Be within an arms reach of your man, so you can put pressure on the ball. Focus on his mid-section...where it goes, he will go. You can be faked out by his eyes, head and shoulder fakes. Try to make him go where he doesnīt want to go. From the middle of the court...force him to the sideline. From a wing position, force him baseline 12-15 feet away from the basket.
The proper defensive stance is necessary in order to play good defense. On the ball, feet should be shoulder width apart, with the knees bent, and your butt down and your back straight. Your hands should be outside your knees with the palms up. This allows for the most balance and quickest movement. You should be low (your nose to your manīs chest) in "nose-chest" position. When you are low, you can change directions more quickly, which is a key for playing great defense.
Half a Man Ahead
When guarding the dribbler, your head should be even with the ball, which puts you slightly ahead of the man you are guarding. Make the dribbler turn and change directions. This will slow him down and make it more difficult for the dribbler to beat you.
The proper way to move when guarding the dribbler is to step and push off. This is accomplished by taking a BIG step sideways with the lead foot (the foot closest to the direction in which you wish to go), then pushing off with your trail foot to catch up. Always keep your feet in contact with the floor. Stay low and keep your feet wide. Make quick slides.
Contest All Shots
Never allow an opponent to shoot the ball uncontested. The problem, however, with players attempting to block shots is the tendency to commit fouls. Therefore, the proper way to contest a shot is to stay on your feet facing the shooter until the shooter leaves his or her feet, then attempt to get your hand on top of the basketball. At the very least, get a hand up so it limits his vision of the basket or he has to shoot over you. While you may not block the shot, you will put the shooter under a maximum amount of pressure.
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