Tennessee War Drill From Holly Warlick, University of Tennessee

This drill was presented by University of Tennessee head women’s basketball coach Holly Warlick at the 2014 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s national convention.

Tennessee War Drill

The drill involves two teams, each with five players (coaches can run this drill 4-on-4 if they like). One ball is used, and the coach starts with the ball positioned anywhere on the perimeter.

The players on the defensive team must have all feet inside the paint. The five offensive players are position around the arc. The coach starts the drill by shooting and intentionally missing. Action now becomes live. The defensive team must successfully block out the offensive team, while the offensive team attacks the offensive glass. If the offensive team secures a rebound, live play continues. The offensive team works half-court and tries to score.

If the offense scores or gets fouled, play stops, and the offensive players move to the paint and become defenders. The coach once again shoots the ball to start the action.

If the defensive players secure a rebound, they immediately attack in transition. If they score or get fouled at the other end, they stay in the paint as defenders and the coach once again shoots the ball to start action.

If the defensive team rebounds, runs, misses a shot at the other end and the opposing team successfully rebounds the ball, play continues and the rebounding team attacks in transition. Play continues until one team scores, gets fouled or the coach halts the drill.

Coaches can play games to a specified number — seven and 11 work well; 15 if the scoring system is varied. The goal is to place a premium on intensity, rebounding and each offensive possession.

Our scoring system is as follows:

  • One point for a defensive rebound.
  • One point for an offensive rebound.
  • One point for any made field goal or getting fouled.

Coaches can vary the scoring system or assign different point values to offensive rebounds.