Korfball drills for all skills


In short: exercise to teach the defender to intercept balls.

Organisation: Three teams with a ball near a basket. There are two attackers who stand still, and one defender.

a ) Attacker A1 throws the ball to A2. Defender V defends A2 and tries to interrupt the ball being passed to her. She can see from the attitude, the behaviour or even from the eyes of A2, that the ball is approaching. By raising one or both arms, she tries to block the ball. After, for example, 10 attempts she changes her position. In this section the basket is not used yet. Attackers A1 and A2 must play along, especially in the beginning they must let the defender intercept the ball one or more times.

b ) As a., but now the defender turns around as soon as she feels the ball coming towards her, and she tries to intercept. This method involves much more risk, and is therefore usually less suitable, although I know korfball players who can make life incredibly difficult for the attackers in this way.

c ) As a., but now A2 moves slightly back and forth. How often does the defender succeed in hitting or catching the ball?

d ) Like c. The defender now clearly chooses one side. She e.g. constantly looks over her left shoulder to try and prevent the ball from being passed to her.

e ) As d., but now over the other side.

f ) As d., but the defender switches sides all the time (she stands a little differently each time, and looks over her left and right shoulder alternately).

g ) We get the baskets. A1 is standing under the basket to indicate, A2 is standing some 8 metres in front of the basket (but within shooting distance). Defender V is in front of A2. A1 plays the ball to A2, who -if she receives the ball at least- releases a shot. The defender's task is to intercept the ball, or at least to make sure that A2 cannot receive the ball.

h ) Like g., but now A2 is also allowed to move backwards and forwards, giving the defender less time to adjust to the ball.

i ) Like h. We make it a game. Announcer A1 and 'striker' A2 try to score as many goals as possible by playing well together. Each goal earns a point for A2. Defender V gets the assignment to get hold of the ball. By intercepting the ball she too can score points. Who scores the most points? V or A2?

j ) In part i. attacker A2 will be able to take advantage of a very 'ball-loving' defender, and because of that be able to make a walkthrough quite often. This becomes more difficult now: the defender is instructed to try to intercept every now and then, and for the rest to 'just' defend. Furthermore as i. How many goals can the attacker make now and how often does V intercept the ball?

In brief: defensive exercise with pairs.

Organisation: Make pairs of attackers and defenders. Per basket one ball and three or four pairs. One of the pairs stands under the basket and has the ball. The other pairs stand in front of the basket at about 15 metres distance.

(a ) The attackers are instructed to make a through ball. The defenders know this, and are ordered to prevent scoring. The attacker starts at about 10 metres in front of the basket, her defender stands in front of her at 1 metre. There is a rotation: when the first pair has had one turn, they signal the attacker of the next pair to make a through ball. The first responders walk to the front. When the first pair has had another turn, they change positions.

b ) As a., but the attackers must try to shoot after a dodge. In both a. and b., the goal is for the defender to concentrate on the one action she knows is coming, and try to prevent it completely. If all goes well, the attackers will in fact have no chance to shoot.

c ) Now the attacker gets the choice between a walkthrough ball and a dodge ball. But: she gets only one chance. If she chooses for the through ball, and she does not pass, her turn is over. The task becomes more difficult for the defender, but still many attackers will not get a foothold.

d ) The attacker gets a third option: after a dodge, she can also make a loose ball. Now it becomes even more difficult for the defender. It becomes important to estimate (or rather, to see in time) which action the attacker will take.

e ) A game: the attacker and the defender can earn points: the attacker gets a point if she scores a goal, the defender gets a point if she does not score a goal. Further as d.

f ) As e., but the attacker may receive the ball a number of times (maximum 3 times).


In brief: some defensive tactics in the 1-1 game

Organisation: 3-3 or 4-4. One side constantly attacks from a 4-0 organisation to 3-1 or 2-1-1 for some time. The defending side is instructed to neutralise its direct opponent in one of the following ways

1 ) The triangle. The defender positions herself so that she can see both the opponent and the ball at a glance The defender can also form the triangle in such a way (by moving out of line) that she is more or less inviting her opponent to pass to one side Of course, this will not work, as the defender is particularly wary of doing so

2) Standing wide, with both legs close together in front of the attacker and ready to run in all directions at any time If the attacker actually starts to pass, the defender will not give her a free route to the basket, but will try to let her 'run around' as much as possible without blocking. The defender turns with her, but stays in a straight line towards the basket for as long as possible and puts out her 'outer hand' to defend. The 'real defenders', the sticklers, choose the latter method, as opposed to the former, which is favoured by slower defenders. Both methods can be equally successful. Other tactics

3 ) The defenders limit themselves to defending the "real chances" and allow distance shots from more than 7 meters. A tactic that can be excellently combined with the so called "back defending".

