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The Zig-Zag drill

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

Left, Right, Left … one of the best ways to strengthen your defense is to do the Zig-Zag

Watch any competitive basketball game and you’ll see the defensive player assume the position – down low, arms at the ready. If you’re looking for your game to be a little more defensive, try the Zig-Zag Slide drill. Every solid defender knows it.

The Zig-Zag drill teaches players to change direction in a low, defensive stance by simulating the guarding an offensive player with the ball. This drill also builds endurance in the feet and legs.

Start on the baseline in the corner with your back to the opposite baseline. Take an angle and then step-slide toward the middle of the floor. After a few step-slides, perform a drop-step and begin sliding back to the sideline. Repeat this drill to half-court and back.

Remember to stay low throughout the entire drill and pivot on your toes. Avoid standing up toward the end of the drill because your legs will get tired.

Drill Name:

Zig-Zag Slides

Major Skill Area:

Defensive Footwork

Drill Details/Instructions:

1.The player starts on the baseline in the corner with their back to the opposite baseline

2.The player begins at an angle and begins to step-slide towards the middle of the floor

3.After a few step-slides, the player will perform a drop-step and begin sliding back to the sideline.

4.Repeat this drill to half-court and back

Drill Philosophy (Why):

• The Zig-Zag Slides drill teaches players to change direction in a low, defensive stance. This drill simulates guarding anoffensive player who has the ball. This drill also builds endurance in the feet and legs.

Point(s) of Emphasis:

- Make sure to stay low throughout the entire drill

- Pivot on the toes

Common Corrections:

• Players will stand up towards the end of the drill because their will get tired

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