How To Improve Your Defense In Basketball

For aspiring players at all levels, learning how to improve your defense in basketball is essential.  Defense is one of the most important components of the game, and it will be one huge area in which you can develop as a player.  Here are a list of tips so you can learn how to improve your defense in basketball:

  1. Pay attention to your footwork on defense.  You will need to maintain your quickness and stamina in order to stay with your man on defense.  Take shorter steps when you close on a shooter, so that you can recover if it is a pump fake. 
  2. Always watch the waist area when you are guarding the dribbler.  Watching the eyes is applicable in one situation that will be covered; if you do this normally you will be susceptible to jukes and other moves.  When you watch the waist you know when the dribbler is making a real move in a certain direction.
  3. Watch the eyes on the pass.  When your man has lost his dribble, he must shoot or pass.  If it is a situation in which a pass is likely, then watch his eyes to give yourself a better chance to deflect the ball.
  4. Don't go for the pump fake.  As you watch college and professional games, you may notice that one of the worst mistakes you can make as a defender is to go for the pump fake.  It allows you man to go right by you if he still has the dribble, or an excellent opportunity to draw the foul if he gets you in the air (in the style of Reggie Miller).  Don't commit until he does.
  5. Drill the defensive fundamentals.  There are always ways to improve your defense with fundamentals.  Stay low and learn to develop your quickness.  Make sure you box out your man on the shot.  Practice these and more to find yourself a better refined defensive player.
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