4 ) The defenders know the preferred moves of their personal opponents and try not to allow those moves. The opponent is forced to do things she is not used to doing, becomes insecure and therefore less pure.

5 ) The defenders make feints: they threaten to step in, but don't do it at the last moment. Here, too, the aim is to make the attacker hesitate.

In short: man-to-man defence exercise at the basket.

Organisation: three players with a ball near the basket. Number 1 is attacker, number 2 defender and number 3 passes and catches. After 30 to 45 seconds, the position is changed. The exercise can also be done in teams of 4; this requires less stamina.

a ) Number 1 attacks as well as she can, supported by number 3 who marks and passes. Number 2 defends her, but does so in such a way that she never misses a pass. Will the defender succeed in not giving up a goal? Jan de Jager in defensive position during a training match for the Dutch team.

b ) As a., but now the defender is also not allowed to allow any shot from a distance smaller than 6 meters. By this extension the task of the defender becomes considerably more difficult.

c ) Number 1 attacks again as best as she can, but now the defender in any case does not allow any shot from distance.

d ) The normal 1-1 game. The defenders now defend in the way they think will result in the fewest goals against. Which of the trio will score the fewest goals in 45 seconds?


As an alternative to the sequence a. to d. you can also choose the following sequence: a. the attacker may only move in the depth line (in the direction of the basket), Exercise c. is for the most b. the attacker is only allowed to move in the broad line (at the same distance from the basket), but they must now move with the ball, which makes the risk of a walkthrough d. d'. the 1-1 duel. However, the purpose of this exercise is e. Switching between opponents. Playing against a different opponent to give the defenders the feeling that they can and cannot go along with this exercise often means a huge change.

f ) The attacker attacks as usual, but the defender must now try to intercept. This can be done by working with the arms (holding them high or to the side), by standing somewhat differently (as it were, with one eye on the attacker and the other on the declarer), or even by defending completely with one's back to the attacker. The latter is a bit too risky, though...

g ) As d., but now the defender may also choose to intercept.

In short: exercises in following the opponent.

Organization: Pairs are lined up along one long side of the hall or field. On the court mark out an area of approximately 50 by 20 metres. One of the two is attacking, the other is defending.

a ) The attacking players run at a slow pace to the other side of the hall or the field. The defenders' task is to stay as close as possible to the attackers. They must keep both feet on the ground as much as possible (the so-called 'shoving'). As soon as everyone is on the other side, the tasks are changed and the players walk (shift) back.

b ) The attackers run faster, but it is not yet a sprint. The defenders cannot 'slide' any more, but must now run 'normally' with cross passes, the face and upper body remaining directed towards the attacker.

c ) The attackers try to pass the defenders alternately left and right. They are still not allowed to run at sprinting speed and must continue to run forwards. The defenders must always turn, but they must not turn around: they must face the attacker. You will hear the expression 'change the front leg'.

d ) As c., but the attackers also change their walking pace. They also stop every now and then, and then suddenly start again, which makes it much more difficult for the defenders to keep up. The running tempo of the attackers is still not maximum and the movements are exclusively forwards and backwards.

e ) As d, but the attackers make every effort to pass the defenders. Give the following instructions:
the attackers
try to pass the defender on the side where she has her front foot (some trainers say: walk on the back side).

f )As d., but now also with sideways movements. The walking pace does not yet reach sprint speed.

g )As f., but the attackers may also try to pass at sprint speed. We have reached the real 1-1 duel, but without the ball. The course is continued with the exercises described below in the 1-1 duel.

In brief: exercise in free running with foursomes.

Organization: Foursomes each get a square area of about 20 by 20 meters. This area is divided into four equal squares. One player stands in each square. Per foursome one ball.

a ) The players play the ball to each other in random order. They each stay in their own square. The ball may not come on the ground. Before receiving the ball, they must have made a running-around move.

b )The ball is played around. Before receiving the ball, the players must have made a neighbourhood move (in-out move), with the last move going in the direction of the player with the ball.

c ) The ball is played around the other side. Now you have to throw with the other hand as well. To whom shall I throw now?

d ) Like b., but now the players walk away from the ball after the move to the side (in space). Also this in the other direction.

e ) In each square comes a defender. The attackers must pass the ball to each other and are not allowed to leave their own section. The defenders only make passing the ball difficult, they allow the ball to be passed to them. After a few minutes the players change tasks.

f ) As e., but now the defenders can work 100 % to try to intercept.

g ) As e., but now the attackers may only place the ball on fellow players who run into the space.

h ) As e., but the attackers may only play to players who are coming towards the ball.

i ) Like e., but now the attackers get a point if they can play 10 times together. When the defenders intercept the ball, it's their turn.


In short: various games where playing together in a certain direction is very important.

