• How to Become a Clutch Defender in Basketball

    how to become a clutch defender 

    All the basketball glory tends to go to offense.

     They’re the ones making the two and three-point shots, driving down the lanes, and dunking the ball.

     But if it wasn’t for defense, no team would stand a chance at winning (ok, maybe Lebron James is on your team...just maybe).

     So you now know how to become a clutch free throw shooter and a clutch shooter, you should know how to become a clutch defender in basketball...

     And, most importantly, how to defend a player without fouling.

     1. Basic defensive stance

     When it comes to defending in general, make sure to be in your basic defensive stance.

     Your feet are slightly more than shoulders-width apart. Knees bent. Both your hands are stretched out.

     Remember you’re trying to take away as much available space as possible for the player with the ball.

     Put pressure on the balls of your feet so you remain quick and agile—‘springy on your toes.’

     This is important.

     Just as when you play offense you need to be on your toes, when you’re on defense you...must be on your toes!

     Not being on your toes allows the offensive player to dribble right by you, increasing his/her scoring a point.

     Here’s a great drill to practice incorporating that basic dribbling stance, forcing the other player out of bounds.

    2. Guard Players That Are Your Same Height

     If you’re 5 foot 9 inches, you shouldn’t be guarding a 6 foot 8 inch player.


     They have almost a foot on you. That means you can jump all you want, but you most likely won’t get your hands in front of their face to block his/her (there are 6 foot 8 inch women—Brittney Griner for one) shot.


     Guard players around your height.

     No, you don’t have to go around with a tape measurer.

     You know what we mean.

     3. Guard the player, not the ball

     There are so many moves an offensive player will try to pull on you such as pump fakes or crossovers.

     Don’t look at the ball.

     Let’s repeat.

     Do not look at the ball when you defend.

     As soon as you look at the ball you’re done, the move worked, and the player is by you.

     What you should be looking at is his/her stomach.

     While the player’s arms and legs may be moving in different directions, the stomach won’t lie.

     For more details about guarding the player and not the ball, go here.

     Missed some points? No problem. Here’s a summary:

    •  When defending, get in your basic defensive stance: feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, knees bent, weight on the balls of your toes, and arms out wide
    • Stay on your toes at all times
    • Guard according to your height
    • Stomach never lies
    • Guard the player, not the ball

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