How to Get Better at Defense in Basketball

The goal of basketball is to score more points than your opponent, and in order to be a good basketball team, defense is very important. These steps will make your basketball team really good.


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    Get low. Getting low is very important when playing defense. You want to bend your legs at about a 45 degree angle. Being low helps you shuffle from side to side faster, and when you are bending your knees, your eyes are around your opponents waist, which is very important because then you will know where your player is going.
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    Be on your toes, Being on your toes will guarantee success when playing defense. Being on your toes makes it easier to maneuver your body. You can move side to side, front to back and it is easier to start running when you are on your toes.
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    Help side defense. Help side defense is crucial when it comes to basketball. When the ball is on the opposite side of the court from where you are, then you need to leave your player and shuffle to the middle of the court. This is very important because if your teammate gets beat, you are there to back them up.
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    Big Steps to Small Steps. Using big steps to small steps is very important while playing defense. When you are on help side defense and your player is about to get the ball, you need to move from the center of the court and start going back to your player. When you are going back to your player you need to take big fast steps to small choppy steps. This is because if you run out too fast, then your player will just dribble right by you, and if you go out too slow, then your player will shoot over you.
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    Keep your hands up at all time. Keeping your hands up is very important because it stops the player from shooting over you. Also, it distracts the player from knowing where to pass, and it makes it harder for them to see what is going on. It does not have to be both hands but definitely one. This is especially important when playing a zone defense because it makes the passes for the other team harder and it allows you and your teammates to intercept passes.
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    Watch your player and the ball. Watching your player and the ball can be difficult at times, but it is very important. If you are just watching your player and you can't see the ball, you could be getting beat from behind. But, if you just watch the ball then your player could be making cuts behind you and you could lose track of them and they could score.
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    Be disciplined. Being disciplined is very important because it teaches you to keep fighting. When your player beats you down the court or scores on you, do not give up. You need to stick with it and try harder next time. You can not give up.
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    Be aggressive. Being aggressive could be maybe the most important tip when becoming a good defender. You can not just sit back and watch the game happen. You need to get active. Dive for balls on the ground, steal the ball from your player, and don't be afraid to intercept passes.
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    Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to go for the block and steal passes


  • When you're going side to side, shuffle. Do not cross your legs.
  • When you're on defense and your player fakes up, do not jump! Do not leave your feet because once you leave your feet your opponent will blow right by you and will get the points.
  • Talk! Communication is one of the most important things while playing defense. Let your teammates know where the ball is, if people are cutting behind your teammates, and to disorient and distract your opposition.
  • Its most important to call picks too because if you don't its easier to lose the person you're playing defence on and make it easy for them to score.
  • When you're running down the court to get back on defense, do not turn your back completely, make sure you can see the ball.
  • Look at the player's hips to see where they're going.
  • Guard someone that plays the same position as you. If you're a guard, guard a guard, and if you're a forward, guard a forward.
  • When the ball hits the basketball board turn around push them back and try to get the ball.


  • Do not gamble too much. What i mean by this is do not keep trying to go for an interception if you are not 100 percent sure you can get the pass. This is because once you gamble and get beat it is almost impossible to catch back up to your player.
  • Do not play too close to your player. If you play too close, they will dribble right around you. But do not stay too far back because they will shoot the ball right in your face.
  • Do not get too low. If you get too low it is extremely hard to shuffle quick and run fast.
  • Do not be too aggressive. Do not tackle, punch, kick or anything of that nature.
  • Do not put your hands straight up at a 180 degree angle. Your arms will get tired fast and that's not good. Keep them bent a little bit.

Things You'll Need

  • Your body
  • A team
  • An opposing team
  • A place to play
  • A ball

Article Info

Categories: Basketball