Become A Super Solid Defender With These Basketball Defense Tips!

You can be a scoring machine, but if you can't defend on the other end, you'll lose all respect as a player.

Defense is the one skill than can truly set you apart as a great player. There's nothing like the feeling of shutting down a good offensive player! Defense is mostly intensity and heart, but you do need some technique...

This page contains a variety of basketball defense tips and drills that you can start practicing right away...

The defense tips contained here are a good start, but to become a sbut-you-down defender, you need a complete system, which challenges you to play at a high intensity...

The first thing you should do is check out this Step-by-Step Player Improvement Plan that'll help you improve every part of your game, including your vertical jump, speed, ball-handling, shooting, and so much more...

Are you ready to take your game to the next level? Then you gotta check this out here... 

Below you can view the different basketball defense tips in this section:



Basketball Defense Tip #1: BALL/MAN LINE

When you are guarding a player without the ball in man to man defense, it is important to be aware of the "ball/man line". The ball/man line is an imaginary line between your man, and the man with the ball. You should be on the basket side of the ball man line and away from your man enough to help your teammates. This position helps form what is called the "defensive triangle."

Basketball Defense Tip #2: COVER DOWN DEFENSE

Whenever the ball penetrates on a pass or a dribble, all players should cover down to the level of the ball and force it back out. When the ball is dribbled toward the baseline, the nearest help side defender must quickly stop the ball before it reaches the lane. If the ball is passed to the post, we keep him from dribbling by quickly covering down. When we cover down to the baseline from on top. When the ball is passed back out, all players recover to their man. USE THE CLOSEST MAN TO THE BALL RULE ON RECOVERY.

Basketball Defense Tip #3: DEFENSIVE TRIANGLE

On Defense always be able to see your man and the ball (this is when your man doesn´t have the ball). When your man is ONE pass away, you can deny the player from getting the ball. You must be in a defensive triangle position with you, the ball and your man. Flatten out the triangle, with you at the center point of the triangle. Try to get a hand in the passing lane (straight line between the ball and your man). Position your head so that you can see both with your peripheral vision. Then slide up and back with your man, keeping that triangle position.

Basketball Defense Tip #4: DOUBLE DOWN

This is a defensive strategy that is used when a very good low post player gets the ball. When the ball is passed to the post, the perimeter (outside) player quickly will double team the post player. This will make it difficult for a good post player to make their offensive move and force them to pass the ball back out.

Basketball Defense Tip #5: JUMP TO THE BALL

Any time the ball is passed YOU MUST JUMP TO THE BALL to play good defense. Make gradual, quick, immediate adjustments in your stance. You must be in position before the ball is caught. Jumping to the ball allows you to be in proper position to front cutters, avoid screens (be a moving target), and help teammates. Any time the ball is dribbled you must make the proper ball side or help side adjustments in positioning.

Basketball Defense Tip #6: QUICK HELP AND EARLY RECOVERY

There is no such thing as helping too quickly. When your teammate steers the ball into the next gap, be ready to provide quick help with your rear to the ball. When you help, you must recover on line to your man as the ball is picked up.In all screening situations you must talk, provide quick help and then recover early.

Basketball Defense Tip #7: STRONGSIDE LANE CLOSURE

Strongside lane closure is the way you play defense when your man passes the ball and cuts to the basket. As soon as your player passes, make a quick jump to the ball side of your man, and slide down the lane with your player, putting yourself in the passing lane, and denying a pass from going into your man.

Basketball Defense Tip #8: WEAK-SIDE DEFENSE

When your man is 2 passes away from the ball, you must learn to play weakside or help defense. Help defense means just that... if someone else´s man is driving to the hoop and has beaten the defender, you must leave your man and move to a position in front of them with both feet on the ground, (facing the player) and stop the drive; then once the ball is stopped, go back to your man. Point one hand to your man and the other to the ball and maintain a position that allows you to see both your man and the ball. Align yourself with the center of the basketball floor. Stopping the ball, no matter who is guarding him, is your first concern. This contributes to good team defense.

Basketball Defense Tip #9: WEAK-SIDE LANE CLOSURE

You are in your weakside defensive stance in line with the basket, pointing to your man and the ball. Weakside lane closure to how you defend a player on the weakside who cuts to the ball.What you must do as your player cuts towards the ball is to slide up into deny position, make contact with the cutter, and make him cut behind you. As he cuts behind you, you then still deny the pass into your man.


Basketball Defense Tip #1: CLOSE DOWN

This is a strategy to use when you are coming to defend a player from a distance away, such as sprinting out to your man on a skip pass after help defense . What you do is sprint half way to your player and then in a low defensive position, use shuffle steps to assume good defensive position.

