Korfball drills for attack / score


In short: practise passing the ball from difficult situations.

Organisation: three or four teams per basket, one or two people under the basket, two in front of it. After marking the ball, walk forward to make a fastball, i.e. turn around.

(a ) Bouncing balls, indicated by a bounce.

(b ) Signalling too late: take overhead walkthroughs.

(c ) Signalling too late: the runner runs (left or right) past the basket and raises the ball more or less sideways or diagonally backwards. If the runner takes off with the right leg, this movement is the smoothest and the shot is the cleanest if the runner runs past the post on the left.

d ) Passing the ball is done too late: the passer runs along the post and throws the ball with one hand over the head into the basket. I call this movement the Durk Bergsma-ball, after the Stânfries player who has a strong preference for this technique, which looks a lot like a basketball technique.

e ) The signalling happens too late: the ball is taken in the jump.

f ) The ball is passed too early: a 'long pull' ball should be taken with a long floating moment in the movement.

g ) The ball is not thrown but rolled (can also occur in matches when the ball is knocked out of hands, or after an unsuccessful bouncing ball for example).

h ) My favourite show-move: the ball is turned over a bit too early, so there is an opportunity to bring the ball around the body once during the one permitted pass (catch ball with right, bring it behind the back, pick it up on the left hand, bring the ball forward and take it in two hands) and only then shoot. Not immediately a move to execute in a close game.


1 ) Passing is no longer done from under the basket, but from space. You can think of a place about 5 meters in front of the basket, which makes passing more difficult, but it is still possible to make the through ball. It becomes a lot more difficult when the declarator is positioned much further away from the basket, for example at 12 metres diagonally in front of the basket. Or even further: think of the situation where a pass ball is given from the defence in one go. To practice this -and many will like it-, the attacker has to stand at more than 20 metres from the basket!

2 ) All exercises with a defender next to the player who throws the through ball.

Inshort: practise all kinds of forms of the shot from a supporting position.

Organisation: pairs per basket, always one person under the basket and one person in front of it. Change after about 1 minute.

a ) One person in front of the basket at about 6 meters, the shooter stands under the basket. The shooter starts away from the basket (backwards), gets the ball and shoots immediately. The striker catches the ball.

b ) As exercise a., but the shooter only threatens with a shot, lets the defender jump in and then continues with an "underhand pull ball": a kind of private penalty throw from about 5 meters diagonally behind the basket. The Germa-ball - so called by me after Germa Woldhuis of Nic. who had success with this on a regular basis - is practised here. The server catches the ball.

c ) The starting situation is the same, but the shooter now gets a defender with him (some pairs cancel each other out). The defender's task is to decide which of the two possibilities (a. or b.) the attacker will have: he reacts deliberately too late (after which a shot must follow), or he follows the shooter too closely (thus giving the opportunity for an underhand draw). In exercises d., e. and f., the attacker plays free with one simple movement. An efficient way, which however requires a lot of technique (and therefore practice).

The first three exercises form the basis for creating shot opportunities in the post zone (e.g. in reaction to forward defending).

This ball only has a chance of succeeding when the defender is not too attentive, and must be executed as secretively as possible. The attacker should therefore not orient himself on his position by looking backwards or similar.

Situations as described in h., i. and j. occur in match situations, when the defender of the receiver under the basket has more eye for what is happening elsewhere in the box than for his direct opponent. Especially people who do a lot of catching work can benefit from these exercises.

d ) Exercise as b., but the shooter now walks away sideways and has to make a turn of almost 180 degrees towards the basket at the moment of catching the pull ball. In the learning phase, this exercise can also be started from a standing position, whereby the shooter stands still approximately 5 metres next to the basket and the server stands a few metres in front of the basket. The ball must be played on the outside.

e ) As d. now with the defender near the shooter (some pairs cancel). The defender comes running in quite fiercely.

f ) The shooter stands on the 'ideal passing position', half a metre from the basket. His defender stands between him and the post, without actually defending (i.e. with his hands downwards). The shooter throws the ball backwards into the basket with two hands.

g ) The 'shooter' stands about half a metre behind the basket with the defender in front of him. The defender defends well with his hands up and facing the attacker. The attacker now feints above the defender's head, as if he were trying to pass to someone in front of the basket. The defender reacts to this by turning around and lowering his hands, i.e. takes up a front defence position. As soon as he does so, the shot is made from half a metre behind the basket.

h ) The "declarer" stands about 5 metres in front of the basket. He shoots, but on purpose, a little bit over the basket. The archer who stands under the basket, catches the ball by taking one or two steps backwards from under the basket, and shoots immediately in one fluent movement.

i ) As h., but now the person under the basket shoots directly from a jump. The timing is very important now, and it's more like tapping the ball than shooting. Compare it with a set-up in volleyball.

j ) The 'attacker' stands about 7 metres in front of the basket and shoots over the basket again on purpose. The 'catcher' lets the ball pass over him, then runs after it and shoots with a half turn (bouncing the ball first).


