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 filter reset Share

8 Drills To Create A Great Shot Blocker

  • Author:
    By Jeff Haefner
  • Date:
    Jan 20, 2015

Shot blocking is one of the great equalizers in basketball. If you know where to look, you can see it everywhere. Walt Frazier, of the New York Knicks of the 1960s and '70s, is considered one of the best defensive guards in NBA history. He had Willis Reed to protect the basket for him.


Examine defensive shooting statistics at every level and odds are that somewhere there is a shot blocker involved. Most importantly, shot blockers stop lay-ups. If your opponent does not get lay-ups, his shooting percentage will go down and you will have a better chance to win.

Where do you get a shot blocker? In pro basketball, you sign one; in college, you recruit one; at lower levels, you hope one moves into the neighborhood. However, you can improve any player's technique, footwork and knowledge base with practice.


Who Should Block Shots?

Having your 5-foot-10 point guard attempt a block on a 6-8 power forward will give your opponents an advantage that will eventually overcome your team. Not only will they score, but 90 percent of the time there will be a foul call. They will get three instead of two and your point guard will wind up in foul trouble. Just as any other role on the team, the coach should designate the shot blockers.


What Shot Should You Block?

Shots that are imminent scores are worth the attempt. If the ball is going to go into the basket anyway, why not give it a try? However, if the player fouls the shooter, he should make sure his block attempt is such that he can make sure that the ball doesn't go in.

Never try to block a jump shot on the perimeter. For every one you block, there will be 10 times you get a foul called. When a good shooter misses 55 percent of the time (making him a 45 percent shooter) the reward is not worth the risk.

Technique

A lot of shot blocking is instinct. In terms of technique, look for this: Block with your arm straight up in the air, use the hand closest to the ball and don't chase shots -- if you can't get to the shot in one step, let it go.

Below are some drills that will help with shot blocking:

Tip Drills

Jump and dribble the ball continually. Work right hand, left hand and alternate hands. Work either by number of repetitions (10 tips each hand) or by time (tip for 30 seconds).

Tip and Touch

Execute just as you would in the tip drill (above) except touch the rim with the other hand.

Blocks


• Each player sets outside the lane with his inside foot on the block along the lane. The coach stands out top with the ball.


• The coach passes the ball to one of the players


• Player with the ball goes directly to the basket -- no fakes, no dribble -- just one step to the hole. Other player attacks the shooter. The defender tries to get to the ball with his inside hand and with one step.


--The drill consists of only one shot.

Two Blocks

• Two offensive players line up outside the lane with their inside foot on the block. Defensive player sets in the middle of the lane, between the two offensive players. Coach stands on top of the key with two balls.

• Coach passes to one of the offensive players.

• The offensive with the ball goes directly to the basket -- no fakes, no dribble -- just one step to the hole. Defensive player steps over to make the block. He tries to get to the ball with one step and maintain position and balance.

• Coach now passes to the other offensive player.

• The offensive player with the ball goes directly to the basket -- no fakes, no dribble -- just one step to the hole. Defensive player steps over to make the block. He tries to get to the ball with one step and maintain position and balance.

• Coach controls the timing of the passes to optimize the drill.


React and Block

• Two offensive players line up outside the lane, equal to about the second lane spot, facing the baseline. Defensive player sets in the middle of the lane, facing mid-court. Coach stands on the baseline with the ball.

• Coach passes the ball to one of the offensive players.

• The offensive player with the ball goes directly to the basket -- no fakes, no dribble -- just one step to the hole.

• Defensive player steps over to make the block. He tries to block the lane to the basket and get to the ball with one step and maintain position and balance.


Help and Recover


TOP TO CORNER OPTION

• Offensive players are set on the foul line and in the strongside corner. Defender is in defensive position, guarding the high post. Coach is on the wing with two balls.

• Coach passes the ball to the high post. Defensive player knocks the ball away. The pass is not intended to be completed. If the pass gets to the high post player, he just holds the ball.

• Coach passes the ball to the players in the corner. The offensive player with the ball goes directly to the basket -- no fakes, two dribbles maximum.

• Defensive player steps over to make the block. He tries to get to the ball with one step and maintain position and balance.


CORNER TO TOP OPTION

• Set drill as top-to-corner option except that the defender is guarding the player in the corner.

• Coach passes the ball to the player in the corner. Defender knocks the ball away.

• Coach then passes the ball to the offensive player on the high post. The offensive player with the ball goes directly to the basket -- no fakes, two dribbles maximum.

• Defensive player steps over to make the block. He tries to get to the ball with one step and maintain position and balance.


STRONGSIDE-WEAKSIDE OPTION

• Players set as in the top-to-corner option. Coach sets on the opposite wing with two balls.

• Coach passes the ball to the high post. Defender knocks the ball away.

• Coach now passes over the top to the player in the opposite corner. The offensive player with the ball goes directly to the basket -- no fakes, two dribbles maximum.

• Defensive player steps over to make the block. He tries to get to the ball with one step and maintain position and balance.

Related Videos

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) discuss the four stages of progressive player development.

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) discuss coaching actions for player growth.

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) discuss creating better players and better people through basketball in is episode.

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) break down the Philosophy for Player Development in this podcast.

Related Content

As young athletes navigate through adolescence, they may run into situations that challenge their moral compass. Whether your athlete is faced with an ethical dilemma in school, in sport, or in the community, doing the right thing is important – no matter who is watching.

USA Basketball Associate and Gold Coach Licenses for the 2020-21 season are now available.

USA Basketball spoke with Mike Fratello to get his insight and perspective on coaching.

Featuring on-screen skills instruction and drill work, USA Basketball will host two USA Basketball Virtual Skills Camps in October 2020.

Seven coaches from all levels explain the best and worst advice they have received about coaching.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?