Hold your opponents to a low field goal percentage with a pressure man-to-man defense!
- Refine your players' defensive stance and footwork to improve the pressure they can apply with on-ball defense
- Force opponents out of their "go-to" offense and into less effective second and even third options
- Build mental toughness with the Wahlert Drill to get defensive stops and break the monotony of late season practices
with Steve Bergman, Iowa City West (IA) High School Head Boys Basketball Coach; 2017 Iowa High School Class 4A State Champions; 6x Iowa Class 4A State Champions, including back-to-back-to-back titles from 2012-14; Over 500 career wins; 12x MVC Coach of the Year
"Defense wins championships" is a longstanding basketball axiom. In this video, five-time state championship coach Steve Bergman details the four basic defensive concepts he's used to win over 500 games over the course of his coaching career.
Coach Bergman believes in using an aggressive man-to-man defense that forces opponents to operate in uncomfortable scenarios. Using whiteboard "chalk-talk" segments and on-court demonstrations, he provides you with a detailed overview of his defensive system. You'll learn about the rules to Bergman's three levels of pressure, which are based on whether you want to deny all passes or drop back and offer more help support against dribble penetration. He also shows you how to tailor the defense to your own personnel and the teams you'll face during the season.
In addition to outlining the fundamental tenets that form the foundation of an effective defense, Bergman demonstrates 13 practice drills to build this style of defense. These drills will lay down the entire foundation you need to force your opponents into bad shots and turnovers.
Individual Breakdown Drills
Whether your team can get out in the passing lanes without giving up easy baskets is going to be heavily dependent on the ability of your players to keep the ball in front of them. Coach Bergman explains the details he values in a defensive stance, footwork, and close outs through three drills that break down these techniques. In each drill, you'll learn how you can adjust the drill to emphasize what needs to be taught based on the ability level of your players.
You can begin to build the larger team concepts to the defense through four- and five-man shell drills. Coach Bergman demonstrates numerous variations that will help you teach positioning, helping on dribble penetration, denying cutters, and defending ball screens with the hedge and over technique. Drills include:
- Box Drill - Work on defending off-ball screens such as pin downs. - 15 Second Drive Drill- Challenges your players to make the right rotations to stop dribble penetration and recover. - Five-man shell drills - Incorporates post defense and the responsibilities of the post to step up versus dribble penetration. - 5-on-5 Change Drill - Perimeter players learn how to "help the helper" in drive situations.
Small-Sided Cut Throat Drills
After you've instilled basic man-to-man fundamentals, Bergman shows how to use small-sided "cut throat drills" to ramp up the intensity of your team's defense. These drills change the defensive emphasis from all-out pass denial with the 8 Passes Drill, to rotating to help on drives in the 4-on-6 Scramble Drill. The 35 Second Perfection Drill is a great way to demand that your players are paying attention to every detail in your defensive system.
Every team needs to prepare for the mental toughness that is necessary to succeed in the adversity of end-of-game scenarios. The Wahlert Drill simulates these conditions by forcing your players to fight through fatigue to get defensive stops.
Coach Bergman gives you all the tools needed to build a great half-court defense from concept to application in this video!