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Close Out - Box Out Drill

  • Author:
    On Court Player Development
  • Date:
    Dec 7, 2010

Ask any coach and he’ll tell you that the art of rebounding is in the positioning, not how big the player is. When it comes to grabbing rebounds, you have to be in the right spot.

The Close Out/Box Out drill will teach you how to closeout on the offense while staying under control. Remember, if the defender is out of control, the offense will have an easy time beating the defender to the basket. This drill teaches defenders how to stop and change direction at game-speed while in a low, defensive stance.

To perform the drill, you’ll need two players. The offense starts at the free throw line extended, while the defense starts underneath the basket. The defender closes out on the offense, sprinting halfway and then chopping his feet the rest of the way. The offensive player runs toward the baseline while the defender pivots and keeps his body between the offense and the basket. Perform this drill on both sides.

You must remember to close out, so sprint halfway to the offense, and then lower down in a defensive stance and chop your feet the rest of the way. When chopping your feet, keep your butt down and your inside hand high to contest a potential shot.

Next, close out the ends when the defender is about one arm length away from the offense. Stay low on your back pivot, and keep your hands and elbows up so as not to grab the offensive player with your hands. Remember not to close out too high and get out of control or close out with your hands down.

Drill Details/Instructions:

1. Requires at least 2 players

2. Offense starts at free throw line extended; Defense starts underneath the basket

3. Defender closes out on the offense, sprinting half way and then chopping their feet the rest of the way

4. The Offensive runs towards the baseline while the defender pivots and keeps his body between the offense and the basket

5. Perform this drill on both sides

Drill Philosophy (Why):

The Close Out/Box Out drill teaches the defender to close-out on the offense while staying under control. If the defender is out of control, the offense will have an easy time beating the defender to the basket. This drill teaches the defender to stop and change direction at game-speed while in a low, defensive stance. The defender learns the proper technique for the box out

Points of Emphasis:

  • Sprint halfway to the offense then lower down in a defensive stance and chop the feet the rest of the way
  • When chopping the feet, keep the butt down and inside hand high to contest a potential shot
  • Close out ends when the defender is about 1 arm length away from the offense
  • Stay low on the back pivot and keep your hands and elbows up so as not to grab the offensive player with your hands

Common Corrections:

  • Player closes out too high and out of control
  • Player closes out with their hands down

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