Closing Out Drill

Carmelo Anthony and Kenny Smith demonstrate the closing out basketball drill. When a shooter is in position this drill teaches players to run at then and shift into a defensive position sliding the last two steps. The correct arms, footwork, and balance are key to having success at contesting a jump shot. As a variation the offensive player will fake shot and move toward the basket, the defender should follow and get to his spot and block.


Coach 1: Okay, the next thing we're going to talk about is closing out because a lot of times you're late. Sometimes the guy did get open and you have to go and rotate over to him. There's a correct way, footwork and balance to close out so you don't get beat every time. So the first thing, Rip's the best shooter in basketball. I have to run at him fast. So the first thing I want to do, I want to treat everybody like Rip Hamilton. He throws it, I want to run out fast. I want to run out fast. Now, notice my last two steps. One, two. I slid. I'm not going to continue to run, because if I continue to run, as Rip is a great shooter, and I just continue to run and try to go, he's going to fake up and go by me. I'm not going to be on balance. So the one thing I want to do now, I want to have a hand up as I run, I want to run and come out in a defensive position. Hand up.

Coach 2: The hand is very important. You see, a lot of guys closing out on shooters such as Rip with their hands at the chest. That is not going to deter a good shooter from shooting the ball. Make sure your hand is extended as high as you can get it to try to alleviate a shot.

Coach 1: I'm going to give ya'll all a secret here. There's no way in the world that I can stop him from getting a jump shot. Only thing I can do is make it contested. Because he already is ahead of me, so I have to realize that I'm just trying to make it contested. If I try to block it, he goes by me. I have to contest the shot. That's the most important thing. It's impossible for you to get here to here, but if you contest it and come on balance, it's a tough shot.

Okay, he's closing out. Pull. Good. Last two steps you would slide. Running out and then choppy steps, two choppy steps. Okay, next. Let's go. Let's get a line.

Coach 2: Let's go. Keep moving, guys.

Coach 1: Good. Good, good. Next.

Coach 2: Here we go.

Coach 1: Good. Let's go. Good. Good, good defense. That was good right there. Good. Good. Good, Good. Good, Good. Last two. Run out choppy. Good, good. Good, let's go. Go. Oh, that's good. Okay, now you got a good player. He's like, "Offensively, I'm going to figure this out. I'm not just going to sit here and let you close out on me." So now as he closes out, he fakes and you have to cover him for two dribbles and get to your spot and hands up. So it would look like this.

We have our shooter out there. I'm running out, slow motion. I'm running out, I close out. He dribbles. I slide, slide. Hands up. Slide, slide, hands up. You be our shooter. I'll be defender.

Coach 2: Here we go.

Team: Go, go.

Coach 1: Up, slide, hands up. Good. Next. Let's go, let's go. Good. Oh, good defense. That's on the tape, we're going to get that in tape. Let's go, next. Good, good. Oh, offensive! Good job, good job. Give him a hand.

Coach 2: Go get him up, go get him up.

Coach 1: Give him a hand. Let's go, let's go. Good. Good. Good. Hold on, hold on. Switch. Let me be the offensive player for a second. Okay, let's start like I was the offensive player. So now I'll be the offensive player. Same thing. I catch. Same thing. Fake. One, two. Good, next. Let's go, let's go. Good, good. Good job. Good job. Good, good. Hands up, good. Next. Good. Oh, I might shoot over the little guy. Oh no, good defense. Okay, let's go. One more, last one. Last one, good. Good.

Coach 2: Good job. You all right?

Coach 1: Yeah.

Coach 1: Great defense is balance, good understanding what it takes coming out on balance. Coming out on balance, getting your man under control, your body. Cutting off the baseline. Perfect defense.

Coach 2: Perfect defense, best thing. And balance is the most important thing when it comes to defense. Like I said, the head is part of your body, and especially in a close-out, you must swing those arms to help get your head to go back over your body to make sure your body's centered. Very important in a close-out.

Release Date: Jul 11 2013

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