Brian Wardle: Building a Rebounding and Defensive Mindset
Get competitive drills that push your players to improve their rebounding mindset and 1v1 defensive play
- Discover six drills that will help you build a defensive mentality in your players
- Learn how to play 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 defense with an emphasis on stopping the dribble and keeping the offense out of the paint
- Create competitive, rewarding rebounding battles at practice
with Brian Wardle, Bradley University Head Coach; former University of Wisconsin Green Bay Head Coach, 2014 Horizon League Coach of the Year; 2014 Horizon League Champions
If you want your team to win the battle on the boards, you need to emphasize rebounding in everything that you do.
Coach Brian Wardle has the ability to get players to play competitively in practice and in games. He uses six drills to demonstrate how you can build a defensive mindset that includes a strong rebounding philosophy to help change your program. As he states, "You cannot win without being able to defend." Each day in practice, Coach Wardle describes the three things you must do to set the tone defensively: work on transition defense, build individual and team defense through 1v1 and 2v2 play, and teach rebounding with every drill.
Coach Wardle gets his players to execute the standard 5-on-0 transition drill, but has his team practice it with a rebounding and defensive mindset. The team runs through their offense and then simulates a block out prior to transitioning the other way. See how you can get players to begin transition defense and act as "safeties." This simple drill teaches players to crash the boards on offense and gets everyone on the floor automatically thinking about their block out responsibilities.
1v1 Play to Build a Defensive Mindset
Using the typical 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 play, Coach Wardle demonstrates some of the drills that he uses on a daily basis to emphasize the importance of playing solid defense and blocking out. Beginning with typical 1v1 play, the team plays to a certain number of points. As players progress, they turn the tide and have players score points based on the number of stops they earn. You win by keeping your opponent in front you. He moves to 2v2 and incorporates the same concepts.
In practice, Coach Wardle has his staff chart certain stats. One of those is blow-bys. These drills are great at finding out which players are getting blown by on a consistent basis and which players can get stops. This is useful when having to make decision about playing time.
Numbered Rebounding and Rebound League
Coach Wardle believes in making drills as game-like as possible. Numbers rebounding is a fantastic drill that forces players to react quickly and block out their opponent. Some key points to blocking out are covered in this section. In particular the "hit or be hit" concept is taught and is a must if you want to create a physical team.
Rebounding League is one of Coach Wardle's favorite drills used to build team defense. It's a competitive game used to emphasize the importance of rebounding while teaching individual defensive concepts. In this competition, players use multiple drills over the week to earn points towards the win. Players learn to want to be successful at rebounding so they can win the week's rebounding title.
Coach Wardle's drills will bring out the inner Dennis Rodman in your players. The ability to practice with a defensive and rebounding mindset will help your team become a force that your opponents will wish they didn't have to play.
Produced at the Spring 2015 Minneapolis (MN) clinic.