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Basketball Defensive Tips

“The best offense is a good defense”, or so the coaches say. Here are some helpful basketball defensive tips for your players…

Have them begin with a good stance. If they don’t have proper stance, they will always be off-balance and out of position. This will enable the other team to score on them. Everything starts with defense.

Keep their weight on the front of their feet. Most of the player’s weight should be on the balls of his feet, and some weight should also be on the big toe, which is important for balance. Their heels should still be in contact with the court.

Have your players adapt a wide base of support, with their feet slightly turned in. Their feet should be pointing straight ahead, and held a bit pigeon-toed. This helps to create an angle which will allow them to have more push off the court. Their feet should be wider apart than their shoulders’ width.

Teach your players to keep their knees bent and their hips back. Their buttocks should be behind their heels, and their knees should be forward, but not further than the toes. They should have their hands up – or out to their sides, depending in the position of the offensive player.

Players should keep their eyes focused on the offensive player’s chest or waist. And you should be able to draw a vertical line from the front of their forehead through the front of their knees and down through the front of their toes. ALL this generates GREAT BALANCE. Balance is the key to effective defense, and ball-guarding. If you lose your balance, you’re defeated right there.

Here are some more basketball defensive tips to help your players:

Tip 1 goes back to what we just mentioned, your players’ balance. If they lose their balance on defense, they will be beaten to the basket. The offensive players are constantly trying to get your defensive players off-guard. If balance is lost, the offensive player can blow right on by them.

Have them stay ON their feet and try not to be fooled by fake shots or passes. And they shouldn’t LUNGE for the ball unless there’s a very clear opening, or it’s the end of the game and you MUST have the ball back, even if it means fouling.

Keep your players in a wide stance. And keep them in an athletic and LOW stance. Upright players will more easily lose their balance.

Tip 2: Tell your players to watch the ball closely at all times when they are on defense. If the ball is below the offensive player’s mid-section, have them put their hand above the ball. This will not allow the offensive player to pull the ball up to shoot.


Tip 3: Tell your players to put their hand ON the ball if the ball is in a position for a shot. In this way, they can prevent the shot without leaving their feet, and risking a loss of balance.

Tip 4: If the offensive player has the ball above his head, have your players trained to place their hands under the ball and flip it upwards. This will keep your defenders out of foul trouble, because there won’t be any contact if the motion is upward.

Tip 5: Have your defenders keep their head lower than the offensive player’s head. In this way, they will be underneath the offensive player, and they’ll be in a good position to take a charging foul.

All these tips can be helpful in teaching team defense and in helping your players maintain proper position on the defensive end of the floor.


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