There are two basic characteristics necessary for you to become an outstanding defensive basketball player. First you must have a good mental attitude which will enable you to play demanding one on one defense. This mental attitude requires such as requires such qualities as aggressiveness, determination, anticipation and courage. Without this mental toughness you will at best become only a mediocre defensive player.
The second characteristic necessary for outstanding defense is the physical aspect, this includes your stance, body position, footwork, conditioning, weight placement and floor position (relative to your opponent, the basket and the ball).
- Assume a semi-crouch position, knees flexed with one foot in front of the other
- Good weight distribution to create good balance
- Head up – you must see all the action on the court, Eyes off the floor
- When moving on defense, try to slide by taking short choppy steps. Never cross your feet. Keep feet shoulder width apart.
- Never take your eyes off the player with the ball. You will have to use your peripheral vision but know where your player is in relation to the ball and the basket.
Guarding the Ball
- Get down in your defensive stance and stay between your player and the basket.
- Look at the central portion of the offensive player’s body, as this will give you better concentration. This will also help to prevent the offensive player from faking you out of position with a head and shoulder fake
- Hold your hands just above the waist of lower with the palms up while opponent has the ball.
- Try to keep your hands active in order to deflect a pass or dribble
Defending a Player Without the Ball
- Your body position should allow you to see your player and the player with the ball without turning your head (peripheral vision)
- When the shot is taken, your final defensive responsibility is to block out your player and get the rebound