15 TIPS TO A SUCCESSFUL DEFENSIVE STRATEGY
- Reward good defense – Praise individual efforts and/or team effort.
- Have pride in stopping the opponent’s best player – as a team.
- Start your best defender. Assign him to the opponent’s best player.
- 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.
- In the same regard, avoid assigning your best big man to guard the opponent’s good big man when at all possible.
- 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.
- Stat and track individual and team rebounds, steals, charges, and any other statistic that you consider important.
- Reward players with “starts” who have great defensive stats; such as: rebounds, steals, drawing charges, deflections, shutting down a star.
- 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.
- 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?)
- Track your team’s defensive average and post it for all to see.
- 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.
- 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?
- Adjust pick up points according to time, score, and other game changing situations.
- Halftime and postgame, discuss your defense first. How did they do? And don’t forget to mention great defense to the Press.