"BALL"- The most important thing to guard is the basketball. The player with the ball is the only man that can score. Every time a pass is throw, someone should let everyone know, verbally, that they have the "BALL". If you are playing defense and do not hear this, theoretically, you should turn and look to go cover the player with the ball.
"BASKET"- The next most important aspect of team defense is to protect the basket. Once the ball is covered, a player needs to reteat to the key and call "BASKET". The player responsible for the basket is usually the furthest man away from the ball, on the side opposite the ball(weakside).
"HELP(left or right)"- It is helpful if the player guarding the ball knows if he has any defensive help to his left or his right. The next defensive player in either direction of the ball should holler, "HELP"(left or right)". If the offensive player sees(and hears) a player in position to help, they might not even try to penetrate via the dribble in that direction.This also allows the defender on the ball to pressure with a little more confidence.
"CHECK"- When a defender is guarding a player on the weakside of the floor, many times they are responsible for the basket. In some offense their man may "flash" to the ball side. The defense should "check" that cutter in a denial stance and verbally let the team know, by saying "CHECK". This verbal cue reminds the player to "check" his man and also reminds the rest of the team to "CHECK" and see who should be responsible for the "BASKET" next
"CLEAR"- Sometimes an offense will "clear" out the weakside, and take away the "basket" defender. IF a player has the basket and his man clears, he should yell,"CLEAR" to let any player in the post area know that the basket area is clear and there is limited help. This also could cue teamates to see if , maybe, they can drop and help protect the basket.
Communicating on defense is crucial, but for some reason is very difficult to get players to do. We can`t get them to be quiet in class and can`t get them to talk on the court - go figure:?)
Simply encouraging players to talk at all times helps, but having an organized method gives players specific verbal cues to go with situations and fosters effective team defensive communication
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