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HOW TO CLOSE OUT ON DEFENSE! Basketball Tutorial from Shot Science

September 10, 2019

Close out… to Shut Down! Hey Team Shot Science! Coach Tom
here and today I want to show you how to close out on defense. When you’re playing off of your
man in help defense and they receive the pass on a ball reversal, you need to be able to
close the gap between the two of you without letting them get the offensive advantage. The reason why this is such a delicate
situation for YOU is that you’re trying quickly to get back into on-ball defensive
position, while they’ve already received the ball and have the option to shoot or drive. Which is tough enough to defend when
you’re NOT running out to challenge them. So the solution for hedging all offensive
attacks while getting back into position for on-ball coverage is to use what’s called
a “Close Out.” And here’s how you use it. From your off-ball positioning, you’ll
see the pass headed to your man before he catches it. You should begin closing the space
between the two of you as soon as you see the ball in the air and you should use this
formula: Two thirds Run-Up, one third Breakdown. The Run Up is where you’re going
to make up two thirds of the distance by exploding full-speed towards your man. You’re going
to stay low and sprint. The Breakdown is the last third of
the distance where you’re going to do several things simultaneously to slow your momentum,
stay on balance, and challenge the ball handler. First thing is your last few steps
are going to be short and choppy, which will slow you down AND give you the ability to
counter if your man takes off on the dribble. If your shoes are squeaking, you’re
probably doing it correctly. At the same time, you want to swing
both of your arms up over your head, while still staying low and balanced. This’ll shift your center of gravity
and help slow you down, while also cutting off the zip pass over your head into the post
and challenge the shot. Once you’ve closed the distance,
you should quickly Reset to On-Ball coverage by falling back off your man a bit, giving
yourself a good cushion to defend. So just remember, from Off-Ball Defensive
position, you Close Out to Reset into On-Ball Defense. From there you should be in great
position to make life difficult for the ball handler. Alright, make sure you stick around
for the comment question in just a second, but make sure you check out all of
our tips and tutorials right down here. And if you need more help with defense you can
click on our Defense 101 video or the “Defensive Playlist” right up here. It would also be awesome if you could
take a second to “Like” and “Favorite” this video. And while you’re down there,
answer today’s question: Which NBA player would you LEAST
like to have defend you in a game? Pick someone that’s just a nasty and makes life miserable
for the people they guard. Let us know your answer down in the
comments and I’ll see you next time! Thanks for watching! Okay Team, you can click right here
for our Intro to Defense or right here for our playlist of defensive videos with some
special tactics to give you the edge. Our tips and tutorials are right
over here in their own playlists and you can join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus
by clicking on the annotations. Come talk to us! Also, you can click right here for
our daily blog on Google Plus for lots of extra tips and basketball knowledge. We’ve also put the links to all
this stuff down in the description for anyone that can’t click on the annotations. Now GET TO WORK!


  • Reply K. A. July 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Shot Science Basketball, thanks for being so helpful!
    Defender: Lebron James

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball July 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Your vey welcome!

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball July 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    If these players are blocking you, then you did not have an opens shot in the first place. See our video on "What is a good Shot!"

  • Reply Muhammed Muzammil July 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    thank u coach,:) wat about making a layup in front of a big man…how should i increase the chances of bucket in that lay up

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball July 27, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    We recommend that you check out our video "Finishes at the rim!" This will give you some really good finishes to use.

  • Reply Muhammed Muzammil July 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    thanx a lot coach!!!

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball July 29, 2013 at 1:14 am

    You're very welcome. Glad we could offer you some help.

  • Reply Le EasyBlog July 29, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Derrick rose

  • Reply sabonater9 August 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm


  • Reply Nick Flemmer August 3, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Chris Paul

  • Reply Fades TV August 3, 2013 at 5:30 am

    victor oladipo

  • Reply Tracy Coffey August 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Kobe lebron drose wilt the stilt mj

  • Reply Sean Guinyard August 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Derrick rose

  • Reply flameout12345 August 9, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Science Basketball can you explain hand checks and holding while sliding in defense and how to counter them

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball August 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Let us reference you to one of our videos for some help. The video is titled "The Hammer!" This pretty well takes care of the hand-checking!

