menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch filter reset

Men's Teams

USA Men's Teams Schedule
Feb 20, 2020 7:00 PM est / ESPN+
USA - vs. Puerto Rico -
USA Men's AmeriCup Qualifying Team
2020-21 FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying
Feb 23, 2020 3:00 PM est / ESPN+
USA - vs. Puerto Rico -
USA Men's AmeriCup Qualifying Team
2020-21 FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying
Apr 10, 2020 10:00 PM est / ESPN
USA - vs. World -
USA Men's Junior National Team
2020 Nike Hoop Summit

Men's Shop


Shop Now USA Basketball

Youth Development

USA Basketball Youth Event Schedule
Mar 18, 2020 12:00 AM est
USA - vs. TBA -
USA 3x3 Women's Olympic Qualifying Team
FIBA 3x3 Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament
Jul 15, 2020 12:00 AM est
2020 U.S. Open Basketball Championships
Westfield, Indiana

Youth Shop


Shop Now USA Basketball

3 Coaching Points for Better Defense

  • Author:
    By Jeff Haefner
  • Date:
    Oct 20, 2010

When it comes to developing a solid basketball defense, having players that are quick on their feet is paramount for any winning strategy.

With these simple tricks, you'll be able to double your team's defensive agility, helping them to take away easy shots, scramble to close out, and ultimately, making them difficult to score against.

Move on the Pass

Teach players to move on the pass, NOT the catch. This basketball coaching tip alone will boost your team's defensive quickness. Players should be taught to always start moving to their correct defensive position when the ball leaves the fingertips of the player that's passing it, NOT when their teammate catches the pass.

Just by training players to move on the pass and not the catch, your team will gain an extra second or two to get into their defensive position, giving them the upper hand against the opponent.

Remember that while you want your players to anticipate the pass and move when the ball is released from the passer's fingertips, you want to make sure that they do not move BEFORE that point. If a player moves before the ball is released, they run the risk of falling for a pass fake and potentially leaving their opponent open for an easy, uncontested shot.

Knees Bent

Instruct players to keep their knees bent in an athletic stance. When players are conditioned to always be in an athletic stance with their knees bent, they are able to gain speed and quickly move to their defensive positions simply by being ready.

Not a believer in this simple trick? Line up your fastest and slowest team members with the slower player starting in an athletic stance and the faster player standing up straight. On your mark, have the two players race 15 feet. And the winner is...

The slower player will win every time.


Let players know who they'll be guarding. Players that know the habits and moves of their opponents are better prepared to defend them. For this reason, it's beneficial to your team members to let them know who they'll be defending in advance. Players can then "scout" their opponents to get a sense for what they need to do to effectively defend them.

This can also be accomplished by simply having a player watch the opponent from the bench during the game, or watch game footage of them to see what they're up against before they get out on the court.

By making these simple adjustments, your team will be able to successfully boost their speed and become a powerhouse defensive contender.

Related Videos

The 1 Percent Club is that small group of players who go the extra mile in their training -- stay late after practice, do more than is required. That's what it takes to make it to the next level.

13U Girls and Boys Championship Games

Related Content

  • Author:
    Spencer Wood
  • Date:
    Feb 18, 2020

Fifteen characteristics to encourage for mental toughness.

Seven coaches from all levels explain the best and worst advice they have received about coaching.

Find out some of the favorite drills of USA Basketball coaches.

Ask your coaching questions this basketball season to @USABYouth on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

  • Date:
    Dec 17, 2019

What to eat and when; water vs. sports drinks and even what to look out for in terms of nutrition for your

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login

Forgot Password?