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First Time Youth Basketball Coaching Pt. 8 Man to Man Defense

Great defense being played!
Great defense being played!
Picture taken be Michael J. Glass "Atouchofglassphotography"

Man to man defensive techniques:
Remember coach every player will not have the same level of talent when it comes to defense either. Some players will tend to be more aggressive – while others will try to avoid contact at all costs!

Tell yours kid’s you should at least have a few fouls by the end of each game! Be aggressive – and mix it up some! There are a few things you should teach them in regards to playing defense. Footwork is very important. Have them work on defensive slides drills – so they are comfortable moving in this position. They should be bent (slightly) at the waist, hands out wide, and on their toes. They should not be flat footed!

Make them aware that the quickness/skill of their opponent should determine how close they get on defense. Getting to close does not always equal playing good defense. If one player gets beat, someone else has to leave their area, or man to help and it’s downhill from there. Keeping your man in front of you is goal number one.

If/when the offensive player attempts a shot teach kids to put a hand in the shooter’s face. Did you get that? Not a hand up trying to make them shoot over it (like you see so many players do) NO… and hand in the shooter’s face. Have them try and distract the shooter’s eyes with their hands. I like to take a player – put them at point blank range and tell them to shoot. I will allow them to shoot 5 shots – from this range they normally make 4 or 5 of them. Next I will put my hand right in their face – trying my best to make sure they can not see the basket. Then I tell them to shoot again. They miss all 5 shots – same place on the floor – point blank range remember (even a good shooter needs to be able to see the basket in order to properly gauge a shot attempt).

On defense you should move your feet first, and hand save the “reaching” or attempting to steal the basketball as a last resort. Teach them to be very, aggressive on defense – solid players will hardly ever turn the ball over; but constant pressure on the ball will create a few.