Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

How to Play Defense

April 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 123

Playing defense is the most essential part of basketball. If the other team scores more points than your team, then you cannot win the game. Defense isn't glorified, but it will get you respect. Defense usually won't be recognized or remembered by the fans, but coaches and other players love to see good defense. A good defensive play can rally the team and bring momentum onto your side. Playing defense isn't easy though, and often times, it is very physically demanding and you will have to put your body in harm's way. Playing good defense is easy as long as you know the fundamentals.

There are 3 positions that you can be in while playing man-to-man defense. Imagine dividing the court directly in half length wise. The side half of the court that the ball is on is considered the ball side, and the other half is considered the help side. When the man you are guarding doesn't have the ball, but he is one pass away from receiving the ball on the ball side, you are considered an off the ball defender. Ever since I started playing basketball, I've always been heard the saying, "ball, you, man." Essentially, this means you need to stay in between the ball and the man that you are guarding. This means stay in the passing lane at all times when the ball is one pass away from the man you are guarding. In this position, you don't need to be right on top of your man. You need to be about a step and a half away with an arm in the path the ball would travel to get to your man. Using your peripheral vision, you should be able to see the ball and your man at all times. If your man makes a cut to the basket, then you can quickly recover and guard him as he looks to receive the ball.

When your man doesn't have the ball, and you are on the help side, you are titled the help side defender. When you are a help side defender, it is your job to play help side defense. While on the help side, you will have the responsibilities of keeping track of your man's whereabouts on the floor, and you will also be responsible for helping your teammate if his man gets between him and the basket. Your position on the floor will mainly be between the two lane lines. If your man is positioned in the corner, then you must be in a place where you can see the whole floor. Standing underneath the rim is a good place as long as you can make a quick recovery to your man without giving up an easy basket. As your man moves toward the middle of the floor, you will adjust your position in the lane. This position will require you to be alert of everything happening on the floor, and you must be on your toes. You will cover all players that come into your general area, and you are still responsible for your man.

Being an on the ball defender is the last position you can play on defense. On the ball defenders have the responsibility of containing their man and making sure he doesn't score or create a scoring opportunity. When an opposing player scores on you, it is one of the worst feelings in the world. Your goal as a defender is to not be scored on. The player you are defending will have three options when he has the ball. He can dribble, shoot, pass, or any combination of the three. There are many elements of playing good on the ball defense, but staying in a good defensive position is probably the most important element.

A good defensive position contains the following elements: knees bent, feet shoulder width apart, head below the defender's head, and active hands. Keeping your knees bent will give you a greater advantage when you are forced to move quickly. With your knees bent, head below the defender's, and feet shoulder width apart, you will be able to move laterally with more ease. Lateral movements will keep you in between your man and the basket. If you are able to stay between your man and the basket, you have the greatest chance of success on the defensive end of the floor. While you are in your stance, your defender will try his best to fake one way and go the other way, but it is your job to stop that action. While in your stance, always stay on the ground. If the opposing player pump fakes, you should not react to the fake because you will instantly be out of position. If you stay on the ground and the player actually shoots the ball late, you can still challenge the shot. Other players will try to fake using their shoulders and multiple dribble moves, however, you shouldn't be lured into those fakes either. Always watch the opposing player's hips. When the hips move, the rest of the body will go that way. It is your job to make the opposing player feel uncomfortable. This means you should be in his personal area. You should be as close as possible without being able to be beaten with one step. A good defensive stance will put you in a great position to stop the dribble drive, but keeping active hands is equally important in stopping the pass and shot.

Keeping active hands means exactly what it sounds like. You should never find your hands at your side. When you are playing defense, your hands should always be moving and staying active. ESPN popularized the term "hand down, man down." This basically means that if your hands are down, then you are at risk of being scored on. If your hands are active, then you will be able to challenge shots and possibly steal the ball. Stealing the ball can frustrate the other team badly, and their team moral will be severely damaged if you are able to score after stealing the ball.

Playing great defense may not be as glorified as being a great scorer, but it will be appreciated when you are winning games. Using these tips will help you play defense at a high level.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Playing Defense


Help Side Defender


Help Side


Ball Side

LED boat trailer lights are designed to offer high-power output and low-power consumption for ultra-bright and reliable illumination; they are sealed to resist UV-radiation, corrosion, and water

By: Simon Liva l Recreation & Sports > Boating l December 12, 2012 lViews: 273

All these scooters are highly durable as they have been made using qualitative materials. They are ideal for extreme tricks, jumps and stunts for youngsters and are extremely light in weight. All

By: Simon Liva l Recreation & Sports > Extreme l November 24, 2012 lViews: 413

The interest in BMXing has grown massively over the past few years. With BMX hitting its peak in the 80's with freestyle riders, the sport has never looked back. Even more impressively BMX racing is

By: Alan Trotter l Recreation & Sports > Cycling l October 24, 2012 lViews: 452

Mountain biking has grown vastly over the years from simple, open entry competitions to global world cup and olympic events. There are still local enthusiasts and the sport has a dedicated following.

By: Philip Loughran l Recreation & Sports > Mountain Biking l July 10, 2012 lViews: 248

It's unfortunate but true that although summer holidays such as the 4th of July and Labor Day offer some of the best opportunities for families to get out and enjoy some quality time together, with

By: Dexter Luck l Recreation & Sports > Boating l July 10, 2012 lViews: 585

The term "Klunker" that for years became synonymous with heavy, clumsy machines, was actually the model of bike made by the Schwinn company that had something to do with the origins of freestyle

By: John D Meyers l Recreation & Sports > Mountain Biking l July 10, 2012 lViews: 270

The 2012 NBA Finals gets under way Tuesday night in Oklahoma City in what promises to be an exciting matchup featuring a host of electric athletes. Much of the talk surrounding this series has

By: Paul Ciullol Recreation & Sports > Basketballl June 12, 2012 lViews: 189

The Spurs battled but ultimately fell short against the more talented Thunder. It's been awhile since I've been this depressed over a loss. In seven years when my son is nine years old and asking

By: Ryan C Coylel Recreation & Sports > Basketballl June 07, 2012 lViews: 193

What does it take to be a good coach? It takes time and the willingness to learn. With the right resources, training, and time anyone can become a basketball coach. This article will explain the

By: Kyle Ohmanl Recreation & Sports > Basketballl June 06, 2012 lViews: 219

Cleveland to Miami. It was a move that LeBron James felt he had to make. He needed help, needed to be surrounded by a stronger supporting cast, and needed to be paired with another superstar (or two)

By: Paul Ciullol Recreation & Sports > Basketballl June 04, 2012 lViews: 183

La Salle's pre-season win over Ateneo last Saturday may give its die-hard fans some hope that the Green Archers are finally back in upper echelon of UAAP basketball but the results in the coming UAAP

By: Tim Florendol Recreation & Sports > Basketballl June 03, 2012 lViews: 171

The Moneyball theory focuses on objective results but it also preaches consistency and there is no other team in the NBA that has been more consistent than the San Antonio Spurs over the last

By: Jeffery Sealyl Recreation & Sports > Basketballl June 01, 2012 lViews: 234

Putting the basketball through the hoop is the only way to score points in basketball. You can score 1 point, 2 points, or 3 points with a single shot. Scoring 1 point results from making a free

By: Joseph A Wiltzl Recreation & Sports > Basketballl April 02, 2012 lViews: 103

There are a few common problems that everyone in basketball faces throughout their career. The problems that I am about to discuss will continually pop up throughout your career, and they are easily

By: Joseph A Wiltzl Recreation & Sports > Basketballl April 02, 2012 lViews: 117

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus