6 Tips For Better Perimeter Defense

  • Author:
    By Steph Wood,
  • Date:
    Dec 7, 2010

Defense is 90 percent heart and 10 percent skill, and your success is determined by your will and commitment to the task. That being said, there are a few teaching points to remember when playing perimeter defense on the ball:

Stay Low

Remember to begin with your shoulders lower than the person you are guarding. We call this the shoulders game. By keeping your shoulders lower at the start and then continuously throughout the penetration and drive, you are more likely to get to the spot before the offense.

An Arm’s Length

Do not begin too close or too far away from the offense. If you are too close, they will drive by you. If you are too far, they will shoot. The best thing is to begin at least an arm's length away. It is appropriate to reach out to your defender if you are not sure whether you are far enough away.

Good Perimeter Defense!!

This player gives a great example of good perimeter defense! p>

Keep Steps Short

Never forget your footwork. Taking long steps often will hinder your progress while defending drives. Take shorter, choppier steps and remember to "push-pull" off your front foot.

Remember the Hands

Another key is to have active hands. While on the ball your hands are busy, but you must also remember to use your hands while defending the penetration. Use a "deflection hand" high and a "ball hand" low and up on your defender. A lot of coaches will call this "riding" a player out. While you are defending the drive, try to poke the ball out with your ball hand, and then use your deflection hand to block passes or quick shots.

Swipe Up

Another important hint is to never hit down on the ball. When you swing down on the ball it is a more aggressive motion and more likely to get attention from the officials for a called foul. Swipe up on the ball.

Get in Shape

The most successful defenders will have strong core muscles. Your hips, abs and buttocks will be strong and help you be balanced and able to move quickly in lateral motions. Jumping rope will help your foot speed.

The best way to become a great defender, of course, is to know your opponent. Watch film and read scouting reports. The best defender is the smartest defender.

Related Tags:

Featured Stories

• Coach Phillips: Making Positive Impact • VIDEO: Rewarding Hustle Sue Phillips, who led the USA Basketball Women’s U17 National Team to gold at the 2014 FIBA World Championship in the Czech Republic in July, is entering her 22nd season as head coach of the girls basketball team at...

  • Author:
    Dr. T.J. Allan
  • Date:
    Oct 23, 2014

If you're a good basketball shooter, the coach will find a spot for you on the floor, especially at the high school level. Thus, it becomes extremely important to learn the correct basketball shooting technique, and to practice various shooting drills over and over and over again. Larry Bird didn't...

  • Author:
    By Paul Tayyar,
  • Date:
    Oct 23, 2014

Being a better ball handler takes a lot of work, as you develop coordination and comfort with the ball. Here is a drill that works wonders in helping you dribble the ball better with both hands. How to Do the Drill: Stand at one end of the court. Have a basketball in each hand. Begin to walk,...

Related Articles

• Coach Phillips: Making Positive Impact • VIDEO: Rewarding Hustle Sue Phillips, who led the USA Basketball Women’s U17 National Team to gold at the 2014 FIBA World Championship in the Czech Republic in July, is entering her 22nd season as head coach of the girls basketball team at...

  • Author:
    Dr. T.J. Allan
  • Date:
    Oct 23, 2014

If you're a good basketball shooter, the coach will find a spot for you on the floor, especially at the high school level. Thus, it becomes extremely important to learn the correct basketball shooting technique, and to practice various shooting drills over and over and over again. Larry Bird didn't...

  • Author:
    By Paul Tayyar,
  • Date:
    Oct 23, 2014

Being a better ball handler takes a lot of work, as you develop coordination and comfort with the ball. Here is a drill that works wonders in helping you dribble the ball better with both hands. How to Do the Drill: Stand at one end of the court. Have a basketball in each hand. Begin to walk,...

For someone who is so dedicated to teaching, Sue Phillips still puts a high regard on learning. Why else would she have spent what little free time she had this summer writing school papers? Phillips, who is entering her 22 nd season as head basketball coach at Archbishop Mitty High School in San...

• VIDEO: Showalter On Skill Development Don Showalter has led USA Basketball junior squads to gold six times in the last six years and compiled a sterling 38-0 overall record. As a high school coach since 1976, he has won over 580 games. He took over as head coach at Iowa City High School in...