Zig Zag, Closeout, and Contain Drill

The Zig Zag, Closeout, and Contain Drill is another great one on one drill that you can use if you have multiple players.  This drill is suitable for all age groups including youth, middle school, high school, and beyond. It will work on a player’s ability to handle the basketball against full court pressure as well as the defensive player’s ability to closeout on a player in the full court and defend them.   

Purpose of the Drill:

The purpose of the this drill is to apply pressure on the ball handler in a full court situation by forcing the ball handler in the direction that you want him to go. It also focuses on closing out in a full court situation and containing the dribble.



closeout contain 1

Have the defender pass the ball to the ball handler and close out on him.

 closeout contain 2
  • As the player is closing out on the ball handler, it is one on one live to half court.
  • The defensive player is zig zagging the offensive player.
  • As the player is closing out on the ball handler, it is one on one live to half court.
  • The defensive player is zig zagging the offensive player.

closeout contain 3

  • Once at half court, the offensive player now turns and passes to the new ball handler and closes out on him, thereby becoming the new defender.

Points of Emphasis:

  • Keep your ball handling low and quick.
  • Change speeds and directions effectively while handling the basketball.
  • Having active hands and active feet as you guard the ball handler.
  • Turn the ball handler at least twice before half court.
  • As you approach half court, force the ball handler toward the sideline. Do not allow him to come down the middle of the court.
  • Sprint to your closeout. First steps are large then choppy feet as you approach the ball handler. Your feet should be heard.
  • Closeout on the defender in a low, athletic, and balanced position with active hands in order to deflect passes and active feet in order to move with the ball handler.

3 responses to “Zig Zag, Closeout, and Contain Drill”

  1. Jon Mack says:

    Great drill. Keep them coming. I am trying to put together a speed agility program for the kids this summer. I want to use various ladder drills and any other that I can come upo with . Any suggestions?



  2. Rich says:


    Thanks! What else would you like to see in terms of drills?

    As far as agility drills go, I will try to put a video of one up by the end of the week. You can also check my youtube page for other agility drill videos.

    Interestingly enough, I am in the process of creating an agility training for basketball instructional video and ebook. My hope is to have it out by summer. The book is almost complete and has tons of basketball specific drills and information. I am hoping to film the video in May.

    If you ever want to see anything else specific, let me know.

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