Basketball Defense Tip Article

Below you’ll discover a great basketball defense tip article written by Dave:

First Line of Defense – Defending the Basketball

What stands out most in the minds of basketball fans around the world is the
flashy T-Mac drive, spin and dunk or the fierce dunk over three defenders by Shaq,
but it has been said that defense wins games. The Detroit Pistons of recent times were a prime example of that. Although they definitely could score, it was their swarming defense that won them the NBA title.

Basketball Defense Tip #1 – Defense is a state of mind, an attitude. Your desire, hustle and level of
energy are as much important if not more than your skill. You should be a
proactive player, not a reactive player.

Your main focus is always an urgent “get
that ball back”. The attitude, concentration and teamwork you bring to the game are
key elements to success. The skills of defense can be taught; only you can develop
the desire to win.

Basketball Defense Tip #2 – Transition play is one of the essentials of defense. You must get back to
your defensive assignment quickly. Avoid letting the offense beat you down court.
All too often players get lazy or waste time arguing a no-call; don’t let that happen
to you. Hustle back down court and get that ball back!

Basketball Defense Tip #3 – Another essential is defending with a purpose. Mainly, prevent easy shots
and get that ball back (heard that somewhere?) through steals or rebounds. Make
the offense earn their points. Make them score under pressure.

Basketball Defense Tip #4 – Always apply pressure and stay low. Usually your head will be level with
the ball-handler’s chest. Keep yourself positioned between the basket and the ballhandler.
Wave your hands, make noises, anything to distract your opponent. You
can even fake body movements such as pretending to charge the ball. The main
thing is to stay low and apply pressure.

Basketball Defense Tip #5 – When guarding a player with the ball, always be ready. You should have one
foot forward, the foot opposite of the ball-handler’s most dominant hand. If he is
right handed, your left foot will be forward along with your left hand extended out,
palm up. This will allow you to quickly flick at and steal the ball.

Usually you will
keep that lead hand at whatever level the ball is; if the ball is low, so is your lead
hand. If the ball is being held high, turn your palm so it facing the ball. You should
also be waving your off hand so you can prevent the passing lane.

Basketball Defense Tip #6 – Position yourself between the ball-handler and the basket at all times. Cut
off his path by maintaining your position between him and the basket by sliding over
and staying in front of him. Don’t cross your feet.

If the ball handler gets by you,
sprint to reestablish your defensive position between the ball-handler and the
basket. A player without the ball should be able to sprint faster than a player
dribbling the ball. Keep a cushion between you and the ball-handler. If he tries a
spin move or reverse and you are too close, you could end up with an unnecessary
foul. Always prevent penetration first, then pressure the ball.

If he stops his dribble, attack the ball while staying in your defensive stance.
Try to force a bad pass or you can back off a little if the ball handler is out of
shooting range, but always avoid the unnecessary fouls.

There are a number of different basketball defense tips, techniques and drills. Each position
has its own special requirements, but the one common denominator is to prevent the
offense from scoring easy or uncontested points. Always apply pressure by staying
low and positioning yourself between the ball-handler and the basket. If you can
master that you will be well on your way to earning a nickname like “The Glove
(Gary Payton) and winning defensive player of the year!

-David Huizar


Matt & Dave run and enjoy teaching basketball players and coaches more about the plays, drills, fundamentals and coaching tips that result in individual and team success. For our free report, “5 Keys to Discovering the Successful Coach Inside You”, plus two additional player/coach reports, send a blank email to

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