Free Agency is over and some faces are playing in some new places. Shop the NBA Store by Player
Basketball Defense Tips Leaving Your Opponents Intimidated by You!
Basketball defense isn't just "the other part of the game," it's the most important part of the game! It may not be as glamorous as scoring a lot of points, but being a shut down player gets you very much deserved respect (especially by your coach).
Remember: offense puts people in the seats, but defense wins games. If you can stop the other team from scoring, then you've got a much better chance of winning than if you just score a lot of points only to be matched by the other team.
Explore these basketball defense tips and become your team's shut-down player.
Defensive FundamentalsIf you've come to this page from the fundamentals page, then the first section will be repeating the same information on the basketball fundamentals page, but read on past the defensive fundamentals section for more basketball defense tips!
The defensive stance is the foundation of all of your defensive basketball movements, with proper stance aiding in making you quicker and that much more difficult to get by.
Basketball Defense Quick Tips
The first baketball defense tip is to stay low! Staying low helps you to be quicker, both in terms of keeping your man in front of you and in jumping and/or reacting. As is also noted in the fundamentals page, the proper defensive stance is as follows:
Where staying low for defensive basketball becomes a problem is usually in the fourth quarter when your legs are tired. To help counter this, of course, have proper
but focus on the wall sit. The wall sit is great for basketball defense because it is designed to help strengthen your muscles that keep you low!
To perform the wall-sit:
You should basically be in a position similar to sitting in a chair, but without the chair. You will feel it mostly in the quads, but other areas such as the hips, will feel some strain as well.
Depending on your routine and abilities, you may shoot for holding the position for a certain period of time. An example may be 60 seconds when you first begin. As you develop more endurance, though, you will want to extend this time a great deal.
Remember: This drill is designed to help develop endurance, so push yourself to hold the position as long as possible to maximize your basketball conditioning.
Use these lateral power boxes in the speed/training section to help develop lateral quickness for better defense.
Develop Lateral Quickness
The first step, of course, is to have the proper footwork and use defensive sliding instead of crossing your feet.
To move right (slide right), push off with your left foot and slight it toward your right foot. When it's close to the right, step out with your right and slide the left toward your right foot again. DO NOT CROSS YOUR FEET. The same goes for sliding left, except you will be pushing off/sliding your right foot toward the left.
To help develop your lateral quickness you can browse the
speed & agility training
Force them where you want them to go
Most players can't use both hands equally, so you usually want to force them to go to the hand they don't want to. Overplay their strong hand to make them use their weak hand.
You can also force the offensive player to spin a certain way if they're backing you down and anticipate the move. Depending on the defense your coach has you running, you will also want to force the player to certain spots of the floor where you have help defense or a trap waiting.
Watch Opponents' Chest
A player can fake a number of different ways, but their chest will always show where they're going next. They can make a jab step with their foot one way and go another way, fake a shot with their head and shoulders, or fake a pass with their hands, arms, and shoulders. The one thing that will not be used to fake will be the chest. Focus on this and help prevent being faked out by other body parts.
Slap up at the Ball
This should be utilized when trying to knock the ball away from a dribbler. If you slap down at the ball and actually do knock it away, then there's a better chance that the offensive player will regain control. If you knock it up in the air, however, it is more likely that the offensive player will have more difficulty regaining control.
The other reason you want to slap up at the ball when trying to knock the ball away from a dribbler is that you are less likely to be called for a foul such as reaching in.
Get a Hand in Opponents' Face and/or Chest Area
If you put your hand in front of your opponent's face, they can't see as well to make a pass or drive to the basket. It will also distract them from focusing on the rim when they shoot. All shooters, however, usually have to bring the ball through their chest area. This is where you can anticipate the offenses movement and try to strip the ball. Be careful not to slap their arm, though, because you don't want to send them to the charity stripe. The next basketball defense tip will help you be more effective at stripping the ball...
Develope Quick, Strong Hands
Lifting weights will help strengthen your hands. You can also carry weights around or hold them to strengthen your grip (plates work better than dumbbells). To quicken your hands, do something like playing pingpong or learning to juggle (directions are available on the
sports vision page.
Talk (and listen) to Your Teammates
Basketball is a team sport, and basketball defense is done as a team, to. I'm sure you've heard of the term "help defense." This isn't one-on-one defense, it's the whole team playing defense as a unit.
No matter if you're in a zone or man defense, you should be talking to your team and listening to what they have to say. Call out screens and which side they are coming from, call out the switch if you switch on the screen, and let other defensive players know where the offense is cutting in the zone by yelling "low" or "middle," etc.
Likewise, you should listen to your teammates who are hopefully doing the same for you. If you hear of a cutter coming through your zone, cut them off, don't let them go where they want to. Also anticipate screens and try to fight through them (don't get caught overplaying them too much, though, or your man will blow by you the other way).
See the person you're guarding and the ball at all times
So to rephrase: know where the ball and your man is, as well as where the basket is. Developing your peripheral awareness can help you with this. Go to the
sports vision page
Alter Your Opponent's Path
This applies to people cutting without the ball, to. A lot of times this can cause a turnover because the passer doesn't see you or throws the ball where he/she thinks the cutter is going and you've made them go somewhere else.
Get in their Heads
Not a big trash talker? That's okay, you can get to your opponents mentally by being nice, to! For example, if someone on the other team keeps knocking down jumpers say something like, "Man, Do you ever miss?". The key word here is "MISS". Now you've got them thinking about missing and trying not to miss instead of focusing on making the shot.
So, again, GET THE REBOUND. It doesn't have to be you, in particular, but make sure whoever you're guarding or blocking out doesn't get it or your coach won't be happy!
I strongly recommend going to the basketball rebounding page to get some pointers on rebounding.
20% off NBA Kids Jerseys at NBAStore.com
Speed & Agility: The Key to Defense
Sports Vision Training
Basketball Rebounding Tips
Turn your passion and knowledge into extra cash!
Order through BBT&T and get up to a $50 Rebate.
NBA All-Time Blocked Shots Leaders
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED