Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Coaches, you have all been in this position:  Your team is on defense.  Your on the ball defender gets beat off the dribble.  The player with ball gets deep into the lane, and eventually to the rim and scores.
Your first reaction is almost always to correct the on the ball defender.  Then you want to correct the rotation of your other four defensive players because you know your defensive system isn't designed to allow straight-line drives to the basket in a half court situation.

We all know that your players will be quicker and stronger when they are in a proper defensive stance.  Watch your players when the guard the ball, and players usually do a decent job of getting themselves in a good stance.
On the ball stance.
Let's break this down even more to help prevent a situation like this from happening less and less.  You also want to check the defensive stance of your players that are off the ball.  This is usually when players tend to stand tall with their legs straighter than they need to be.  It's almost as if they relax for a count or two because the ball is on the opposite side of the floor as the player they are defending.  This is wrong!

Players off the ball standing straight up = slower rotations.
The challenge for coaches in this situation is to get your defenders who are in help position, or off the ball, to get in a good defensive stance.  The defensive stance is a "ready" position.  Being in a ready position gives you quicker rotations and reaction time.  Standing with your knees straight will give you slower reaction time.

One idea to help improve this situation is to have one of your assistant coaches be in charge of watching the defensive stances off the ball.  Your players should know that an assistant is in charge of this.  Now the expectations have been set and the players know they are being held accountable for it.  This can also be done in film sessions with your team.  Point out the players in a good stance off the ball and the players that are not.  Show examples of good defensive rotations that all started because a player or players were in a ready position.  If your four defenders off the ball are in a ready position the chances of a straight line drive by an offensive player with the ball decrease because your players are quicker to rotate to stop the ball.

Sometimes the corrections needed to be made are the fundamentals of the game...and these corrections can make the biggest difference.


  1. Coach:

    Stunting is the single biggest thing that helps off ball defense. Coach Novak at Hopkins uses this and I am convinced it's why his teams are great defensively. If you are constantly hopping to the ball and way from the ball you look more ready and are more ready.

    John Carrier

  2. Howdy! Does the frequency of updates of your website depend on specific issues or you create blog articles when you have a special mood or free time on that? Can't wait to hear from you.


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