To teach kindergartners through high school players the fundamentals and fun of basketball.

My my My my

Teaching Basketball: Grades 4-8

Drills For Success At Any Level

There are key elements to the game that every good coach will teach his kids and will reinforce every time they get together. These elements are detailed below along with recommended drills that will help teach the skill.

Each coach must plan his practice carefully to include solid fundamental drills to give players a chance to practice the fundamentals as well as including more advanced techniques like teaching the principals of man to man defense or attacking a zone defense. Use a variety of the drills detailed below at each practice. Depending on the strengths and weaknesses of your team adjust the time for each skill accordingly, but be sure to reinforce every skill at every practice, and never put an offensive system before fundamental skills.

Practice Outline

Ball Handling

  1. BALL HANDLING - each player has a basketball and handles the ball for a full five minutes keeping the ball in motion. First have the players rotate the ball around their head for a few revolutions and then their waist behind their back as fast as they can. Then each player should do a figure eight around their legs. Hold ball in right hand and pass from front to back to left hand through legs. Then holding ball with left hand, swing around left leg and pass back through legs from front to back catching ball with the right hand. Then holding ball with right hand swing around right leg and pass to left hand. Continue for as long as needed.
  2. FIGURE 8 - stand with legs spread apart a little over shoulder width. Start with ball in both hands in front of you about knee high but gain control with the right hand. Push ball between your legs using the right hand and catch the ball behind you with the left hand. Swing the ball around your left leg from back to front and push it between your legs catching the ball with your right hand behind you. Swing the ball around your right leg and repeat the process.

    Two variations of the Figure 8 drill are to do it while walking and then running.

  3. PRETZEL - stand with legs spread apart a little over shoulder width. Start with ball in both hands with one hand in front and one hand behind you about knee high. Make a slight toss with the ball between your legs and switch your hands from front to back and back to front.


  1. DRIBBLE - do right and left hand drills every practice. In a half court environment have each player with a ball and start dribbling forward up the sideline, then sideways (slide dribble) across mid-court, and then backwards down the other side and then sideways (slide dribble) to the starting point. Do this with each hand and then pick up speed as kids are able to go faster. Have races to create competition.
  2. DRIBBLE - dribble ball at full speed and then hesitate briefly and then continue at full speed, then hesitate then continue at full speed. This teaches a ball handler how to get away from being closely guarded.
  3. DRIBBLE - give every player a ball and have all dribble in the paint with right hand. Tell them to move around. Then have each player try to knock other players balls away with the last one dribbling the winner. Do this drill with both hands.
  4. DRIBBLE - speed dribble from one sideline to another, passing to a team mate after each trip. Have teams and keep score of who wins and reward winners. Add a lay-up if baskets are available.
  5. DRIBBLE - W drill. Start at side end line and dribble to top of the key. When you get there, reverse dribble using one hand and dribble to sideline at mid-court where you cross over dribble. If using half court, dribble across half court and do a crossover dribble at the other sideline then dribble to the top of the key and do a reverse dribble using one hand, dribble to the baseline at the side of the court, crossover and dribble back to the starting point. By starting at the opposite side you can do this drill with both hands.
  6. DRIBBLE - practice a reverse right handed dribble. A player dribbles to the right hand baseline from the wing, plants the left foot, dribbles the ball very low to the ground placing the hand more on top of the ball as it rises, reverse pivots on the left foot pulling the ball around with the right hand, spinning clock wise to the right and dribbling the ball again about 180 degrees from where it was last dribbled.. When players get adept at this they can turn almost 360 degrees and continue in the same direction, but the move is really designed to turn about 270 degrees, and to get around a defender who is lunging for the ball. A continuation of this drill is to have the player then make a bank shot.
  7. PRESSURE DRIBBLE - start drill with one dribbler at mid court and one defender at the foul line and two post players on either side of the paint. The dribbler dribbles as fast as possible toward the basket, but when confronted by the defender at the top of the key picks up the dribble. Under intense pressure the dribbler must pivot and fake and get the ball to either post player. Whichever post player receives the pass attempts to score against the other post player playing defense.

    A variation of this drill is to add a second defender at the foul line to put double team pressure on the dribbler. This teaches pivoting and faking to relieve pressure defense and accurate passing under pressure.


