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How to Develop Great Defensive Communication

  • Author:
    Jeff Haefner
  • Date:
    Feb 1, 2010

If you want a great team, then you've got to make sure they're talking to each other on the court.

After all, how many players have been knocked down (resulting in an easy bucket) from a perfectly played screen? One shout from another defender could easily warn his teammate of the impending screen.

If he spoke up, that is.

Without communication, your basketball defense will never be great. So, it pays to emphasize communication to everyone on your team.

Effective Communiction

Your team's on-court communication should always have a point. Here are a few examples of purposeful communication:

Shot- Every time a player makes a shot, you should yell "shot" to make sure everyone knows that a shot just took place.

Screens- When a screen is put into place you should yell "screen" so players can position themselves to go around the screen.

Ball- When you're guarding the ball then you should yell "ball" to let everyone know that you're on that player.

Skip- If a skip pass is thrown, yell "Skip" three times. This will raise the flag for defense to find the ball and get into position.

Got Your Help- If you're in a good position to help on a dribble drive, then yell "Got your help!" to let the team know that you're there to stop the ball if things get out of hand with the offense.

Call Your Man- You should always call out who you're guarding. Every player should be accounted for and good communication can help make sure everyone's covered.

These are just a few examples of how words can be used effectively on the court to win the game. There are plenty more you could work into your routine!

How To Improve Communication

  1. Use Overload Drills. Overload basketball drills practically make your players talk to each other. When they're overloaded, defensive players have to scramble and help each other out. If they don't talk, they fail. This is a natural way to get your player talking to each other.
  2. Make Communication A Habit. You need to keep reminding your team to talk to each other during games. Want a sure-fire to get them remembering? Bench them when they forget. Yeah, it's extreme, but you can bet they'll remember for next time.
  3. Focus On Game Situations. If your practice sessions are like real games, and you're running basketball drills that require your team to talk to each other, they'll begin to develop the habit. Practice game situations, and keep stressing communication. They more they talk in practice, the more they'll talk during games.

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