How to Play Better Defense in Basketball

Knowing how to play better defense in basketball involves improving a number of areas of your defensive game. These improvements aren't tough to make. A little dedication can go a long way. After a while, you'll begin to see your defensive talents flourish. You'll definitely be playing better defense in basketball games.

  1. My Adidas! Playing better defense always starts with your feet. If you can't get around on defense (without fouling your opponent), you're useless. You need to develop better defensive foot work. Work on speed drills. For example, try running rapidly in place with fast repetitions. While doing this, practice changing directions. Also, practice your defensive sliding. These two drills can greatly improve your foot speed which will in turn make it easier to keep up with your opponent in defensive sets.
  2. Court Awareness. Knowing your surroundings will definitely help you play better defense. Use the court to help you defend better. Playing the angles can make you a beast on the defensive end. Use the baseline to cut off a man driving to the basket. Be a better help defender by backing up your team mate if he or she gets beaten off the ball.
  3. Anticipate but don't over react. Basketball is a game of angles, and understanding these angles can help make you a ferocious defender. Anticipate where passes will be thrown so you can recover to the ball quickly and possibly make steals. Anticipate where missed shot will go, and know where your opponent is to help improve your rebounding.
  4. Be vocal. Basketball is a team game. Playing better defense is a team effort. Let your teammates know what's going on on the court. Make sure everyone knows what's going on.
  5. You don't have to block the shot to make them miss. Put your hands up on defense. Get in the way. Do as you can to disrupt a shot  as you can. Playing defense means keeping the other team from scoring. Playing better defense means improving the methods you use to keep people from scoring. Don't you think it's harder to score over a defender emulating a swarm of bees than one pretending to be a statue?
  6. Develop your timing. Timing how your opponent moves can greatly decrease their offensive potency by making their scoring windows smaller and smaller. Paying attention to how your opponent moves can allow you to stop them in their tracks. Remember, anticipation is important.
  7. Put it all together. Using these tips together will will help you to play better defense. The only way to improve is to practice.

Developing into a great defensive basketball player can only happen with practice and dedication. These tips are a good groundwork for building yourself into a better defender. It's up to you to take this knowledge, along with your talent and conditioning, to become a master defender.  

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