  1. RIGHT HAND LAY-UP - do lay-ups starting at the foul line without dribble. Hold ball in both hands and start with left foot, then right foot then left foot and lay the ball up. Add dribbling and left/right/left steps before lay-up. Add speed dribbling to lay-up. Add finger roll to layup rather than pushing the ball at the backboard.
  2. LEFT HAND LAY-UP - do lay-ups starting at the foul line without dribble. Hold ball in both hands and start with right foot, then left foot then right foot and lay the ball up with the left hand only. Add dribbling and right/left/right steps before lay-up. Add speed dribbling to lay-up. Add finger roll to lay-up rather than pushing the ball at the backboard.
  3. SHOOTING - play "Knockout" with everyone shooting jump shots or set shots from the foul line. If shot is missed, shooter must retrieve ball and make lay-up before next player makes basket or they must sit out.
  4. SHOOTING - put two teams on each side of paint and have a contest with first team to ten the winner. If a shot is made the shooter rebounds his own ball and gives to next person in line. If a shot is missed, the shooter must recover the ball, sprint to the foul line and back to make a lay-up before giving the ball to the next shooter.
  5. SHOOTING - have each player take a minimum of twenty foul shots at every practice, preferably when winded.
  6. SHOOTING - passer at sideline, line of passers at mid-court and shooter at elbow. Ball is passed from mid court to the elbow, shot and rebounded by shooter, passed to the sideline player who passes it to the first person in line at mid-court. First person in mid-court line moves to elbow, after initial shot, sideline passer moves to back of mid-court line and shooter moves to sideline location. Continue rotating for as long as desired.
  7. SHOOTING - have player in triple threat position with feet spread shoulder width apart and ball held firmly with both hands at the armpit of the shooting hand. Triple threat is pass, shoot or drive. First have player jab step at basket and pull back and shoot. Do this for several rotations. Then have players jab step and drive to the basket. Do this for several rotations. Then have players jab step right or left, crossover to the opposite side and drive to the opposite side before shooting.
  8. SHOOTING - stand one foot from rim under the basket. Have players shoot ball as many times as possible. Then have players stand at 45 degree angle to the backboard and shoot bank shots from two feet away.
  9. SHOOTING - the two ball drill is great for teaching a powerful finish for a forward or center. Put two balls on either side of the paint. Have one player go across paint, grab ball and explode to backboard to make lay up. Player gets own rebound, replaces ball, goes to opposite side of pain, picks up the ball and makes a power lay up. Drill continues for one minute and number of made baskets are counted.
  10. SHOOTING - do the Mikan drill with hook shots from each side while standing directly in front of the basket. Make players use proper step and full arm extension with both arms to get better feel for controlling the ball. Don't shortcut on this drill as it is a great way for the players to get a feel for spinning and controlling the ball with both hands.

Jump Stop and Pivot

  1. PIVOT - start with a line of players lined up along center court with the coach with the ball about five feet above the top of the key. On command each player, one at a at time, sprints to the foul line, jump stops and reverse pivots. As the player is pivoting the coach passes the ball to the player at different locations to make them react quickly and to catch a variety of passes. After catching the ball, the player pivots off either foot, head fakes and dribbles to basket for a lay up, or does a ball fake, power dribble and shoots a jump shot.
  2. JUMP STOP - players line up at mid court, drive from mid court dribbling ball, jump stop at foul line and do a jump shot.


  1. HEAD FAKE - have players lined up each with ball in triple threat position. Feet shoulder width apart, knees bent slightly, ball held firmly in both hands near the shooting side armpit, ready to either pass, shoot, or drive. On command, each player sharply jerks their head upward as if they are going to take a shot. They then take a quick jab step toward the basket and one dribble. To be effective the head jerk must be quick.
  2. BALL FAKE - have players lined up each with ball in triple threat position. Feet shoulder width apart, knees bent slightly, ball held firmly in both hands near the shooting side armpit, ready to either pass, shoot, or drive. On command each player raises the ball sharply to about one foot over the shoulder as thought they were going to take a shot. They then take a quick jab step and one dribble toward the basket.
  3. BALL FAKE - Hold the ball with both hands six inches over the head. When faking using an overhead motion, step, using the non-pivot foot, toward the location you are faking and bring arms down sharply toward that location while holding firmly to the ball. Bring the ball back up to over the head and pass in another direction.


