Netball Defensive Play

Defensive play netball drills aim to develop team skills in pressuring attacking players and getting into positions which force the attacking team wide or into positions they cannot score.

Centre Pass 1

The aim is to reduce the space of the attacking team at a centre pass, resulting in an interception.

Organisation:  

  • Goal Defence (GD) and Wing Defence (WD) are on the outside of the attackers forcing them into a smaller area along the line. Centre (C) drops back towards the line to cover the space. On whistle C moves to make an interception whilst GD and WD keep attackers in the middle.

Coaching Points

  • C must react to the whistle and commit to an interception.
  • GD or WD can direct C’s movements verbally in response to attacking player.

Progressions:

  • Employ other centre pass options.

Centre Pass 2

The aim is to intercept the second ball from a centre pass.

Organisation:  Goal Defence (GD) and Wing Defence (WD) are on the outside of the attackers along the line. Centre (C) second stage defends the opposing C. On whistle Goal attack (GA) drives out to receive the first pass whilst Wing Attack (WA) drives across the court to receive the second pass. After GA has received the ball the GD drops back to towards the WA to intercept the second pass.

Coaching Points

  • WD should verbally direct GD back towards the WA.

Progressions:

  • WA receives the first ball rather than the GA, so WD then drops back to intercept the second ball.

Centre Pass 3

The aim is to reduce the space of the attacking team at a centre pass, resulting in an interception.

Organisation: GD and WD are on in the inside of their players. On whistle, GA drives out to receive the first pass whilst WD forces the WA wide and deep into the court. This forces the GA to make a long diagonal pass for the WD to intercept.

Coaching Points:

  • WD can use 1st stage or 3rd stage defence to keep the WA wide
  • Other defending players should communicate with the WD, calling when the pass is being made to the WA
  • WD needs to elevate using her arms in order to cleanly take the interception

Progressions:

  • Employ other centre pass options

Forcing Wide

The aim is to work as a defending unit to force the attacking players wide leading to either a forced error, a tip or interception.

Organisation:  

Set up a an area approximately 5m square. Two teams of four players, one attacking the other defending. Attacking team pass the ball around the area while defence try to restrict their space by staying on the inside and forcing them out. Place a time limit or number of interceptions before swapping teams over.

Coaching Points

  • Defenders position body so attacking player has to move away from the ball.
  • Defending unit must communicate in order to work together successfully

Progressions:

  • Increase the space in order to make achieving successful interceptions more challenging. Likewise if success is not being achieved by the defenders, the space can be made smaller.

Forcing in

The aim is to work as a defending unit to force the attacking players into a small space leading to either a forced error, a tip or interception.

Organisation:  Set up an area approximately 5m square. Two teams of four players, one attacking the other defending. Attacking team pass the ball around the area while defence try to restrict their space by staying on the outside and forcing them in. Place a time limit or number of interceptions before swapping teams over.

Coaching Points

  • Defenders position body so attacking player has to move towards the ball.
  • Defending unit must communicate in order to work together successfully.

Progressions:

  • Increase the space in order to make achieving successful interceptions more challenging. Likewise if success is not being achieved by the defenders, the space can be made smaller.

Circle Defence with Communication

 The aim is to achieve an interception in the shooting circle by communicating with another circle defender.

Organisation: 1 feeder outside the shooting circle, 1 shooter, 2 circle defenders. Shooter moves around the area whilst being shadowed by the 2 defenders who form a V shape around the shooter. The defender at the back of this shape co-ordinates the movement of the second defender who is at the front, this is known as having “eyes at the back”. The feeder passes the ball to the shooter which is intercepted by one of the defenders. 

Coaching Points

  • Loud, clear and well timed direction from the “eyes at the back”
  • Small foot base with knees flexed, keep head still and eyes up
  • Angle your body so the shooter is forced to move in a certain direction, ready for you to make the interception

Progressions:

  • Add another shooter
  • Add another feeder

Defensive Pairs

The aim is to encourage communication between the two defenders.

Organisation:  

Players set up in a square with two defenders in the centre, one at the front and one at the back. Defending players call to each other in order to direct their positioning and achieve an interception. Players on the outside are not allowed to pass to their immediate left or right.

Coaching Points

  • Keep head and eyes up at all times.
  • Keep small foot base.
  • Watch ball and player’s eyes, ready to time the interception.
  • Calls need to be clear, well timed, and in response to the predicted pass.

Progressions:

  • Increase players around the outside to form a circle (players on the outside are not allowed to throw immediately to the player next to them).
  • Increase the size of the playing space.
  • Add an attacker to the middle of the playing area.

ABC Drill

The aim is to practice different styles of defending.

Organisation:  Players set up in a triangle labelled A, B and C. The ball moves around these three players in sequence and the defender who starts in the centre of the triangle aims to intercept using first and second stage defence.

Coaching Points

  • Keep head and eyes up at all times.
  • Keep small foot base.
  • Watch ball and player’s eyes, ready to time the interception.

Progressions:

  • Mixing up the direction the ball travels.
  • Increase the size of the triangle.
  • Use a variety of different passes.
  • You could make the triangle into a square.