Inshort: practise all kinds of forms of the shot in 'difficult situations'.

Organisation: pairs per basket, always one regular attacker and one shooter. Change after 1 or 2 minutes.

a )The declarer plays the ball about 1 meter to the left of the archer. He jumps as it were 'into' the ball, and shoots immediately in a fluent movement at the basket.

b ) As a., but now the ball is placed 1 meter to the right of the shooter.

c ) As a., but the ball is played left or right of the shooter, as the declarer chooses.

d ) The declarer gives a tight ball from under the basket. Just before receiving the ball, the striker, who is standing about 6 meters in front of the basket, steps backwards. He then shoots (from one leg) in one fluent movement. In this way, an attacker creates a lot of space for the shot. This way of shooting requires a lot of technique and/or strength.

e ) Same exercise as d., but now the shooter has a defender with him. The declarer must keep shooting as tight as possible. The archer will have the tendency to make the backward movement earlier, which he should not do: only at the moment of catching does the movement come backward, immediately followed by the shot.

f ) Exit situation: declarer under the basket, shooter at about 8 meters in front of the basket, with a defender near him. The attacker takes a step towards the basket and threatens to make a through ball. After the defender has started the backward movement, the attacker immediately draws back the front leg and shoots.

In short: practise various forms of the shot with a fixed defender.

Organisation: teams of four per basket, one fixed forward and one fixed defender, the other two take turns shooting. After about 1 minute, the players change functions.

All forms of the shot mentioned with the exercises with threes are eligible to be practised in this form of organisation. The purpose of these exercises with the defender present can be to have the shooter perform the exercises at full speed (e.g. when shooting through balls or just the distance shot): not give the opportunity to "aim"), to bring the shooter more in the "game situation" (shooting with a defender right in front of you is very different than calmly laying down for a distance shot), to give the shooter a feeling of the right moment (making an evasive move which is followed by a breakthrough instead of a distance shot is not difficult, it is mainly about the moment that the defender is in the wrong position and the final move must be made), to start away in all directions. Note: the required turn is not the same in all cases, a turn can even be omitted when starting away in the extension of the post. The shot is most difficult when the archer walks straight towards the declarer; in other cases the shooting is easier, but the pure marking more difficult.

Exercise o. is an example of a combination of two standard movements. There are more to come, for example: starting away from the basket, but after receiving the ball take a walk-through ball, or: dodge over right, receive ball, play ball inside again and continue with a dodge ball over left, etc.

Point well!

The exercises a., b. and c. are especially meant to be able to shoot a ball that is not well placed.

To teach at which place a movement should be started (e.g. at a break-through that is broken off very suddenly and is then followed by a shot from very close range or at which place a dodge movement should be started).

Most korfball players do not like shooting drills with defenders present. However, for the reasons mentioned above, I think that shooting under pressure should be done regularly. It is essential that the defenders know what their function in this exercise is: it is about ......(filling in one of the goals mentioned above) and not about making it impossible for the shooter to shoot. It is a breeze for a defender to prevent any shot: he knows what is coming. On the other hand, if an attacker does not do well, the defender should indeed try to block the shot, or not fall into the poorly executed feint.

Course of the exercises:

(using the example of taking evasive balls). The regular attacker stands under the basket with the ball, the two shooters stand about 10 meters in front of the basket, the defender stands near one of them. The attacker with the defender is running towards the basket, forces the defender to run with him, makes a sudden evasive manoeuvre, freeing him from the defender, receives the ball and shoots. The defender tries to obstruct, but is just too late to execute properly. Immediately afterwards, the defender passes to the second attacker, who does the same, etc. After about 1 minute or after, say, five shots both shooters switch functions.

Variation: the two archers stand about 6 metres in front of the basket and about 4 metres from each other. The attacker stands under the basket. The defender must now defend both archers. The attackers may play together a maximum of two times, then one of them must shoot.

In short: practise the standard forms of shooting with three people at the basket.

Organisation: each team has a basket and a ball, the exercises start with one person under the basket (with the ball) and two people in front of the basket. After the shot, the players keep on turning, which means that they have to catch the next ball and pass it to the other players. After passing the ball, another round of shooting follows. If necessary, the exercise can also be done with foursomes, the players just get a few less turns. If necessary, a pylon can be used for each basket.

a ) Passing balls in hand from about 10 metres in front of the basket.

b ) The same, but now overhead.

c ) As a., but the ball is first played forward from under the basket. The shooter places the ball back to the attacker under the basket and immediately runs after it to take the turnover ball.

d ) Shooting from a standstill from a distance of approx. 8 metres (also after the shot, run to the basket to catch the next ball).

e ) Shooting after a movement to the left or right from a distance of approx. 7 metres.

f ) Take evasive action on the left (start at the pylon at about 10 meter before the basket, at 5 or 6 meter before the basket make a sharp left hook).

g ) As f, now over the right.

h ) Take penalty shots.

i ) As d., but after the distance shot the shooter takes another walkthrough ball.

j ) The shooter threatens with a through ball, but stops very abruptly at about 3 metres before the basket (hoping that the defender "shoots through"), gets the ball and finishes the chance.

k ) The shooter makes an evasive move (over the left or right), gets the ball, but instead of shooting, takes a walkthrough. There are several ways to put the ball inside: with the "outside hand" - i.e. in a dodging movement to the right with a right-handed stretching throw -, with a bounce, by an overhand or an underhanded pendulum throw, or by catching the ball on the other hand with a left-handed stretching throw. There are several factors that determine which method is best, a good korfball player will have to master several ways.

l ) The shooter makes an evasive move, pretends to receive the ball (the attacker may make a feint), but takes a through ball immediately afterwards (so like c., but without the ball).

m ) The shooter takes a through ball, after a few meters he suddenly moves away. However, the evasive movement is not continued: there is that through ball anyway. I call it the Lucas move, after Albert Lucas who had a lot of success with it.

n ) Numbers 1 and 2 under the basket, number 3 (who has the ball) in front of it. Number 1 starts away from the basket, receives the ball, makes a half turn and shoots (= starting away from the basket). Number 2 catches, plays on number 1, starts away, receives the ball back, makes a half turn and shoots. Number 3 takes off etc.

o ) The shooter makes an evasive move on the right, receives the ball, places it back to the attacker under the post, and walks straight to the basket (so in the direction he just came from). He receives the ball back and shoots.

In short: basic exercise with pairs to learn or improve the distance shot.

Organisation: each pair a basket and a ball. There is one person in charge, after some time (or after a goal) the tasks are changed.

a ) The shooter walks calmly at some distance in front of the basket. After receiving the ball, the shooter turns towards the basket and shoots. Pay attention to the technique of the shot.

b ) As in a., but now the players walk in front of the basket, with their upper body directed towards the basket: thus with cross passes.

c ) As b., but now at higher speed. In this way, the players will automatically 'hang' more on the outside leg. In my opinion, it makes no sense to shoot 'dry', without using the basket. If there are not enough baskets, it is possible to use them. Another possibility is to work with threes or with two pairs per basket.

Aim well!

The dodge ball has two major problems: maintaining balance after receiving the ball and not having enough "power" to give the ball enough speed, which makes each shot too short. A very good tool for keeping the balance and therefore for learning the dodge is to make a hink while catching the ball.

With an evasive ball on the right, one or more cross passes are followed by a hop on the left leg. The ball is caught during the hop-up phase. The player then lands on the left leg, after which the right leg is placed (quite far) diagonally backwards. The player bounces back on this right leg, after which the shot is fired, releasing the left leg from the ground. Many beginning korfball players and almost all ladies first connect: they first place the left leg next to the right leg, after which a shot from standing comes from two legs.

In the following tutorial, a through ball was chosen with a hop while catching the ball.

Experience has shown that the hop is a very good aid in learning the technique. It is not the intention that korfball players who have a good through ball should have to learn to through ball without a hop. The hop is only an aid, not a goal in itself. Exercise a and b are only meant to find out what is the preferred leg of each player when moving.

It will turn out that almost everyone uses the same leg for a high jump with one leg. When shooting a through ball, the ball is dropped with the preferred leg. The trainer can also find out what everyone's preferred leg is.

d ) The players now make a 'real' dodge ball (over the right side): they walk from about 7 metres in front of the basket a few metres in the direction of the basket, make a dodge movement to the right, walk with cross passes to the right, receive the ball and shoot.

e ) As d., but at higher speed.

f ) The distances are increased individually (do not force!).

g ) As d, but now with a double evasive move: a number of korfball players appear to be 'not defending' with their evasive move. A closer look at the video footage shows that almost all of them make not one, but two clear evasive movements. The first evasive movement is the one described above, at a few metres distance in front of the basket. The second evasive move is made at the moment they receive the ball: they walk past the basket (with their defender still close by), but while catching the ball, they evade the defender by placing their 'outer leg' far backwards, after which they immediately make a shot. This movement, which takes only a few tenths of seconds, is indefensible. However, it takes a lot of strength (and coordination).


Inshort: basic exercise with pairs to learn or improve the distance shot.

Organisation: each pair a basket and a ball. There is one person in charge, after some time (or after a goal) the tasks are changed.

a ) Shooting overhead from about 3 metres (5 metres for older children and adults). Pay extensive attention to the technique of the shot. See for example the book

e ) a. See also the video tape SCOREN and the corresponding workbook from the VIEKOR project.

b ) Same, but now: who has 3 goals first?

c ) Distances are increased individually (don't force it!).

d ) Shooting from 3 metres next to or behind the basket.

e ) The shooter comes in from about 8 metres in front of the basket. He receives the ball at about 3 or 4 metres, stops immediately and shoots.

f ) The shooter walks to and fro a few metres in front of the basket. After receiving the ball, the player shoots immediately.

g ) As f. but with more speed.

h ) As g. but now with a defender near the shooter. This defender interferes (by being present and sticking out his arms) but allows the shooter to shoot.

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.