These 3 drills to work on keeping the ball out of the lane are a follow up to the article I posted from Coach Mike Neighbors entitled:

“Things Basketball Teams Do a Lot” You Can view that post by clicking here: “Things Basketball Teams Do a Lot

One of those things that the article lists is keeping the ball out of the lane.

These three basketball drills are designed to help your team work on that.

All of this information came from Coach Neighbors weekly basketball coaching email newsletter. If you are interested in being added to his list, let me know and I will forward your email address on to Coach Neighbors.

I will post the remainder of the drills next week. I was hoping to have them all up today, but ran into some weather related difficulty.

Again, these drills are attributed to University of Washington Women’s Head Coach, Mike Neighbors.

30 Second Shot Clock

This is one of our best half court drills to work on 5 on 5 team defense.

If you play without a shot clock, you could change the name of the drill to reflect the last possession of the game.

The idea is to instill in your defense the importance of playing good team defense repeatedly in the most adverse situations.


The clock begins when the offense initiates the ball with pass or dribble. The possession is played out.

The clock remains at the time it is if the defense is able to come up with a defensive stop. The offense then resets with
the clock showing the new time. So basically the defense will need to play perfect defense until the clock reads 00:00

But if at any point the offense scores, gets an offensive rebound, or an uncontested shot the clock is reset to :30

During the possession if the defense deflects and pass or creates a turnover, three seconds are run off the remaining time. If they
are able to take a charge there is a five second run‐off.

Additional things to add as you get the hang of the drill:

Reset on post player catching it two feet in the paint
Reset on getting beat to the outside off the bounce
Reset for not communicating on defense
Offensive rebounds

This drill gets intense and must be officiated or it will get ugly.

We try to complete this drill twice in 8 to 10 minutes…

N the Paint


Defensive players begin in BALL and GAP positions.

:30 seconds on the shot clock

Use the area we tape down for every practice to simulate our POST and our RACK ZONE as the target zone for the offense. (See Diagrams Above)

The offense is attempting to drive the ball into the taped down area. Every time they can get a foot into that area, they earn a point.

The offensive players without the ball must stay beyond the three point line but can move in relation to penetrations.

As the season progresses we will allow them to screen and cut, but to begin they can only SPACE.

The offense uses the entire :30 to earn as many points as possible.

If the defense can force a turnover, it does complete the possession.

They will quickly learn they had better get the steal if they gamble. If they don’t get it, the offense will rack up point after point.

We will flip over after each :30

We usually play to 15 or for a set number of possessions.

This drill can get sloppy when the offense takes too many chances.

So we will also implement our TURNOVER RACK to discourage out of control play

(Turnover Rack is a rack of balls visible during our practices. Once the ball gets empty, we condition)



This drill is best introduced as a 3‐on‐3 situation. As the sequence of a STOP‐SCORE-STOP is repeated and as the season progresses making it a 4‐on‐4 and ultimately a 5‐on‐5‐on‐5 situation will maximize the time and also create the most game like scenario possible.

With a large team you can have this going on both ends with winning teams advancing to play each other as needed.

Divide into two 3‐on‐3 colored teams.

Blue starts on offense. White on defense.

The main idea to communicate is that each possession either finishes in a STOP or a SCORE.

When a team comes up with a STOP they then must follow that with a SCORE to keep their sequence going. If that team completes the next possession with a defensive STOP they EARN a point.

We will either play this drill to a certain number of points or for a set amount of time.

This is another drill that works both offense and defense simultaneously.

DEFENSE: Teaches the importance of finishing possessions either with rebounds or steals or tying up loose balls. It teaches great communication. It teaches your players how quickly momentum can swing.

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