How to Stress Defense to Your Team

When you think about defense, you might be tempted to spend a few weeks of practice on it with your team and then focus on other things. But, you can't approach defense like it's a fad!

If you want your opponents to have a low basketball shooting percentage, then you've got to consistently spend time on basketball defense with your team. There's just no other way to do it!

Besides, you're the leader. If you show that defense is important to you, then your players are going to pick up on that. And, defense will become important to them as a result.

So, how can you emphasize defense to your team? Try these tips:

Ways to Stress Defense To Your Team

  • Make sure you talk about defense every practice session.
  • During your first team meeting, tell all the players that you already know who two of the starters are. They'll all be clamoring to know which players got picked, so tell them that the first and second starters will be the two best defensive players. They'll definitely pay more attention to defense after that!
  • Constantly reiterate to your team the benefits of good defense. Quote successful coaches, and give them relevant examples. Telling stories from legendary games is also a great way to illustrate the benefits.
  • Spend time working on defense during every practice. Remember, you have to follow through with your team. If you're talking about defense, then you need to be working on defense as well.
  • Make sure you run basketball defense drills that reward good defensive performance. For instance, dole out points when the defense does a great move like stopping a charge. This will show players that you truly believe in the benefits of good defense.

Remember, teaching defense isn't difficult. But it's an area that many coaches overlook. And keep in mind that your team can't be good at everything. You've got to pick a few key areas and focus on them. Trying to be great at all aspects of the game, from full court press to forcing turnovers, is impossible.

Every team needs defense. But not every team devotes the time necessary to really get good at it. If you look at many of the major NBA teams, you'll see that defense is usually one of the three areas they spend time excelling at. And if legends like Bobby Knight and Bo Ryan are focusing their teams on basketball defense, shouldn't you?

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