Hoops 101 - Part #1 (Defense)
Basic basketball consists of defense, rebounding and offense. The team that successfully executes these 3 phases will most likely win the game.
Playing defense is typically not the most glorified aspect of playing modern-day basketball. Many of us draw excitement from the variety of offensive highlights that come across the internet and TV.
BUT…believe it or not, defense is the “secret ingredient” to any successful basketball team. Having the ability to consistently stop your opponent from scoring is priceless. After all, you win a basketball game by making your opponent score fewer points than you!
Having a good defensive mindset is very similar to being a predator. While on defense, pretend you’re lion out in the wilderness hunting down an antelope. The lion wants to know their prey. Understand their weaknesses and the best opportunity to strike. In this, the antelope will constantly think about where the lion is as opposed to eating, drinking or getting along with the herd.
Once this element of fear is established, it’s now the lion’s job to turn the antelope’s fears into a reality. Just like the antelope imagined, their worst nightmare is coming true, they are about to be consumed!
In basketball, a good defensive player constantly puts some form or pressure on their opponent. The idea is to get you opponent to concentrate more on you than on running their offensive play or making their move. Once they are in this distracted state, they are more likely to make mistakes (i.e. make turnovers, chances to steal the ball, etc.), and miss shots…aka “offensive inefficiency”. This is exactly what you want; forcing your opponent into stalled plays and difficult shots. This is the beginning of how you take away their momentum.
Defense is one of the foundational elements of basketball. Believe it or not, EVERYONE can play effective defense. Unlike offense (certain shots and moves are better suited for different types of players), defense is not a discriminatory activity. Defense is an “equal opportunity employer”, welcoming all types of players.
By establishing a strong attitude of defense in a game, your opponent will quickly realize that they will be in for a looooong night!