Basketball Defense Tip #2: CONTEST ALL SHOTS

Never allow an opponent to shoot the ball uncontested. The problem, however, with players attempting to block shots is the tendency to commit fouls. Therefore, the proper way to contest a shot is to stay on your feet facing the shooter until the shooter leaves his or her feet, then attempt to get your hand on top of the basketball. At the very least, get a hand up so it limits his vision of the basket or he has to shoot over you. While you may not block the shot, you will put the shooter under a maximum amount of pressure.

Basketball Defense Tip #3: DEFENSIVE SLIDE

The proper way to move when guarding the dribbler is to step and push off. This is accomplished by stepping sideways with the lead foot (the foot closest to the direction in which you wish to go), then pushing off with your trail foot to catch up. Always keep your feet in contact with the floor. Stay low and keep your feet wide. Make quick slides.

Basketball Defense Tip #4: HALF A MAN AHEAD

When guarding the dribbler, your head should be even with the ball, which puts you slightly ahead of the man you are guarding. Make the dribbler turn and change directions. This will slow him down and make it more difficult for the dribbler to beat you.

Basketball Defense Tip #5: ON THE BALL DEFENSE

One of the most important defensive concepts is the theory of keeping your body between your man and the basket. Your defensive positioning should always be between the ball and the man you are guarding. Be within an arms reach of your man, so you can put pressure on the ball. Focus on his belly button...where it goes, he will go. You can be faked out by his eyes, head and shoulder fakes. Try to make him go where he doesn´t want to go. From the middle of the court... force him to the sideline. From a wing position, force him baseline 12-15 feet away from the basket.

Basketball Defense Tip #6: PRESSURE THE BALL

A key to being a good defender is to always put pressure on the ball. Don´t let an offensive player do anything with the ball--dribble, pass, or shoot--without having one of your hands trying to get into the way. Force him to his weakest side. Make him go where he doesn´t want to go.

Basketball Defense Tip #7: STANCE

The proper defensive stance is necessary in order to play good defense. On the ball, feet should be shoulder width apart, with the knees bent, and your butt down and your back straight. Your hands should be outside your knees with the palms up. You should be low (your nose to your man´s chest) in "nose-chest" position. When you are low, you can change directions more quickly, which is a key for playing great defense.

Basketball Defense Tip #8: WALL SITS

A great exercise for increasing the strength and stamina needed in the legs for defense is wall sits. Take a position as if you were sitting in a chair with your back flat against a wall but with nothing underneath you to support your weight. Gradually build up the amount of time that you can do this.

Basketball Defense Tip #9: WATCH HIS MID-SECTION

When guarding the dribbler, watch his midsection (waist). He can´t go anywhere without it, and you won´t fall for foot fakes or ball fakes.


Basketball Defense Tip #1: DEFENSIVE POST POSITION

If a defender is posting you up (having his back to the basket looking for the ball) try to get in front and deny him the ball. If you can´t, get a good wide base and don´t let him back you in any deeper. Any contact with his elbows on your chest should be a foul on him.

Basketball Defense Tip #2: HIGH POST DEFENSE

The basic rule for guarding the high post(post player at the free throw line) is to deny the pass in from the side. This is a position where the defensive player is at the ball side of the post player, with the forward arm denying the pass into the post. Use the back of your other hand to maintain contact with your man. When the ball moves to the other side, go on the basket side of your man and assume the side denial position on the other side.


If the ball is above the free throw line extended (imaginary line extending from the free throw line to the sideline), then you should deny on the high side. You should be chest to chest with the post player with your arm closest to the ball in the passing lane.


If the ball is below the free throw line try to get around the post player and "Full Front". Your teammates will need to help you on any lob pass. The post player probably is not going to want you in this position, so it is a constant fight for position between the post player and defender. Be active and try to AVOID contact. The post player will have more trouble "pinning" you in a position where they can receive the ball.


The low post player might try to push you out after you "full front". If you get out too far you can release and get behind so that your feet are OUTSIDE of the key. Now you are between him and the basket and have him 12´-15´ away. This makes it a tough shot for the offense and you have rebounding position.


Basketball Defense Tip #1: BLOCK-OUT AND OUTLET

The defensive effort is completed when we have POSSESSION OF THE BALL. When the ball is shot we must have ALL FIVE PLAYERS fulfilling their rebound responsibility until the ball is CHINNED. The team will rebound covering the paint in a triangle shape. Then you can outlet the ball and apply your offensive pressure with the primary and secondary break.

Basketball Defense Tip #2: ECHO SYSTEM

Players should communicate using the ECHO SYSTEM. The coaches tell one player the drill or play, he calls it out to the team, team echoes it.


Quick, organized transition with communication by all five players is a must for a great defensive team. You must STOP THE BALL. You must sprint to the level of the ball, eliminate all cheap baskets, and make opponents go against your set defense. NO LAYUPS, NO THREES, NO FOULS, NO SECOND SHOTS... 


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