  1. REBOUND - the most effective drill for rebounding is the 3 on 3. Set up teams and keep track of progress throughout year or reward/punish at each practice. One team is offense (outside position) and one is defense (inside position). The coach dribbles to either side to evaluate how players react to position of ball and takes a shot. Defense should see a man, make contact by touch, reverse pivot and put "butt on knee" (stress that contact must be made) with arms raised, and then find the ball. Offense should fight for position by putting an arm over top of the defenders arm, stepping around and trying to get inside position. If defense gets rebound they keep ball over their head holding on with two hands and outlet pass to another player on the side line. Do this for ten shots, rotating offense and defense each shot and keep score. Defense rebound=1, offense rebound=1, offense put back=1.
  2. OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING - have one player stand in rebounding position ( head up, butt out, arms up with upper arm parallel to ground) (player 1) and another player (player 2) behind being boxed out. Player 1 puts the left arm over top of Player 2's right arm and lifts the left leg over the Player 2's right leg to gain inside position. Immediately, Player 2 gets in rebounding position and Player 1 tries to gain position. This is repeated for at least ten reps to give each player a chance to feel what it is like to go from behind to in front. Keep doing this for a couple of minutes each practice.
  3. REBOUND - a good conditioning drill for rebounding is to have players hold ball over their head and jump as high as they can for one to two minutes. For the more committed, bring a brick to practice and have your 4s and 5s jump using the brick rather than a ball.
  4. REBOUND - have each player stand in a line to either side of the basket and toss the ball to the backboard like a shot. Each player must rebound the ball, grasping it in two hands, keeping the ball as high as possible (stress not bringing ball down), and put the ball back up jumping as high as possible.
  5. REBOUND - have player start on one side of basket and toss ball over the basket off the backboard. The player must sprint to other side and rebound the ball with both hands, holding it as high as possible, and toss it back over basket off the backboard to the other side.
  6. REBOUND - post players are in line under the backboard. The first faces the backboard, tosses the ball up and rebounds it with both hands at the peak of the jump, keeps the ball overhead and makes a two-handed outlet pass to the sideline. If a full court is available, the passer follows the ball, sprints to the other end, gets the rebound after the pass receiver makes the fast break lay up and outlets again to the same man sprinting down the opposite sideline.


  1. PASSING - have players face each other and make chest, bounce, overhead, one handed left and one handed right passes back and forth. Do each pass at least one minute and be sure players are stepping into pass properly and getting enough zip on passes. Be sure catchers are catching ball with finger tips up so they are ready to pass or shoot the ball on catching it. Move players farther apart and throw one handed baseball passes with dominant hand as far as possible accurately.
  2. PASSING - put a third player between two passers as a defender. Have the middle person try to deny the pass or block it, hustling back and forth between passers. Passers must aggressively fake a pass to one side and then step with their off leg to the side they are passing to and pass around the defender. Make passers do one handed passes from both left and right side.
  3. PASSING - if you have a post offense, be sure that you have players practice passing to the post. If the player is guarded from the back, the post player must "post up" with "butt on knee" of defender, one arm extended toward the passer and the other hand used to ward off block or steal attempts. If the post player is guarded from the front or side, the post player must seal the defender with a "butt on a knee" and extend an arm far out in the direction the pass will come from providing a big target.
  4. PASSING - Practice with a defender fully fronting a post player and require the passer to lob a pass over the top of the defender. This requires some skill and coordination with the post player, who must seal off his player, and call for the ball when, in a game, no one is between the post player and the basket.

