Here are 10 commandments to follow to enhance your defensive game.
Talking to teammates, helping each other verbally, is one of the most obvious differences (if you are on the court) between good players and mediocre ones. “I’ve got that man.”
The biggest mistake players make in faking is that they think they have to get through the fake quickly and get on with their real purpose—their move to the basket, and the result is a poor, unconvincing fake. Stay low so you can maneuver precisely. You may think that by staying low you are sacrificing speed, but players who fake and put the ball on the floor far out in front of them, just a few inches off the floor, are very difficult to guard.
After most wins, you really aren’t entitled to all the congratulations you get nor to the focus on all the good things that happened. And after most losses, you really don’t deserve all the criticism or the anguish of realizing that so many plays—if only just one had gone differently—cost you the victory.
THINK THE GAME
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At PGC, we say you are either contributing or contaminating. Basketball players often measure their contribution just by how many points they score or the number of rebounds and assists they make. But what a good basketball player brings to the game and their team goes beyond stats. Good coaches and good teams value a contributing bench member.
Effective pressure is continuous, not on-again off-again. But being continuously on your man (in man pressure) or being able to get someone quickly on the ball (and people quickly in
To beat a double-team, bring three players into prime receiving position, six to ten feet from the ball, spread out. With two men on the ball, the defense cannot bring three men up to guard all three receivers or they will be leaving a player wide open under the basket.
Golfers especially talk about “grooving” their swing, and in almost every sport a player strives for that feeling of “getting in the groove,” the feeling that everything is going just right. In basketball there is one quick, specific way to practice shooting that is very effective for putting your shot-off-the-dribble in the groove.