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4-On-4 Change Drill Requires Chatter

Great defenders talk to each other – force players to communicate by frantically changing responsibilities in the middle of the drill

Not everyone on your team is inclined to communicate loudly but it is required to be a disruptive, cohesive defensive team. Success in this drill comes from talking and shifting as player responsibilities shift.

Start in a traditional shell drill look (4-on-4). The offence passes the ball around the perimeter.

As the offense passes, defenders explode out of the pack to guard the ball. When the ball is passed, the previous on-ball defender jumps back into the pack [1]. With no warning, yell “Change!” This indicates for the teams to switch roles. The ball handler places the ball on the ground and the offensive players (white jerseys) shift into a pack defense while the defenders (blue jerseys) jump to the perimeter and play on offence [2]. The new offense looks to attack and the new defenders are not allowed to guard who previously was guarding them. The closest defender tries to stop the ball while the other three get to the paint [3].


Defenders have to talk on the change or the offence scores easily. The first goal is to stop the ball and all defenders know not to allow any layups.

Michael Austin

About Michael Austin

I’ve dedicated my professional career to advancing the education of basketball on a local, regional and national level, but my love of the game took off on the outdoor courts of my hometown in Massachusetts. From youth hoops to the highest level of collegiate basketball, I’ve witnessed and reported on it all, and I’m ready to take this knowledge to provide you with the best coaching publication available – Basketball Coach Weekly.
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