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6 Defensive Basketball Drills and Tips

Deeefense. Deeefense. It’s not for nothing that I put these defensive basketball drills here. It’s not for nothing that the crowd says those words. Ready? Here we go..

nds up, and legs about shoulders width apart. It attacks your vital muscles. Sliding may hurt at first if you overdo it but keep doing it till you notice that you slide more easily. This is pretty basic drill, but remember…

..When you’re guarding your opponent, you don’t want your legs to be more than shoulders width apart. Why? Because if you spread your legs too much, you won’t be able to react fast when your opponent decides to do something. Also, keep in mind that you can “control” your opponent.

Now, “control” might not be the right word but it’s something that you’re doing. For example, let’s say the offensive player that you guard wants to go right. Then make him go left by putting your left foot forward.

In case you wonder why would you wanna do that, it’s because the only reason why he wants to go in the right direction is because he thinks that he’ll be able to score from there or he’ll be in a better position, where he can then pass the ball from.

That’s why you don’t want him to do that.

If he wants to go left, then, assuming you are in a defensive stance, put your right foot forward to “open up” more space for him in the right direction.

Players who can slide really fast are great defenders. Bruce Bowen comes to mind.


Sliding with ball mirroring

This defensive basketball drill will get you tired in minutes because it’s pretty intense. What you basically do, is, while you’re sliding (the one I described earlier) move your hands fast in an up-and-down direction. The same as if you are ball pressuring your opponent. Mirror the ball. Don’t let him pass it that easily.

Now, here’s a tip. When you are in a defensive stance and you’re ball pressuring your opponent, do that with only one hand. For example, if you’re right handed, mirror the ball with your right hand. And with your left hand, try to flick his ball.

But, and that’s a big but, do it from underneath. Try to steal the ball by flicking it from underneath. Because if you try to flick the ball over the ball, the referee will call it a foul. At least, there is a great chance he will. And if you’re left handed, do the opposite.


Defensive stance

After somebody shoots the ball, be sure to be in a defensive stance (fronting) so that you can grab the ball if the shot doesn’t go in. In other words, build yourself a space around you. Sometimes, even if the defender is taller than you, you can grab the ball before he does if you are in a better position.


Use your vision

Don’t turn your head back and forth in order to catch up with the player who has the ball and the player you’re guarding. Instead, look in a direction where you can see both, your player (the one you’re guarding) and the other player who has the ball.

Because if you turn your head all the time, looking in both directions, you might lose the ball or your player for that split second.


Guess well

This is not a defensive basketball drill. It’s not even a tip. It only comes with experience. Because it’s pretty hard to guard someone who is a good shooter. Especially if they know how to take advantage of that. For example, your opponent takes a jump shot and makes it (which you obviously didn’t do a good job blocking his shot. Or maybe he was lucky. But it doesn’t really matter:)

So the next time you guard him, he’ll fake his shot. He won’t shoot, but it’ll seem to you as if he will. So your natural reaction will be to jump (getting you off your defensive stance), of course. But because he got you off balance, he can go wherever he wants. So my point is, to make a good guess. It depends on the situation.

If you think he can’t shoot that good but you know that every once in a while he fakes his shot, then sometimes it’s better to let him shoot the ball. Make sure you know your player. Ready for another defensive basketball drill? Okay:)


Work on your foot speed

As you probably know, having fast feet ensures that you can move quickly around the court, thus guarding your man even better. Well, it goes without saying that you need to work on your legs no matter how good you think you are. The best players in the NBA are always working on improving their game, and boy, are they ever working.

Here’s an interesting quote from Steve Nash – “If every basketball player worked as hard as me, I would be out of job”.

And here’s a defensive basketball drill for your legs.

Check it out here – (opens new window)

Additionally, you should practice sprinting from one side of the court to the other. Do this about 3 times to complete a rep and 3 reps to complete a set. Rest for 2 minutes between sets. One set a day would be enough.

Finally, here are the top 10 steals of 2007.



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