“Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships”

The foundation of every good basketball team is its defense, however, defense is often overlooked. When you first start playing basketball, all you care about is getting the ball and scoring- playing offense is the fun part and scoring a lot of points will get people to praise you! Defense, on the other hand, is not fun and is not usually something you get recognition over. With this mindset, it is hard to enforce and understand how critical defense is to a team’s success.  When every player on a team buys into working 100% on defense and resting on offense, the team will prevail.

Communication is the base of every good defense. Constant communication on defense is key. Too many times, there is no talking on defense, which is a tough habit to break. Talking on defense requires you to use your voice while you are going your hardest defending, talking while you are tired is something your body needs to be trained to do- this starts at practice! Players need to let their teammates know if a pick is coming, when players are flashing and cutting, and if they need help. Constantly talking on defense will help your team play together as one unit and will also frustrate and confuse your opponent. Think about games you’ve played in before where the other team was obnoxiously loud on defense and you couldn’t concentrate and got flustered. When everyone talks and brings energy, your team sets the tone of the game.

Top Defensive Techniques of a Good Basketball Team:

1. TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR DEFENSE: if you are in man-to-man, take it personal when the person you are guarding scores. Pretend you are playing 1on1- maybe you had a great offensive game and scored 20 points, but if you gave up 30, you are hurting your team.

2. Defend Without Fouling- Fouling leads to points for the other team.

3. NO Transition Baskets: sprint back, locate the ball, communicate with the members of your team and get into your defense.

4. Voices Up and Hands Up CONSTANTLY: when all 5 members of the team are loud with active hands, they are a 100 times more dangerous.

5. Discipline: great defensive teams remain discipline throughout the ENTIRE position. Don’t put all that work in and let up once the shot clock is winding down.

6. Box-Out and Rebound: finish every stop with a rebound. Once the shot goes up, your job isn’t done until the ball is in the hands of you or your teammates.

7. Proper Rotations: move when the ball moves with a purpose. Don’t get caught in no mans land.

8. Win Every 50/50: every player on the court should do everything in their power to win a loose ball no matter what.

We hope that this post has inspired you to pick up the intensity on defense! Set the tone of the game and take initiative among your teammates. Hold yourselves accountable and take it personal when the other team scores. The team with more stops at the end of the game will win… Defend to win!