I know a lot of you out there are ball pressure and trapping teams so I thought i would give you all a pretty good drill that helps practice some of the concepts of forcing turnovers. If you want to run a press like Bruce Pearl's 1-2-1-1 press, the two defenders must work together to force the turnover.


Pretty basic, 1 ball, 3 players per group. Try to matchup talent, so don't pick your point guard as the dribbler and your 2 slowest players to practice trapping. Make sure the levels are appropriate to help build confidence in your players.

The Poke:

Start the drill with the 3 players across the free-throw line. If you are just learning this drill, best to keep the players close together, so the 2 defenders are at the elbows. As your players get more comfortable with the drill you can spread them out or start them well behind the dribbler.

O1 starts dribbling first out towards center-court. The other 2 defenders trail and attempt to poke the ball away without bumping the dribbler. They 2 defenders should work together in poking the ball and recovering the loose ball. This is important for any trapping, pressing team, to steal the ball properly.

The Trap:

Once the 2 defenders reach the same level of the dribbler. If the dribbler still has possession of the ball, he will reverse direction.

The dribbler must dribble backwards. X1 and X2 will turn around and attempt to trap the dribbler. Once the ball is dead, both defenders should practice setting the 'T' between their legs making sure the dribbler cannot pivot and split the defense to pass out of the double-team. Freeze your players and correct their position if they aren't doing this properly. Any trap or press must be executed properly so as to ensure the offense cannot pass out of the trap.

As the players get better and better, you can add points. The players that have the least amount of points need to do lines, wall taps or pushups.

If you're looking for more info, I recommend Jeff Lebo's DVD on half-court trapping techniques and doubling down. Coach Lebo is head coach at Auburn and provides a ton of great info on trapping and doubling. I also have lots of notes so head over the X's and O's Basketball Forum to take a look and see what I have.