Effective but Easy Basketball Drill
The Three-in-the-Corner Double Team Drill

This is an effective but easy basketball drill that works on two levels: as a defensive drill, teaching players how to effectively execute a double team; and as an offensive drill, teaching ball handlers how to break through a double team.

Most basketball presses will begin their attack with a double team (see these pages for examples of a half court press and a full court press that utilize double teams), so your players need to know how to work with a double team - even if you don't use presses in your game, you need to teach press breaks.

Utilize this as a press break drill and also as a tool to teach effective presses, depending on your need. Probably the most effective way to use this drill is after teaching both a press and a press break, and then your players can practice both the offensive aspects as well as the defensive aspects of the drill at the same time.

Effective but Easy Basketball Drill
The Three-in-the-Corner Double Team Drill


  • Divide players into groups of 3 and position each group in a corner of the court
  • Separate the players according to position - guards together, forwards together, etc.

Situation #1

  • One player starts in the corner with the ball, the other two prepare to play defense on him
  • Defensive goal: do not allow offensive player to dribble through the double team
  • Offensive goal: dribble through the double team!
  • In this situation, our ballhandler (#1) tries to dribble up the sideline and defensive player #2 closes in to block off the sideline drive; defensive player #1 steps in to close off any crossover attempt

Situation #2

  • In this situation, the offensive player tries to drive baseline, and defensive player #1 slides down to block the baseline drive
  • Defensive player #2 steps in to close off a crossover move into the court

Situation #3

  • The defensive players should have clear tasks - each is responsible for closing off one of the boundaries, either sideline or baseline
  • Should the offensive player try to dribble through the middle, both defensive players close in on him, but be wary of the offensive player trying to crossover to the sideline or baseline

An easy basketball drill to teach - not a lot to explain - but players usually find this difficult on both ends - defenders need to work to contain the ballhandler, and a moment's loss of focus will allow an opening that the ballhandler will bolt through. And the ballhandler is in close quarters, making it difficult to dribble unmolested.

Effective but Easy Basketball Drill
Pointers for Players

Offensive Players

  • Don't put the ball on the floor until you are ready to make a move - your first dribble is always your most powerful. Make your first movement count.
  • Head up and see the court - in a game situation you will be looking for teammates to pass to.
  • You only have 8 seconds to cross half - you can't take your time. Be quick and decisive.

Defensive players

  • When cutting off the sideline or baseline, have one foot almost on the line - don't be out of bounds, but be sure that, if the offensive player is going to try to go around you, he will need to step out.
  • Stay low in defensive stance and be ready to move quick - you must get to the position before the offensive player and cut off his route.
  • No reaching for the ball. Your job is to hassle, delay, and make the offensive player turn the ball over or make a bad pass. You are more likely to be called for a foul if you reach than you are to get the ball.

In almost any press, the most crucial element will be the double team. If this is not strong, the press will fall apart. This may seem an easy basketball drill, maybe too simple, but it provides necessary practice to very important skills. Use it to teach, build and reinforce these critical skills that will really spell the difference between success and failure for your team when you are in a press situation.

Be sure to make good use of this easy basketball drill to help develop a hard-hitting basketball press and a devastating press break, and happy coaching!

"The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital."