Korfball drills for defense


When practising 1:1 duels for the attacker, the role of the defender is very important. By his actions, he forces the attacker to perform a certain action Dose the defenders so that the attacker learns the technique and especially the timing in stages

Staying on the ball is not so difficult when the attacker is bigger than the defender, the ball can easily be played high up It is more difficult when the attacker is smaller, passing is often a curved ball which is placed behind the attacker By moving in the wide line in front of the basket, the attacker has to get loose.

The organisation is in threes or fours with a fixed division of functions, 1 or 2 attackers, an attacker and a defender. The duration of each exercise is 45 seconds.

Exercise 1

The attacker makes as many shots as possible, any kind of shot is allowed. The defender follows alone, he does not block the shots or the passing.

Exercise 2

The defender tries to block all distance shots. The attacker can take through balls. If the defender does not approach sufficiently, the shot may still be taken.

Exercise 3

The defender will make the through ball impossible by keeping a safe distance. The attacker will shoot more.

The attacker will move further and further away from the basket, causing the quality of his shots to deteriorate. The attacker will have to look for his opponent first and make an evasive move when the distance is small enough. Looking for the opponent is easiest by pretending to take a walk-through ball, i.e. high walking pace.

Exercise 4

The attacker plays together with the attacker(s) and can patiently look for the right opportunity. Within the time allowed, the attacker may create three chances. The attacker learns that not every chance must be taken.

Exercise 5

The attacker is instructed to score twice in 45 seconds, in any form.

In the preceding exercises, the defender has limited himself to preventing shooting. The exercises can be repeated with the defender obstructing the approach. The attacker must now react and make an effort to be and remain passable After receiving the ball, there is often space for a shot

Inshort: practise various forms of the shot in a fun competition format.

Organisation: each group a basket and a ball, the baskets are preferably (but not absolutely necessary) arranged in a circle or rectangle. The number of people per group is less important (all groups should be about the same size).

The first assignment for the groups is: make 10 walkthrough ball goals. When you are done, the creator of the last goal goes to the trainer to get the next assignment. Which group will have completed all assignments first?

The trainer walks around the room, encouraging or correcting the players. He has a piece of paper with a list of assignments. When someone comes to get the next assignment, first ask him which assignment he just completed (after a while this can vary considerably) and then give the next one. Here's an example: 10 walk-through balls, 15 penalty shots, 5 shots from 8 meters, 10 walk-through balls from behind the basket, 5 dodgeballs next to the post, 10 shots from 6 meters. Everything is possible of course, a lot of speed will come when the number of goals to be scored is kept small.


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: initial exercise for defending, where everyone has to follow the movements of the trainer.

Organisation: The players are spread out in the room with a distance of at least 4 metres between them. Everyone stands facing the trainer, who is about 8 metres in front of the group.

a) The trainer walks at a steady pace towards the group. The players must now walk backwards at the same pace, so that the distance to the trainer remains the same. After about ten meters, the trainer stops and walks backwards away from the group. The players also have to stop and walk forwards. The trainer gradually increases the pace and makes sure to walk forwards and backwards at different distances.

b ) As a., but now the trainer walks at a steady pace to the left, the players walk to the right. This way the players walk continuously alternating to the left and to the right, over ever changing distances, at an ever increasing pace.

c ) As a., but now it is important that the players react as fast as possible. The distance between the players should also remain the same. The tempo is high.

d ) Like b., but also at high speed and with a quick reaction. The trainer can verbally support her movements to encourage: "to the left, to the right, faster, yes, good girl! A nice variation that requires more concentration of the players: occasionally shout 'to the left', and then deliberately walk to the right! The command was: follow me, so the players have to follow the movements.

e ) The trainer now walks alternately in 4 different directions, which the players have to follow (combination of c. and d.). The pace is quite high. In principle, this is already a normal defensive exercise. Especially if we move on to f:

f ) As e., but the trainer brings clear tempo changes to her running. She usually runs at a steady pace, but occasionally there is a significant acceleration The players have to react to it immediately! Variations: It may happen that the trainer gets tired herself during this exercise. Or she may have forgotten her korfball shoes (of course it's a shame, but it can happen), or she may be injured. Then there are two solutions possible:

1 ) Not the trainer stands in front of the group, but one of the players, who has been explained the intention beforehand by the trainer. Many (especially children) will find this fun to do. The danger is that there will be more 'gossiping'.

2) The trainer stands in front of the group and indicates with her arms what has to happen: if the left arm is stretched out, the group has to walk to the right, if the arms are brought backwards with a beckoning movement, the group has to walk forwards, etc. The tempo changes are indicated by the trainer. The trainer indicates the changes in pace verbally: 'calm walk,.... And now a little faster, .... pace! ... and again calmly ....'

Tapping or blocking the ball is, just like blocking the shot, largely a matter of feeling. That is why it is important to perform the same exercise against a different opponent. Because this person throws differently, the exercise will be completely different.

In short: exercise to teach the defender to block a shot.

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

As soon as the competition character is emphasized more, many defenders will switch back to the familiar, consistent "man-to-man" defending. This should be forbidden, as the aim of this exercise is to teach the defenders to intercept the ball.

By alternating between "normal" and "on-ball" play by the defender, the attacker becomes insecure. Many people cannot cope with this, and will not be able to take advantage of the risks taken by the defender from time to time Tell them that after this exercise!

Many players have never blocked a ball in their life Giving them this experience is the purpose of this exercise Attacker A2 plays the game: she shoots at first deliberately a bit slower than usual, and also from a covered position.

In exercise d, V gets it considerably harder now. In the previous exercises, she could count on the shot to follow after accepting the ball, now she must first make the decision 'whether or not to try to block the ball', which takes some time and as a result she will often be too late. Make sure that the attackers keep shooting on a regular basis.

a ) Marker A1 signals A2, who shoots from a position. Defender V is standing at a meter of A2, so it is not covered. V gets the assignment to block the shot of A2. That means: timing. She can't be too late, that's clear, but also not too early, because then the ball hasn't left A2's hands yet and she'll be fouled. After about ten attempts, they switch tasks. When everyone has really blocked a ball at least once, then comes part b.

b ) A2 starts moving slightly. A1 plays A2, and A2 shoots almost immediately. Defender V tries again to block the shot in a correct way. A1 and A2 are still playing the game: V has to be able to hit or actually block the ball a number of times. After 10 attempts switch tasks again.

c ) As b., but the attackers don't play along now. However: A2 must shoot as soon as she receives the ball, even if she has the idea her shot will be blocked! (It is and remains an exercise for the defender).

d ) Attacker A2 now gets the opportunity to also take through balls: she can try to fool the defender with a fake shot. The defender must keep trying to block the shot, but she must not 'go up in the air' with every ball!

e ) During half a minute to a full minute attack-defend. A2 is allowed to attack in all ways, but has to shoot at least three times. A2 gets a point for every goal she scores, V gets a point for every blocked shot. Who wins?

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.