menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch

The Maryland Anticipation Basketball Drill

  • Date:
    Feb 5, 2010

One of the most important and underappreciated aspects of the game of basketball is defense. As it has been said, "Offense wins games, but defense wins championships."

Michael Cooper, a key asset to the 1980s Lakers dynasty and holder of five NBA Championship rings, was the best defensive player in the NBA for years. Although he never received the attention or accolades offensively of a Magic Johnson or a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Cooper was the one doing the dirty work...playing end-to-end in-your-face defense which no doubt was a huge part of the championship dynasty.

Another storied basketball program, the University of Maryland (both men's and women's), focuses on the importance of stopping your opponent, forcing turnovers, and capitalizing on other's mistakes. The Maryland Anticipation Drill was submitted by Katrina Colleton, a former guard for the Miami Sol who one of the best defensive players in the WNBA. During Colleton's four-year college career at Maryland, her team was ranked in the top 10 nationally and at times held the No. 1 spot in the nation.

The Maryland Anticipation Drill will help any player with their defense and can help players to get more steals, work on lateral movement (side-to-side) and foot speed. The purpose of the drill is to simulate the action of guarding a player off the ball as one of their teammates tries to pass to your man. This drill will help players to anticipate a pass, jump into the passing lane, and steal the ball.

The Maryland Anticipation Drill

Needs: 4 people, 1 ball

Setup: 1 offensive player on right block, 1 offensive player on left block, 1 offensive player at the top of the key (free-throw line) with ball, 1 defensive player one step ahead of the two offensive players on the blocks toward the middle of the triangle created by the 3 offensive players.

The defender should stand in the defensive "ready" position (defensive stance) with hands ready and focus on the person with the ball. The offender with the ball throws the ball to the person on the left block. The defender must anticipate the throw and step into the passing lane and catch the ball before it reaches the offensive player who is being passed to. Once the defender catches the ball, pass it back to the person in the middle who will then throw it to his/her teammate on the right block. Again, the defender should anticipate the throw and (while in defensive stance), step into the passing lane and intercept the pass.

Practice this drill several times. At first, the defender should know which block the player with the ball will pass to, anticipate the pass, and intercept the ball. As the players become more experienced and better at anticipation, the passer should throw to either block without letting the defender know where he/she will throw the ball. It is very important in this drill to work on proper footwork, that is to use either a cross step or a slide to get into the lane. Make sure to rotate so that each of the four players in the drill has his/her turn as the defensive player.

Remember: The idea is to STEP INTO the passing lane and anticipate the pass in order to get a steal. DO NOT run toward the players who are being passed to.

Related Videos

After its successful debut in 2017, the USA Basketball Women in the Game initiative returned with a conference April 7-8 at the Windward School in Los Angeles. In addition to presentations from expert guest speakers, attendees of the USA Basketball Women in the Game conference also experienced breakout sessions and small group discussions between speakers and attendees.

Youth Rules And Standards

Tags

USA Basketball and the NBA announced a set of rules and standards for youth basketball competitions to enhance the development and playing experience for young athletes by helping them learn the fundamentals of the game and achieve greater on-court success.

Learn about USA Basketball Open Court - presented by Nike - which is a program that opens up community basketball courts throughout the country to children for free.

Level: Foundational | Skill: Screening

Level: Foundational | Skill: Team Defense

Related Content

USA Basketball

Tags

In 2018, USA Basketball hosted Coach Academies in eight different locations around the country: Atlanta; Chicago; Cleveland; Houston; Las Vegas; Southern California; and Washington, D.C. Find out what speakers and attendees had to say their experience teaching and learning at coach academies. Stay...

 Every basketball coach has his or her own routine when it comes to practice – how they like to warm up, run plays, scrimmage, etc. Of course, specialized drills are a big part of the routine. And so, this week’s question for the USA Basketball Coaches Network:  What’s...

Chemistry is so important to the success of any basketball team, and good communication between coach and players is critical. So we asked the USA Basketball Coaches Network: How do you foster and improve communication with your players?   Don Showalter, head coach, Iowa City (Iowa) High...

Coaching young players should be thrilling, exciting, rewarding and fun. To prepare yourself, take into consideration the following characteristics that make for a successful youth coach.

USA Basketball

Tags

In 2018, USA Basketball hosted Coach Academies in eight different locations around the country: Southern California, Chicago, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Atlanta and Houston. Hear what speakers and attendees had to say their experience teaching and learning at coach...

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?