Kindergarten basketball players and other beginners won't be able to grasp all of these concepts yet.
Focus on just a few to get started. If
they can just learn some of the basics, they'll have a lot more fun
playing the game.
Don't let him go where he wants to go. You control where he goes.
Know where your player and the basketball are at all times. This is not always easy, especially for elementary basketball players.
One of my favorite youth basketball rules helps beginners out with this. Each quarter, players from both teams line up at half court facing each other, and they stand directly across from the player they will be guarding. Each opposing pair is given a matching wristband. Once the game starts, players have a much easier time finding who they're supposed to be guarding by locating the person on the floor with the same color wristband they are wearing.
There will be times you will lose sight of your player. When that happens, head toward the basket and start looking for her there.
not any help to your team standing out on the perimeter while your man
is roaming free.
At least by hustling toward the basket, you'll be in a position to help out a teammate or grab a rebound.
Every time the ball or your player moves, you need to adjust.
She can either take the shot or pass off to the open player if another defender steps up to guard her. This is a huge "no-no" at any level.
should never be any surprises on defense because you should be telling
teammates what's happening.
Let them know if a shot is going up, if you need help, if there's a screen, or whatever.
Don't stand flat-footed and lunge for the ball with your hands. You'll get beat every time and will most likely be called for a reaching foul.
By staying on the balls of your feet and being ready to move, you're in a better position to move quickly and cut off the drive.
More basketball defense tips...
Anytime the ball gets into the free throw lane, everyone should collapse like an umbrella.
When the ball gets inside, the offense has a good chance of
scoring, so everyone needs to clog up the middle and help out.
ball is passed back outside, everyone resumes a normal position.
By working hard to make sure your opponent isn't open to get the ball, you take him out of the offense. He's not a threat to do anything if he can't get the ball.
It only takes one lazy player to kill a a good defense.
If 4 players are working hard, but one defender leaves a man open for an easy shot, drive, or pass, everyone's hard work is wasted.
The best way to control your opponent is to put constant pressure on her. She'll find this incredibly frustrating and it will negatively impact her game.
Tough pressure on the ball will cause the ball handler to panic, get in a hurry, and lose control of the ball.
Tough pressure forces players to make hasty and often bad decisions.
Whoever has the ball is in control of the game.
You need to get the ball.
You don't want to give the offense more than one shot each trip down the floor.
Make sure you get the rebound; not the player you're guarding.
Recognize your opponent's strengths, weaknesses, and habits.
By knowing what your opponent is good or bad at, you can adjust the way you play defense to take advantage of him.
If your man gets by you, make whatever adjustments you need to make and determine that it won't happen again.
Basketball defense is definitely not for wimps!
It's the most physically demanding part of the game, and you have to be in great shape.
You can't be distracted or have any mental lapses. Offenses will take advantage of any mistake you make because you aren't paying attention.
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