How to Teach Defense in Basketball

Winning basketball games necessitates good defense. If you’re training new basketball players, be sure to spend as much time training them how to protect and prevent the opposing team from scoring as you do training them how to pass, shoot, and hitting the net. Begin with some simple directions on how to play defense as an individual and as a team, then go on to exercises to perfect the principles.

Man-to-Man Defensive Techniques

Allocate one attacking player to each defensive player. Man-to-man defense is the most popular and successful type of defense used in today’s basketball, even in the NBA. While the opposite side has the ball, instruct each of your defense players to remain on their designated offensive player.

Instruct players to stand shoulder distance apart with their knees slightly bent. Remind them not to lie back into their heels and to maintain their weight forward on the heels of their feet. 

Keep the players’ gaze ahead, and their arms outstretched, palms up. Instead of keeping their arms rigid, tell them to keep their elbows slightly bent. To keep on the players they’re defending, teach them to concentrate on their moves.

Instruct players to protect a moving player by sliding their feet sideways. Direct them to take fast, short, side-to-side steps, never allowing their feet to cross.

Coach your teammates to try to control the flow of the offensive. This implies that your defensive players do not just respond to what the attacking players do.

To contain the offense’s mobility, teach players to compel the offense to play in one area.

When necessary, instruct teammates to assist in the defense of other attacking players.

Encourage your guys to communicate when they’re on defense so they can work together successfully. 


Shell Drill

Set up a four-on-four situation with the offense near the 3-point arc and the defense on the baseline. 2 attacking players should be near the top of the key, while the other two should be on the wings. Instruct all four defensive players to form a line along the sideline.

Pass the ball to the offensive, and the defense should report to their respective players. At the top of the key, toss the ball to one of the attacking players. Tell the defensive players to rush over to each offensive player and begin defending them.

While the defense protects them, have the offense throw the ball around the key. Instruct the offensive players to throw the ball to one another in whatever way they choose while staying beyond the 3-point range and without attempting to score.

Tell the ballplayer to drive the offender to the sidelines or to the baseline. Direct the defensive player to confront the attacking player and exert pressure as if attempting to take the ball.

Teach players to protect their man at a distance of one pass away from the ball. There are no offensive players between the person with the ball and the offensive member of the team that the defensive player is defending if the ball is passed away.

To prepare for on-ball defense, coach players to be 2-3 passes past the ball.

Allow the offense to try to score once the defense has figured out the placement.


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