Defense is the foundation of any successful basketball team. This is because having a good and solid defense can help in preventing or limiting your opponents from scoring, whether you are playing man-to-man defense, zone defense, or a combination of both aspects. There are times that a team will lack in defense mainly because they are concentrated in scoring points. This makes the cheer “defense” from the fans important to help them remember and concentrate on defense as well.
The truth is most basketball leagues, especially youth leagues, insists that their team play man-to-man defense only because they know that knowledge in man-to-man is essential before learning any type of zone defense.
Learning how to play defense is quite difficult as overdoing it can result into a foul, and not doing it enough can result into a penetration. It is sad to learn that there are some coaches and players that are not willing to put enough effort into improving their defensive game simply because they do not want to waste enough time on it. Instead, they just want to concentrate on how to improve their offensive game. While it is true that shooting, dribbling, and passing, are enjoyable to teach and watch, it does not complete the overall game of the players.
If you are a coach and want to have well-rounded players, it is important that you insist upon your players to play defense. Help your team by teaching your players the fundamentals on defense, rotations, and communication techniques to help them anticipate the moves of their opponents to prevent them from scoring. Below are three defensive techniques that can help to improve the defensive game of any player:
Stay Low – when you are on a defensive stance, make sure to keep low with your knees bent, back straight, and hands up. The reason to doing this is to lower your center of gravity. This will allow you to have quicker reaction, be able to move in any direction, and have fewer fouls, hence, a better defense.
Communicate – basketball is a team sport so every player on the team needs to play together. A player needs to let his teammates know if he is currently being screened or if he is having a hard time on the defense so that other team members can double team the loose man and hopefully prevent him from scoring. If you are focused on your man and on the ball, you usually cannot see the rest of the court and your team which is why your team needs communication to have a greater team defense.
Deny, Deny, Deny – the easiest way to play defense on your man is when he does not have the ball. When guarding man to man, try to watch your man closely and attempt to steal of play defense on him as soon as he receives the pass. It is important to make sure that the ball is kept from the opposing team’s top scorer. This can help to frustrate other team members which can cause them to make bad decisions.
Professional coaches and players cannot emphasize enough on the importance of defense. They know that not having enough defense can help the other team to score. Taking the word from professionals will help us to understand just how important defense is.