These are easy basketball drills to help players learn how to play man to man defense. Once you have introduced the important aspects of man to man, use these drills to help cement proper movement and positioning - and as an added bonus, these drills also have a fair bit of conditioning built in.
The major hurdle players face when playing man to man defense is staying low in their stance - it is natural for then to want to stand up after a few seconds, especially when they are moving in different directions. Proper defensive stance hurts - your legs get tight and cramped and it doesn't take long to decide that his is uncomfortable.
One of the main reasons for doing these drills is to get players' legs used to feeling this way, so they can last in defensive stance longer. So you will find yourself yelling at them frequently to "keep your butts down" and to stay in their stance.
The other thing to remind players is that when moving on defense, they should slide their feet sideways, using quick, short steps, without crossing their feet. Don't hop.
Practice Drill: Slides on the Lines
Note: when the players are sliding up and down the
key, they should be sliding in the "swordsman's stance" - feet in a T
position, one hand raised ahead of them - as if they are approaching and
then backing away from their opponent who is about to shoot
Run this practice drill 2-3 times in a row, with players being able to rest in between while they wait for their turn
Run this practice drill for 30 seconds to 1 minute, 3 times with a 15 second break in between.
I've heard this drill called "Foot Fire" as well, but it's all the same.
Run this practice drill for 45 seconds to 1 minute, 3 times with a 15 second break in between.
These are great, easy basketball drills to run that will really help players get used to the movement and stance of proper man to man defense. As this is the first defense we teach at the beginning of the pre-preseason, and so these drills are some of the first drills we run, it is good that they also serve as conditioning drills, and help players quickly get use to the heavy physical demands that basketball requires.