Defense is difficult enough to coach, and often it is challenging to come up with new drills to work on individual defense. I like to implement circuit training with my youths in order to ensure they are getting enough defensive repetitions. Often I have up to twenty kids at once, so it gets redundant to simply do slides every practice. Also, circuit training is a great way to include cardio into practice without taking time out of practice to run lines.
Split your team into four even groups if possible. Each drill should be completed for a specific amount of time. For example, with the youths I coach, they typically do these drills for 30 seconds each. I am coaching very young children so I have to keep the circuits short. If you have older kids you can go for up to a minute.
Lane Slides- Players slide from one side of the lane line to the other. Make sure they are touching each line with at least one foot. To ensure they are staying low, you can have them touch the lines with their hands. They need to stay in a good defensive stance with a low wide base. Feet should be shoulder width apart, and they should never be touching. Butt should be down with the back straight, not hunched over. Head should be up and hands should be out. Slide on the balls of the feet, not on the heels.
Wall Sits- Sit against the wall with butt at a 90 degree angle. Knees should not go over the feet. Feet should be directly under the knees. Knees should not be touching. Hands should be up as if you are playing defense, not resting on the legs. Back should be straight against the wall.
Foot Fires- In a defensive stance, tap the feet as fast as possible against the floor staying on the toes. The tendency is to come out of the stance during this drill. Make sure your players stay low the entire time during this circuit. Knees should always be bent while doing foot fires.
Side Ladders- Work on side lateral movement using the speed ladder. Players should start with quick lateral high knees, followed by quick hops, and then end with quick lateral slides. Footwork is imperative for effective defense and this circuit will improve footwork.