  • Reply Numberr 25 Up NEXT August 10, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Shane Battier

  • Reply RFCrushFist August 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Can you make a vid about how to change a shot?

  • Reply RFCrushFist August 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Great vid by the way thanks shotscience!

  • Reply Huck McElveen August 14, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Shane Beattie

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball August 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    you're welcome and thanks to you for your very nice comment.

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball August 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Those videos are already on our channel.

  • Reply Timmy Duado August 20, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Surge Ilbaka

  • Reply Sehaj Singh August 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm


  • Reply nino mendoza August 25, 2013 at 12:42 am

    COACH TOM how to drive if the defender is so big

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball August 28, 2013 at 2:17 am

    The bigger the better! You are probably quicker!

  • Reply Hosea King Guinto August 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    derek fisher.

  • Reply Sean Guinyard August 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm


  • Reply The Reasonable Canadian August 31, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Scotty Pippen or Lebron

  • Reply BLAIBEL80 September 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Kobe and Lebron, retired, MJ and Pippen

  • Reply JaspAIR September 8, 2013 at 9:19 am

    "Big" Ben Wallace or Chris "Birdman" Andersen

  • Reply Gibson Ciza September 9, 2013 at 3:04 am

    lebron james

  • Reply TheMundy1811 September 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Gary Payton

  • Reply Andrew Mixtapes September 14, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Marc Gasol

  • Reply Chris Davis September 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Dennis Rodman.

  • Reply Kicks Boss September 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Ron Artest when he was younger

  • Reply Ryan Sanil September 30, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Coach , Man to man defense is not much used here in the Philippines. the 2-3 defense is more functional here. Can the close out be used ?

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball September 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm


  • Reply BIG WOKE October 1, 2013 at 1:39 am

    dennis rodman

  • Reply ian lun October 1, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    i wouldnt like neither kobe nor lebron guarding me, just sayin haha

  • Reply Shot Science Basketball October 1, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    WHO WOULD????????

  • Reply Ryan Sanil October 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Shane Battier ! He is really good at playing defense

  • Reply Khandker October 17, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Dennis Rodman

  • Reply QQ552440727 October 18, 2013 at 3:20 am

    jordan or lebron

  • Reply Nahson Wren October 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Dennis Roadman

  • Reply Nahson Wren October 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Dennis Rodman

  • Reply underbone fan October 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    If you're not that athletic or hes really bigger than you, You can use runners,floaters,teardrops instead

  • Reply Tayvone Boone October 25, 2013 at 12:31 am

    LeBron James

  • Reply hunahil2 November 2, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Kawhi Leonard

  • Reply OJ November 3, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Definitely LeBron

  • Reply NineFeZX November 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Avery Bradley of the Celtics . Unbelievable footwork. He wears Dwayne Wades jersey when the Celts play the Heat

  • Reply NineFeZX November 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Angel McCoughtry ! You think you got by her . Hey wait where did the ball go ?

  • Reply free2rhyme445 November 20, 2013 at 2:32 am

    kobe bryant

  • Reply free2rhyme445 November 20, 2013 at 2:32 am

    or avery bradley

  • Reply Ethan West December 2, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Jj barea

  • Reply seham402 December 14, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Thanks coach this helped, i have a big match tommorow.

  • Reply west person January 5, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Meta world peace… He scares me'

  • Reply Ty Smith January 5, 2014 at 4:28 am

    lebron james and jimmy butler

  • Reply Jared Montini January 20, 2014 at 10:21 pm


  • Reply Henri Goh January 27, 2014 at 1:54 am


  • Reply Tommy Ruether February 14, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Serge ibaka

  • Reply Julian G. March 1, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    i think i cant get a shot against javale mcgee 😀 hes  just too LONG

  • Reply Arad Basketball March 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Kobe bryant and dwyne wade

  • Reply Nnaemeka Ahaghotu March 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm


  • Reply scott buffum March 30, 2014 at 11:01 am

    michael cooper

  • Reply Ray Portillo April 29, 2014 at 6:10 am

    My favorite defensive player

  • Reply skalawitz May 4, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Defensive players of all time (personal choice)