Man to Man Defense

  1. MAN TO MAN DEFENSE - each player is assigned a man based on matching size, speed, quickness or general ability. The main idea is to keep your player from scoring and that is accomplished most often by keeping the defenders body between the ball and the basket. Play five on five or four on four and stress keeping a defender's body between his man and the basket as much as possible.
  2. MAN TO MAN DEFENSE - do the "Z" drill which requires players to get in the defensive position. The defensive position requires players to turn at a 45 degree angle with belly button facing the ball side of the dribbler, knees bent, back at about a 45 degree angle, the right hand low with palm upward reaching for the ball and the left hand high blocking the passing lane. As the ball is dribbled, very slowly at first, to the dribblers right (defenders left), the defender steps with the left foot and drags the right foot in the same direction near the left foot, being sure never to cross the legs (defensive shuffle). This is continued for several dribbles. When the ball handler "crossover dribbles" to the dribblers left hand, the defender plants the left foot and swings his body 90 degrees to the right so that the belly button is facing 45 degrees to the right (ball side) of the dribbler, the left hand drops low with palm up going for the ball and the right hand is held high blocking the passing lane.. The defender then picks the right foot up and moves it dragging the left foot in the same direction being certain not to cross the legs (defensive shuffle). This move is repeated side to side.
  3. MAN TO MAN DEFENSE - one of the best ways to learn man to man defense is to run the "shell drill". Half the players (maximum of five) on one team and half on the other. As the ball is passed from player to player, first only around the outside, the other players react to the position of the ball and are helped by the coach. Normally, if a player is two passes away from the ball you want the defender with both feet in the paint to help out in the event that some other player attacks the basket. If one pass away, the defender should be aggressively covering the opponent. At higher levels of play a coach would want the defender to deny the ball by staying in or near the passing lane. Players will quickly learn when to back off their man because that player is not an outside threat. Players should also be taught not to chase their man all around the court and to follow the rules outlined above for position relative to the ball. If the basket is attacked in a dribble drive, every defensive player should sag on the basket, at least as low on the court as the ball, in an effort to stop the drive or shot. Inside post players must be told to stay as close to the basket as possible, if their player is not an outside threat, to help out against a driving opponent. Inside players must always be taught to get their, hopefully tall, bodies between the opponent and the basket, and to stand up tall with hands and arms stretched straight up in the likely path of the ball to the basket, particularly when they are helping out. Reaching in is common for slow lazy big players, rather than quick foot movement to get in the path of the driving offensive player.
  4. MAN TO MAN DEFENSE - quickness and rapid feet movement are the best way to play man to man defense so any agility drill is helpful. Big men must be taught to keep their center of gravity low while small quick players should pick man to man up easily. Sometimes playing tag on the basketball court is a good drill to teach rapid foot movement and quick turns to avoid being tagged.
  5. LATERAL MOVEMENT - line up all players at mid court facing the side of the court. On command all players use the defensive shuffle to go to the foul line extended as fast as they can and then back to mid court.
  6. TRANSITION DEFENSE - a good conditioning drill is to line everyone up facing the base line at about the top of the key. On command they sprint to the baseline and then backpedal as fast as they can to the starting point. Do for one or two minutes depending on condition of players


  1. TRAPPING - the first drill to teach when discussing trapping is "herding". Like the name implies, you must teach your players to position themselves properly on the floor to "herd" the opposing player to the location they want then to go. That is done through putting two defensive players at each side of mid court and the ball handler at the base line. The ball handler should try to get by the two defenders while the defenders must try to "herd" the player to a trapping location on the floor, designated by the coach, by using body position ( 45 degree angle facing toward the direction you wish to herd) and good footwork (defensive slide) to cut off the ball handlers angles.
  2. TRAPPING - trapping is made easier by using a side line in the back court, or the mid court line, once the dribbler has crossed, and a side court line to help contain the dribbler.
  3. TRAPPING - once the ball handler is stopped and picks up the dribble, the trappers must aggressively use their body and arms to block all passing lanes and to cut off all passes to the ball handlers teammates. Trapping is 90% aggression and players must be taught to aggressively block all passing lanes, but not to foul.
  4. TRAPPING - whenever a ball handler picks up their dribble, the nearest player, or that persons defender, must aggressively get in the ball handlers face and wave their arms to try and deny all passing lanes. If another player is nearby, that player may choose to leave his man to double team and trap the ball handler, being aware that their man is now unguarded.

Zone Defense

  1. TWO THREE ZONE - a simple zone defense has the two guards positioned at the three point line on each side of the free throw line. The forwards are positioned about even with the "low blocks" with the center in the middle. and the 3 and 4 outside the paint.

    The primary rule of a zone is to "stop all splits" of players in the zone, which means don't allow any ball or dribble penetration between defenders into the center of the zone. This is accomplished by good footwork and teamwork to close any gaps created in the zone through rapid ball movement by the offense.

    If the ball gets inside a zone the nearest players must converge on the ball to stop a shot, if possible, while other players rotate to guard offensive players positioning themselves for shots in areas of the zone that have been vacated.

    To practice a zone defense, the coach should pass the ball to certain spots in the zone and then direct the players where he wants them to be to fill up spots in the zone. This is usually pretty obvious but requires practice to make sure the players understand the correct positions.

    There are other types of zones including a "ONE TWO TWO", a "THREE TWO" to guard against strong outside shooters, a ONE THREE ONE", a BOX AND ONE and a "TRIANGLE AND TWO", among others. There is also a "MATCH UP" zone defense, a variation of both zone and man to man, which means that when the ball is near a player in the zone, that player goes out to "match up" and play the ball handler man to man, while others play a zone. When the ball is passed the original defender returns to play zone, while the next defender moves to play man to man on the player with the ball, or "match up" on that player. Any player in an "attack" position ready to receive a pass in an effort to score, should be played man to man in the match up zone.