Organisation: Form two teams (number of players can vary from 3 to 8). There is a playing field of at least 20 by 12, preferably 40 by 20 meters (a micro court). At the place where the baskets are in indoor korfball, there is now a 'fortress', formed for example by a pylon. Around the castle a circle is drawn with a diameter of about 4 meters.

The players play with a korfball. If this is the first time this exercise is done in a group, it is advisable to set out a number of squares with pawns or something similar.

The numbers 1 and 3 can of course play the ball to each other for a while, and number 2 can run to and fro, but that is of course not the intention. If necessary, limit the number of times that two players can throw the ball to and fro. The exercise is suitable to hammer home the point that korfball players must always have two points of contact. But I think the above exercise is seen by most trainers (and players, not to forget) as a suitable condition exercise. Of course, small variations can be made, such as with the command to play everything with one hand.

Where to? Where to? The idea is that the players hit the 'fortress' of the other team. They have to play together, because walking with the ball in their hands is prohibited. None of the players, including the defenders, is allowed to enter the circle. In fact, castle ball is just mono-basketball, where the basket has been replaced by a pylon on the ground. It is an ideal game to practice playing together and running free.


1 ) The pylon can be replaced by all kinds of objects. It is very obvious to place a loose basket on the ground, where the goal is to aim the ball into the basket.

2 ) To make scoring more difficult, a goalkeeper can be appointed, who is allowed to enter the circle.

3 ) Pole ball. The castle is now replaced by a korfball pole. A defender stands in the circle just like in variation 2. The ball must be thrown against the post. Make sure you don't throw the ball too hard, because the poles might fall over.

4 ) When the group is rather large, make 2 squares. The game should be played just like indoor korfball, with a change after two points.

5 ) Handball, where dribbling with the ball is forbidden. At both ends of the field two goals are made, with a goalkeeper in them. There is a semi-circle about 8 meters from the goal, in which the other players are not allowed to enter.

6 ) Burchtball with rugby rules. A variant suitable for a nice weekend, a sports afternoon, or when the weather is terrible and 'serious training' is out of the question. Even when it was raining and snowing, this game - where you can kick the ball, grab your opponents and you can walk with the ball - could keep us warm at my old club. This game is less suitable for children.

In short: three players have to pass the ball to each other in a square. That's tricky, because one player is missing all the time...

Organisation: Three players stand in an imaginary square about eight metres from each other. One corner remains unoccupied. The middle player (number 2) of the three has the ball.

The aim is to play the ball along the lines of the imaginary square. Number 2 plays the ball either to number 1 or to number 3, for the sake of explanation: to number 3. Now the players have to make sure that number 3 also has two 'easy' passing points (along the lines of the square). In this case, number 1 must take care of that, she must sprint to the empty corner of the square as soon as she sees that number 3 receives the ball. Now it is number 3's turn to play (the situation is now as in the second figure). Suppose that she chooses number 1. Number 2 has to sprint to the place where number 1 just came from, so that number 1 has two points of play again. At the moment that number 1 has received the ball, the situation is (if number 2 has indeed run hard) as in Fig. 3. Suppose number 1 plays the ball back to number 3. Then it is number 2's turn to run again, etc.


In short: exercise with the emphasis on turning away from the opponent.

Organisation: One ball per foursome. There are two regular referees who stand about 12 metres apart. One of the handlers has the ball.

a ) Attacker A stands somewhere between the two declarers. Defender V is playing against her. A plays continuously with the two declarators who stand still. A is allowed to play several times in a row to the same declarer. V tries to intercept the ball. After about 45 seconds the players change functions.

b ) As a., but now the attacker is not allowed to play to the same declarer twice in a row. The defender tries to intercept again, but when A has received the ball, she lets A play the ball easily to the next declarer. The essence of this exercise is that A must try to get free in a relatively small space from the defender who is constantly following her. Explain that the attacker must not run at the same pace, and that she must suddenly change her direction of play in order to become free (cut and run).

c ) The exercise is the same as in a., but the line-up is changed (see figure). The attacker must stay behind the line, which is 5 metres from the attackers. To free herself she may run in any direction.

Variation: Exercise c. is actually quite difficult for many. To make it easier for the attacker, you can give both declarers a ball. Or: let both declarators play together, the defender then does not know how she can position herself best, because she does not know who has the ball.

d ) Lay out another line, parallel to the other one with three metres in between. Continue as c., but now the attacker has only a three-metre-wide space which she is not allowed to leave. It is now very important to make good sharp moves, to change the pace etc. A deep ball is now impossible! A deep ball is now impossible! The defender lets the attacker play the ball to the attacker (because this exercise is about free running).

e ) As d., but now the defender also makes it difficult for the attacker to pass the ball to the declarer. The attacker can -in order to play the ball well- choose between an overhand sling throw, a pivoting throw, etc.


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