Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Showalter transition

Don Showalter
FIBA (YouTube)

See YouTube video - Transition Defence.


The most important thing is getting back.

Four defenders are in the lane, on "shot" they touch hands, sprint back to the middle of the lane, turn to face coach, foot fire, next group goes (come back outside).

See Transition - Nash cup in the lane, Defending - DeMatha perfect slides, 5 on 0 transition, also BNSW transition warm-up.


- close out to the 3-point line, inside foot forward (take away middle)
- close out, defensive slide to toward the baseline on your side
- one player says "ball", attacks the top of the key, the other players close out to the sides.
- one player to the ball, the others close out to the sides then slide baseline.

b) 2 on 2

Two defenders jump to touch the rim or front of the backboard 3 times (quick jumps, arms above shoulders) then sprint back, coach passes to either attacker in the backcourt, defenders talk to match up (on-ball and help defence), go to the paint first.

Just catch the ball for now, rotate defence to offence, new defenders.

See Transition - Greenvale 2 on 2.

c) 3 on 3

Three defenders jump 3 times, coach can pass to any attacker, can play to a stop or score, rotate defence to offence, or losers go back to the other end on defence.

Go back to the paint first, then ball.

d) 4 on 4

One defender taps the back of the backboard.

On a pass to 4, the first three defenders load to the ball - ball coverage (here X2), ballside coverage (X3, not denying 3, an open position), and protecting the paint (X1, who tells the trailing defender whom to cover, usually on the backside, here 1). If the trailer is a big, X1 can tell him to protect the paint, X1 gets out to cover 1.

Play to a stop or score.

A lot of basketball has nothing to do with a high skill level, just play hard and do the things you are supposed to do. You play harder when you communicate because you know what to do.

e) 4 on 4 recover

Coach passes to any attacker, their defender has to touch the baseline, go fullcourt.

Progression - wherever coach passes, the two defenders on that side have to touch the baseline (shown).

Defending a 4 on 2, the goal is to slow down the ball, protect the paint, make them make an extra pass.

See Transition - 4 on 4 recover.

f) 5 on 5 recover


- the defender opposite the pass touches the baseline
- coach calls another defender who also touches the baseline
- pass to 1-2-3-4, outside defenders on that side touch the baseline, on a pass to 5, all defenders touch the baseline except X5, who tries to buy time (shown).

Jim Boylan (Halfcourt defence, YouTube) - you can be matched up with anybody, take whoever comes your way in transition, first thing, who's got ball. Load the defence to the side of the ball, the trailing player heads to the weakside.

See Transition - 5 on 4, Woodley, Schepp, Oakland 5 on 4 and 5 on 3, also Lemanis 5 on 5.up

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-23 Eric Johannsen