Putting effort into your defense is the easiest way to impact the game. The key to good defense is staying between the hoop and your man, if they can’t get by you, they can’t score.
Below are some tips that will help:
- Keep your feet wide apart. Always be moving your feet but make sure you are in good position, never let your feet cross or get close together because your man will drive by you.
- Keep your legs bent. As if you were sitting on a chair, you should play defense from a low position. Staying low enables you to jump high, steel balls, and gain leverage in the post.
- Watch the player not the ball. Your opponent may try and get you off balance by using ball fakes, by watching their body you will not get tricked or off balance.
- Active Hands. Always be using your hands to get in the way of what your opponent is trying to do whether it be jabbing at the ball, filling passing lanes, face guarding.
- Always box out. Your job in defensive rebounding is to make sure your man does not get the ball, when you box out you are almost guarantying that they do not have a play on the ball.
- Don’t let your man drive baseline. If you are having trouble stopping dribble penetration then you should force the player to the front of the rim. There is more likely to be teamates there to help then if you allow them to go baseline for a potential easy layup.
- Never look away from the player you are guarding. It is good to keep an eye on who has the ball, but not at the expense of losing your man. Stand at an angle to that you can see your man and the ball without moving your head.