Coaches always want better ways to teach defense. To me, the Mirror Defense Drill is the best drill because it trains lateral movement and reactivity. In the drill below, the strength coaches demonstrate lateral movement with a rear-foot push-off as opposed to the basketball-specific step-slide. For lateral quickness, this is the best movement pattern to teach. Many basketball coaches are stuck in the old dogma and are unwilling to accept a rear-foot push-off or a crossover step because they teach defense in slow motion and from a static position.
In a game, players play defense at full speed and most movement starts with a change of direction – very rarely does a player receive a pass standing still with his defender an arm’s length away in a stationary defensive position. Instead, most on-ball defensive situations start from an off-ball situation with the defender moving to his man when he receives a pass.
The strength coach in the video below is a soccer coach and speaks about the drill’s importance for soccer, but the same things could be said for basketball.
By Brian McCormick
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League