15 Tips to a Successful Defensive Strategy



  1.  Reward good defense – Praise individual efforts and/or team effort.
  1.  Have pride in stopping the opponent’s best player – as a team.
  1.  Start your best defender.  Assign him to the opponent’s best player.
  1.  But, even if he is your best defender, don’t open the game with your best offensive player guarding the opponent’s best offensive player.  Save energy and fouls till later.
  1.  In the same regard, avoid assigning your best big man to guard the opponent’s good big man when at all possible.
  1.  Change your better and/or taller defenders onto the other team’s stars at the end of a close game if they aren’t assigned there already.
  1.  Stat and track individual and team rebounds, steals, charges, and any other statistic that you consider important.
  1.  Reward players with “starts” who have great defensive stats; such as: rebounds, steals, drawing charges, deflections, shutting down a star.
  1.  Have an assistant watch your defense at all times.  He should write down opponent’s successful plays, note match-ups, and keep track of fouls.  He should be your “top” assistant and most trusted.
  1. Pick a point total goal for your defense.  Make it low enough to challenge your team and low enough to usually result in a victory.  ( 40 or 45 maybe?)
  1. Track your team’s defensive average and post it for all to see.
  1. Reward your best non-starting defender with playing time.  Sub him in to guard the opponent’s best player from time to time, so the starter can rest a little.
  1. Consider changing to a different defense for a couple of possessions when coming out of a time out.  Maybe a zone or a Run and Jump Half Court Trap?
  1.  Adjust pick up points according to time, score, and other game changing situations.
  1.  Halftime and postgame, discuss your defense first.  How did they do?  And don’t forget to mention great defense to the Press.




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