BASKETBALL DEFENSE DRILLS
Basketball defense drills can help improve any player's overall game. Most people often disregard defense in basketball and some people focus too much on offense to win games. While there's nothing wrong with that idea, you will never truly be regarded as a great player if you don't know how to defend. That's why it's necessary to know how to play fundamental defense.
You may ask yourself why would a person take time to improve defense? Why not improve his offensive skill set instead? -- There will always be a younger, stronger, faster player that can score better than you. This has always been the case in basketball. If you're only on the court to play offense, you will easily be replaced, and only valuable half of the time. The fact is, when a great offense matches up against a great defense, the defense usually wins.
If you're dedicated to your sport, you should know how to play defense. To start, here are some basic basketball defense drills you can do on your own:
1.) The Fencer Stance
This is not a drill but more of a basic stance. This is how you should position yourself to gain an upperhand against an offensive player.
Your feet should be in a T position. The foot pointing to the offensive player should be your lead foot. Your lead hand, right if you're a righty and left if you're a lefty, should be raised to cover the shot. The other hand should be low to deflect passes and provide balance.
When doing this stance, stay low the entire time. If the stance is too high, you might not be quick to react with the moves the offensive player may throw at you. When on defense, be sure to focus on your opponent's waist. While an offensive player can fake you out with the ball, head movements, or their feet, they cannot go anywhere without their hips.
2.) Zig Zag Slides
The zig zag slide drill simulates you guarding a dribbling offensive player. This is to improve your defensive footwork moving side-to-side and build endurance for your feet and legs.
You should assume this position -- horse-back riding stance, arms at the back and then slide. You should start in the corner baseline of the court with your back to the opposite baseline. Begin to step-slide towards the middle of the floor; after a few step slides, perfrom a drop step then slide back toward the sideline. Remember to always stay low during this drill.
"Offense wins games, but defense wins CHAMPIONSHIPS" -- A quote that each and every basketball player should know. Despite what others think, defending a person and shutting him down offensively is the most satisfying feeling in basketball. Most high-level players understand this, and thus put a high importance in defense. And however you may put it, there will always be a roster slot for a guy who knows to defend well.
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