    C – Dikembe Mutombo
    C/PF – Ben Wallace
    SF – Scottie Pippen
    SG/SF – Tony Allen or Bruce Bowen
    PG/SG – Gary Payton

  • Reply Bradley C May 17, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Andre Iguodala

  • Reply Joshua Topah May 26, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Bruce Bowen

  • Reply TheHoodedPaki May 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Dennis rodman if he was still playing

  • Reply xRuNNAx June 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Tony Allen

  • Reply Caleb Sewell June 11, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Andre Iguodala lock down defender

  • Reply Alex Rivera July 19, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Kobe bryant

  • Reply Bradie Mack July 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Bill Russell if he still played

  • Reply Muhammad Galih Adityaputra Kurniawan July 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    dwight howard bc i'm a center

  • Reply dionicio rodriguez August 12, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Kobe,kd,Paul George,Westbrook, drose,Chris Paul, just way to muck 

  • Reply Sebastien Georges August 12, 2014 at 2:51 am

    Scottie pipen

  • Reply Delaneo Gipson September 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Patrick Beverley

  • Reply Taylon Or Whatever September 10, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Kawahi Leonard.

  • Reply Ali Damaj September 28, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Probably Kobe

  • Reply Rocky Solomon October 14, 2014 at 3:07 am

    what do you do when your double team or trap.

  • Reply DrewVing October 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I'd gotta say Dwyane Wade. 

  • Reply maaz h October 26, 2014 at 5:28 am

    Hey coach, so I usually street ball( as in no fouls, but we try and play fair) and this kid does this thing where I'm guarding him and he just backs his way to the rim. I don't know how to stop him or what to do, when he gets close he just turns around and tosses it in. Think you could help me?

  • Reply Alvin Stjohn November 14, 2014 at 1:51 pm


  • Reply Renee McCreath November 28, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    hey, Im in tryouts right now and we do plays where we have to do 2 against one and its really hard to defend both of them! can you please explain how I can defend them both

  • Reply Daniel Ludmerer November 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm


  • Reply D Jackson January 26, 2015 at 12:21 am

    I have been taught to close out with one hand up high, does it matter if the close out is down with two hands opposed to one? And if so, how and or why?

  • Reply Bradley Lillard April 4, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I would hate if serge ibaka guarded me

  • Reply David Cerda April 27, 2015 at 3:59 am

    The DPOY Kawhi Leonard…. to much and another is Draymond Green but mostly Kawhi.

  • Reply The Dream Merchant May 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I'd say Avery Bradley or Pat Beverley. They like to guard you full court at times so having them pester you the entire damn time can get extremely frustrating.

  • Reply Nehemiah Garcia July 29, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Hey shot science people im really bad at defense and this video was good but now and days they always find a way to break down the defender instead and I wanna get better any tips…

  • Reply Sam Rayburn Fishing January 9, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Kawhi Leonard

  • Reply EliteX Toqster February 20, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Scottie pippen

  • Reply Mick Wells April 12, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    I would guard Dennis Rodmen

  • Reply Alghamdi Ibrahim August 22, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    what if the opponent is bigger than you?

  • Reply twisted fate September 28, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I have like the best tip to improve your defensive foot work just run up lots if stairs like to the 11th floor but backwards and in a defensive form so you are low and stuff and it also improves balance its like the best way try it cause I did and it worked like my comment if you like the tip

  • Reply zaxles October 1, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    kawhi, iguodola, and westbrook

  • Reply Alston K December 3, 2016 at 3:45 am


  • Reply Fletch K June 8, 2017 at 8:35 am

    For some reason, this is very hard for me to do. I don't know exactly why. I always tend to stumble while closing out. Maybe, my footwork is bad, but me legs seem to foot fire instead of chop, any advice?

  • Reply Clark Cipoletta September 5, 2017 at 12:59 am

    John wall

  • Reply Granddaddy Smoove November 23, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    As a guard I’d have to say pat Beverly the guy is just a force and flat out gets in your head.
    Not to disregard the likes of Tony Allen, k. Leonard, klay.. etc heck even lebron but just watch pat Beverly go to work.. it’ll make you never want to show up to work if you know he’s on you.

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