  2. 41 ZONE TRAP - players set up after a made shot in the back court with point guard out front at the bottom of the foul circle, two players at either side of the foul line, and the fastest two players, the interceptors, about ten feet from each side line at mid court. The ball is allowed to enter the court and the two closest defenders immediately trap the ball. All other players rotate to be near logical receivers and to cut off obvious passing lanes. If the ball is reversed to the player throwing it in bounds, the weak side wing defender stops the player while the point guard rotates back to that side to set another trap. All other defenders rotate into obvious passing lanes to cut off passes to players near them. The idea is to force a wild throw across court so that the interceptors, who started at mid court, have a chance to intercept the long pass.
  3. 21 ZONE TRAP - a variation of this defense used if there is a quick ball handler who easily gets past the 41 defense is to set the point guard up about ten feet inside mid court in the backcourt. The off guard and small forward are positioned about ten feet from the side lines about ten feet in the front court and the power forward and center are on either side of the paint at the foul line extended. As the ball is advanced, the point guard "herds" the ball handler in the direction desired. As the ball handler crosses mid court the defender on that side sprints toward the ball handler and the point guard and that defender trap the ball aggressively using the mid court line and the sideline to help in the trap. The weak side defender sags into a middle position to take away that passing lane and the two big men rotate into the ball side to force an over the top pass which might be intercepted.

Fast Break Offense

  1. FAST BREAK - this skill can be taught in a number of ways but should be reinforced each practice session. One drill is to have a line of players on each corner of the end line. A 4 or 5 tosses the ball on the backboard, gets the rebound at the peak of their jump, and outlet passes to a ball handler running at the wing. That ball handler dribbles in to the center of the floor and continues dribbling to the opposite foul line where he jump stops. The player on the opposite corner sprints to the opposite foul line extended and then cuts sharply to the basket looking for the pass. The initial outlet passer follows his pass and sprints down the right hand side of the floor to the opposite foul line extended and then cuts sharply to the basket looking for a pass. The passer chooses a player to pass to who then completes a lay up. The passer sprints to the wing to his right and waits for the play to develop in the opposite direction.

    The shooter sprints to the left wing and waits for the play to develop. The other cutter gets the rebound on the original layup and outlet passes to the shooter on the right wing and follows the pass sprinting down the right side of the court to the original foul line extended and then cutting to the basket. The original shooter receives the pass and dribbles down the center to the foul line and jump stops looking to pass to a cutting player from either side. The cutting player receives the pass and makes a layup while the other cutter rebounds and then hands off to the next group in line.

  2. FAST BREAK - the next drill is called the three man drill and is similar to the drill described above. Play starts on either end line corner with the ball handler sprint dribbling at an angle to the opposite end and making a layup. After shooting the player sprints to a wing and heads in the opposite direction. The player sprinting down the center of the floor gets the rebound, immediately steps out of bounds and throws a quick long pass to the non-shooting player at the wing opposite the shooter. The person receiving the pass gets to their position by sprinting the length of the floor, touching the baseline and sprinting back to the wing. The ball handler dribbles as fast as possible and makes a layup or passes ahead to the person o the opposite wing.

Half Court Offense

  1. HALF COURT OFFENSE - every team must have a half court offense consisting of planned movements against a zone and against a man to man defense. Against a man to man defense the most obvious set is a motion offense characterized by lots of movements and screens both on the ball and away from the ball. Against a zone defense a widely used offense is the overload of the zone which can happen in many ways. The Free Lance Passing game employed by North Carolina works against either a zone or man to man.
  2. FREE LANCE PASSING GAME - this offense can be used against a zone or man to man defense. It calls for the ball to be reversed through a high post player every three passes. The high post player roams outside the 3 point line around the top of the key and tries to stay one pass from the ball at all times. When the high post gets the ball he immediately looks inside to the other post player posting up for an easy scoring opportunity. If that is not available the high post looks to the opposite wing. If that is not available the high post looks to the point guard set up on the side opposite where the ball came from. And, finally, if none of those opportunities are available he returns the pass to the side he received it from. The idea is that the tall post player can see passing opportunities better and can easily reverse the ball so that the defense has to move to follow the ball. The ball is returned to the same side only as a last resort.

    As soon as the post player passes, he changes position with the other post player so that there is constant movement between the post players. When they move they should try to screen the other player's man creating an easy scoring opportunity. Once the other post player gets into the high post they should be no more than one pass from the ball and should be expecting to get the ball on the "high post must touch every three passes" rule.

