Basketball is all about scoring points, but defense is as important as offense when it comes to overall play. Here are some tips that will help...
In the game, the team with a strong defense leaves less number of scoring opportunities for the opposing team. Defensive tactics, if not given much attention, allows the opponents to score easy points. On the contrary, a team with a good defense allows its attackers to concentrate on scoring points for the team.
Dribbles and passes are moves which need focus and attention in order to strengthen the defense. Keeping control on the body movements, or to be more specific, making proper use of body weight, forcing, faking, hand position, etc., is important.
Keeping the Head Lower
This is important when a man-to-man guarding strategy is used. One has to keep the head lower than the player he is guarding. This position allows for quick movements.
Balance on the Heel
While guarding, it becomes difficult to beat the opponent if the body is leaning forward. The direction of the opponent's move cannot be tracked properly by this kind of approach. The habit of keeping the weight of the body on the heels at the time of guarding an offensive player proves to be useful. By doing so, one gets the opportunity to monitor the opponent's moves; also the defensive player can think of planning a move to take possession of the ball.
The positioning of the hands is an important aspect too. One should take different approaches for each of the offensive positions of the opponents. If the ball is at a height below the mid-section, it is advisable to keep the hands above. By doing so, one makes it difficult for the offensive player to bring the ball into a shooting position. If the ball is at a height above the level of the head, one should keep the hands below the ball. The offensive player should find it difficult to bring the ball for shooting. Keeping the hands in front of the ball would discourage him from shooting.
Cutting Off the Opponent's Path
One should try to occupy such a position that the opponent cannot make a move without reckoning with you. It is also important for the defensive player to maintain a certain distance from the offensive player. A spin move by the opponent would leave you wrong-footed if you are too close. A spin move is one in which the ball handler spins his body and faces away from the opponent. It helps keep the ball out of the opponent's reach. There is also a chance of getting caught in a foul if a player tries to get too close.
One should always make the opponents earn their points. Preventing easy shots is one of the basic things to keep in mind. Getting the ball back by means of rebounds and steals is necessary, to take the pressure off and provide your attackers with more opportunity.
Monitoring Opponent's Moves
It is necessary to keep track of the moves of all opponents. One should deny them a good position, and of course, the prized possession of the ball.
Shot blocking is an important aspect of defense. Keeping the hands straight up in the air while approaching an offensive player is ideal. One should try to avoid leaping, since it increases the chances of getting faked. It is advisable to run towards the offensive player even though you are not able to block a particular shot. The opponent would be pressurized into making mistakes with this kind of move.
Scoring the maximum number of points is the objective in any game, so obviously, one shouldn't allow the opponent to score easily. Scoring requires a great amount of effort, and by defending in a proper manner, this task can be made all the more difficult.