It is important on the offensive end to keep moving. By doing this you are creating opportunities to score for yourself and your teammates. Never get caught standing in one spot. When you stand you are easy to guard, and you are giving your defender time to rest and recover. When you learn to move without the ball well you add an entirely different element to your game. Some of the greatest scorers in basketball are also the best at moving without the ball. Have you ever watched Reggie Miller or Ray Allen play? Ray Allen gets a lot of his shots coming off of a screen for a quick three. To help you improve, below are a couple of tips for you to think about:
1) Set Your Man Up–
If you know you are going to come off a screen than set your man up so that they will get picked off by the screen. By doing this properly you will ensure that you will be open for a shot once you come off of the screen.
2) Change Speeds–
Never move around at the same speed. Instead, change speeds! Go from slow to fast, or, fast to slow. From a light jog, into a sprint. Mix it up, and always keep your defender guessing. By doing this you become harder to guard.
Keep this in mind next time you play. Try them out and see how much it benefits your game. Below is a video, lead by Richard Hamilton of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, that gives you a few more tips and drills for you to consider!
As we all know free-throw shooting is a major part of the game of basketball. But, just like defense gets overlooked, free-throw shooting does as well. If you do not believe free-throw shooting is important, than just ask the members of the 2008 University of Memphis basketball team. Though a talented bunch, to say the least, their failure to make free-throws is arguably the reason why they lost in the national championship game. I say that to say this, you must understand how crucial it is for you to make free-throws! If you are not the greatest free-throw shooter, than practice! Work on your form, work on your routine, and practice, practice, practice. Mastering the art of the free-throw makes you more valuable to your coach. If you can nail free-throws during crunch time then guess what? You will be in the game during crunch time! Knocking down free-throws is an important step to becoming a complete player. When you approach the free-throw line it is important to be cool, calm, and confident. Before you even take the shot, believe that you are going to make the shot! You will be amazed by the results! If you struggle with free-throws, below is a very informational video, lead by Michael Jordan, that you cannot afford to miss:
Paying attention to detail on the defensive end of the court is another big key to becoming a great defender. It is important to realize the tendencies of the person you are guarding. What habits do they have? Do they get frustrated easily? Do they like to go to the basket with their right hand as oppose to their left? Do they shy away from you when you begin to play physical? These are the types of things you must begin to notice when playing defense on your opponent. As soon as you pick up on things like this, you will be able to alter your assignments game and control them, in a sense. Knowing their weaknesses and learning how to expose them is a skill that is worth taking time out of your day to improve on. Also, instead of waiting until the day you play against them, try watching game film on them ahead of time. This will enable you to get a head start and develop a game plan of how you are going to stop them. The video below includes a few more tips from NBA legend, Michael Jordan.
If you want to become a great defender, you must understand all the aspects of defense. This includes being able to help your teammates out in times of need. In order to accomplish this you must be able to see your man, and the basketball at all times. As I’ve stated in previous post within this series, using your peripheral vision is a big key to becoming the best defender you can be. When you learn how to use this correctly you will be able to see your man and the ball (and everything else in between) with no problem at all! Refrain from keeping your head on the swivel. When you swing your head from side to side you are putting yourself in a dangerous position to lose sight of your man. Use your peripheral vision to see the what’s happening around you, and react to it as it occurs. Below is a video that includes a few more tips:
When playing defense it is important to know where your man is, and where the ball is. When you fail to do both at the same time you limit your abilities as a defender. If you are crowding your man it is impossible to help your teammates out. If you are overly concerned about where the ball is, it is impossible to know where your man is. This is why it is so vital that you see both! Now you may be asking yourself, “How do I see both?” The answer to this question is: Peripheral vision. In laments terms use your side view! By doing this you enable yourself to see both the man and the ball at the same time. It is important to always see both because if you lose sight of either one for a split second you could give up points to the opposing team. It is crucial to stay focused and aware. No matter what level of basketball you play on, you can always afford to work at this skill. Master it, and you will be one step closer to being the best defender you can be!
Generally the aspect of basketball that matters the most gets overlooked. It is the determining factor of whether or not your team will win or lose, and whether you get embarrassed or not. Do you know which aspect of the game I am referring to? That’s right, defense!
Defense is a VERY important part of the game of basketball. Surprisingly, though it gets overlooked a lot! As a player you must understand the importance of playing defense. If you can’t keep your man in front of you I can guarantee that you will be on the bench more often than you will be on the court. Here are a few tips to help you play defense to the highest of your capabilities:
There are a lot of things that can help you become a great defender, but the number one thing is your attitude. Attitude is so important because if you want to play defense you will, if you don’t you won’t. It’s really that simple! When you decide that you are going to prevent your man from scoring, or, from even touching the ball that is exactly what will happen because you will do everything in your power to make sure they don’t score!
When you are playing defense you must anticipate what your man wants to do next, and prevent them from doing so. Stay ahead of the game mentally. If you fail to anticipate your assignments next move, you will find yourself wasting a lot of energy recovering and trying to “catch up” to the ball handler.
Giving extra effort on defense can take you a long way, not to mention earn a roster spot. When you are continuously giving effort on the defensive end the man you are guarding will grow tired of you, and become frustrated. Once you see frustration in their eyes and body language, keep it up! They will more than likely take themselves out of the game, which is great for you!
Incorporate these few tips into your defensive arsenal and your game will be taken to the next level. Remember it takes consistent repetition and practice to improve. As long as you practice, you have nothing to worry about. Below are a few more defensive tips from a former NBA player, and great defender Bruce Bowen:
Have you seen results from your vigorous work outs and training? If the answer is no, some changes should be made to your training regiment immediately! On the other hand if you have seen results ask yourself, “how can I see more?” You will never be “too good” to improve and there is always room to get better! It is very important to reflect after your work outs, and after your games and ask yourself if you have gotten better or not. When you arrive at the answer, respond appropriately and take action as soon as possible to get one step closer to your desired level of performance. Reflection is a key component of getting better that often goes overlooked. Be sure that you do not make the same mistake that many other athletes make by failing to reflect!