5 Tips to Better Basketball Defense

Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. There is no way a team or even an individual can be successful if they are only playing half the game-the offense, especially when defense is the most important part. These five tips have been chosen to motivate players on the defensive end, and open up opportunities to improve their overall basketball abilities.By Olivia Daniels


“Defense is an attitude.” Anonymous 

The best way to address transition offense with defense as well as prevent a fast break score, seems generally pretty easy, but comes down to how motivated that player is. How much effort will they put in to stop the break? Anyone can run up and down a court, but without a purpose, it is pointless, and any and every coach will take you out of the game. Following a long rebound, or perhaps a steal, the only thing you can do is sprint down to the other end and try to set up your defense. If a player doesn’t sprint down after messing up then they should be mad, but not so mad that they can’t hustle to make up for it. It’s all about attitude, and if their attitude isn’t in the game then their heart won’t be. “Nothing goes as planned every time, but that is why we practice. If my players can get down the court and set their feet for a charge than great, but if not I expect them to be running right behind the girl if she is taking a layup. The goal is not to block her shot every time, but make her think we will, in hopes for a rebound,”stated Coach Todd from Rev Up Basketball.

 ”First master the fundamentals.” Larry Bird

All players should be required to consistently play with a low defensive stance. It may get tiring, but it is the most efficient way to stop the opposing player from scoring. By being low, it allows you to move more quickly to stay in front of your player. “When we practice defensive slides during practice, we do them towards the end, because during a game you are going to be tired, and if they don’t due to correctly we make them redo it, and then do it again,” stated Coach P. Shoulders back, head up, arms out, thumbs up, and butt down, and just because you are sliding doesn’t mean you can’t move quickly. Infact, to develop better skills during basketball you must be able to move quickly without crossing your legs. Once you cross your legs, you are doomed, and they will make you pay. Much like shooting form, and defensive stance, this is one of the many fundamentals of basketball

“I always laugh when people ask me about rebounding techniques. I’ve got a technique it’s called just go get the damn ball.” Charles Barkley

Never take a loose ball for granted when you are playing defense. Every player should be expected to dive for loose balls, because often times offense develops from a good defensive play. With a little hustle anyone can make a positive impact on their team, even from an originally negative situation. “If your team loses the ball, and it is going out of bounds, than the closest person to the ball should do everything in their power to prevent the turnover,”Legend Varsity girl’s basketball, Eli Moore, coach stated. A long rebound, even one that is going out of bounds is still a rebound.

“I’ve learned, I can’t help the team sitting on the bench.” Wilt Chamberlain

The only way to get the rebound is to box out. Whether you just give a light check on the arm, and crash the boards, or wrap and pin, the box out is the most important thing. Get in a low defensive stance, and put your butt into the other player, creating a wall between them and the rim, where the rebound will likely fall. You don’t have to be able to jump above everybody else, because like most other 5’6 white girls in Parker, there is no purpose behind jumping to secure the rebound before it begins falling. “Boxing- out to us in the most important thing, because as a team, our goal for the season was to have a positive rebounding differential and that can’t be done without boxing out. I they don’t box out, they don’t play, it’s that simple, “ stated Coach Z along side Coach Shirk. It’s easier to do what you know is expected of you on the court, rather than watch others do it for you from the bench.

“No rebounds- no rings.” Pat Riley

Rebounding is a part of defense as well as offense, however on the offensive end it isn’t necessary if you make the shot the first time. “Nothing is worse for a coach than seeing their team lose to second chance point,” stated Freshmen Girls Basketball Coach, Coach Shirk. If the team’s defense it well enough to keep the opposing team from scoring on the first shot attempt, than there is no excuse as to not getting the rebound. “In some games, I feel that the players just get so excited or confused in a sense when mentally trying to transition to offense that they forget to box out and get the rebound,” state assistant Coach, Coach Bill. Ultimately this results in a tragic scatter to pick up a player defensively and many preventable miscommunications.

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