    If a high post is a good shooter from 15 feet and can get the ball at the free throw line, or the elbow, the shot should be taken.

    Wings and guards should be in constant motion either screening on the ball and rolling to the basket or screening away from the ball. No guard should be motionless for more than two seconds and if they are, they are not doing their job. Guards should be looking for open spots in the zone or a spot on the end line that is not defended where an easy shot can be taken.

    Whenever a shot is taken, the 3, 4, and 5 must attack the boards for offensive rebounds. The non-shooting guard should go to the free throw line for a long rebound and the remaining player should go back as a safety against a fast break.

  3. MOTION OFFENSE - a motion offense is run against a man to man defense in an effort to create lots of movement, and to constantly set up screens both on the ball and away from the ball in an effort to free players from tightly guarded situations. One such offense is the Open Post Motion offense run by the Cincinnati Bearcats. In this offense there are simple rules to remember. Players start by spacing themselves equally around the three point line with the 4 and 5 closest to the basket. The offense is generally started by the point passing to a wing and then cutting through, either in front of or behind his man, depending on how he is played, looking for a pass. If the pass to 1 is not made, the weak side wing runs directly at the ball and if guarded on the high side, plants the outside foot and cuts to the basket looking for a pass. If guarded loosely on the inside, the weak side wing plants the inside foot and "V cuts" out to get the pass.

    Meanwhile, the "rules of this offense" are to "replace up" in the formation. So, when the weak side wing vacated his spot the weak side forward "replaced up" and took his position outside the 3 point line. The point guard seeing the weak side forward vacate, moves into that spot. If the ball handling wing does not pass to the weak side wing cutting to the basket, he has alternatives. He may attack the basket through dribble penetration, he may pass to someone else who is open, or he may dribble to the top of the key and take over that spot in the offense. When he leaves his spot, the person directly below him in the formation "replaces up" to fill his spot and the cutter would move into the ball side forward slot.

    Players do not just stay put in their spot on the floor. They may set screens or cut to the basket if they see an opportunity, or they may replace the players on the opposite side of the floor. To the extent possible a player wants to make an offensive move at the basket whenever possible. Changing places with another player is usually a non-aggressive move and should be discouraged, but setting a screen for the player above you to free that person going to the basket is what you are looking for.

    Once a shot is taken the three closest players to the basket, crash the boards looking for an offensive rebound. The player closest to hte free throw line goes there looking for a long rebound anf the player farthest away from the basket acts as a safety protecting against a fast break.

  4. ONE FOUR OFFENSE - another offense against a man to man defense is the ONE FOUR, where four players line up across the court along the free throw line extended while the point guard handles the ball and decides what to do. Wings may V cut out and then try to back door to the basket. Wings may screen for post players positioned at the elbows, or the post players may screen for the point driving to the basket, may pick and roll to the basket or may screen for the opposite post player who then breaks to the basket.

    This offense is used against a pressure man to man to spread the floor allowing your best player, usually your point guard, to try a one-on-one move, or if covered, to pass to the open man breaking to the basket.

    A variation of this offense is the "four low" where the players line up along the base line with post players outside and wings at the blocks. The wings screen away to try and free the post player, or to clear a path to the basket for the point guard. Another play that can be used is for the point guard to drive toward the corner and to pass to the outside player. The inside player on that side comes out to screen the point guard's defender as the point breaks to the basket looking for a pass.

  5. SHORT CORNER - a popular play against a zone defense is to flash a forward from the weak side to a position about five outside the paint near the baseline, the "short corner". The ball is dribbled by the wing toward the corner in an effort to draw his defender and the defender guarding the forward in the "short corner" to the ball. The high post player sets a screen on the inside man in the zone and moves to the strong side elbow as the ball is passed to the player in the "short corner".. The player in the "short corner" is trying to get the center in the zone to guard him which will free the high post driving to the basket down the lane unless the zone rotates very effectively to the ball. If the center chooses to guard the high post player, the low post player should be open to take the easy 10 foot shot from the baseline.
  6. OVERLOAD - another popular play against a zone is an overload where more offensive players flow to one side then there are defenders. Normally an overload puts four players on one side with one in the low post, one at the elbow, one at the low wing, and one at the foul line extended outside the three point line. The idea is that one of the four players will be open and can be passed to for an easy score, or it is possible that the remaining weak side player could be unguarded with an easy scoring opportunity on a skip pass across the zone.