need to communicate and also have their legs toughing to prevent a split.
- Toughness. Defense is 90% effort. These drills will be physically challenging, stay focused and keep intensity high.
- When players get tired, they foul with their arms. Move your feet and be aggressive with your lower body not upper body.
Here are the 8 drills:
- Tip drill
- Mirror into 1 on 1
- 2 on 1 stunt
- 1 on 2 into 1 on 1
- 2 on 2 trap
- 2 on 1 slides
- Sprint slides
- Mass defensive slides
When your press gets beaten, a tip from behind will really deflate the offense. This drill simulates tipping the ball from behind and then into a 3 on 2 situation.
- The ball handler starts inside the paint. He/she can only dribble with 1 hand.
- The 2 defenders try to tip the ball from behind.
- If the ball is tipped or ball handler reaches half way, 1 must pick up the ball and pass to the player on the sideline.
- Play 3 on 2.
Mirror into 1 on 1
This drill has 2 parts, mirror game and then into a 1 on 1. Mirror defense is great for getting players into a defensive stance and moving quickly laterally. 1 on 1 is great conditioning drill.
- The coach holds the ball underneath the rim.
- 1 player is defense, 1 is offense. The defense must “mirror” the offense’s lateral movements. The offense tries to not let defense mirror them. Can only move laterally.
- Coach will randomly throw the ball onto the court.
- The 2 players must fight to get the ball. The person with the ball is offense.
- Player full court 1 on 1.
2 on 1 stunt
One of the cardinal rules of the press is no layups. Alot of time you’ll have a numbers disadvantage when the offense breaks the zone. This is when you want to stunt, meaning you want to pretent to commit by making a jab step.
- Play 2 on 1. The defender tries to prevent a layup.
- Have 2 lines lining up along the sideline. Join in for 2 on 1.
1 on 2 into 1 on 1
In this press, it’s important to trap the ball handler especially in the coffin corner. Practice trapping and not letting the ball handler split the defense or beat the defenders down the sideline. Force the ball handler middle.
- 2 defenders at free throw line, offense on baseline.
- Defenders pass the ball to offensive player and then it’s 2 on 1.
- If ball handler reaches halfway line, the closest defender plays 1 on 1 for remainder of the half.
2 on 2 trap
The defense needs to learn to how to adjust when the ball handler passes the ball. This drill simulates that.
- Ball handler tries to beat 2 defenders. Defenders must force the ball handler to pick up the ball.
- The ball handler can only pass backwards to the other offensive player.
- Keep going until other baseline.
- If this is too hard, make the offense slow down.
2 on 1 slides
This is a conditioning drill to get the defensive player moving in a defensive stance. Remember to stay low and imagine a glass ceiling.
- Offensive players dribble upcourt.
- Defensive player tries to force ball handler to pick up ball.
- When offensive player reaches sideline or middle, pass the ball to other player.
- Continue until baseline.
- On the pass, the defensive player must turn hips and sprint to recover.
This is a conditioning drill to work on defensive quickness.
- Set up cones on the court.
- Defensive slide from cone to cone then turn hips and SPRINT to next cone.
- So defensive slide for 1 length then sprint, then slide.
Mass defensive slides
The oldest drill in the book. Basic mass defensive slides to build team spirit.
- Every player line up along the sideline. On coach’s call, everyone take 1 defensive slide in.
- Try to move in unity and have the team shout “ball, ball, ball” after each step.
- To make it harder, ask players to do foot fire (sprint in place) between each slide.