Man to Man Defense Video and Secrets to Improve Ball Pressure

As we explain in our man to man defense video, ball pressure is one of the critical keys to a great team defense...

The "right" kind of defensive ball pressure can help you win more games and lower your opponents shooting percentage!


  1. The only player that can score is the person with the ball. So you better apply pressure and make it extremely difficult for them to score!

  2. By applying the right amount of ball pressure, you make it difficult for the person with the ball to make accurate passes. For example, if you play too far back, it's much easier for the offense to make accurate passes into the post and pick apart your defense! This is a subtle key to a good defense.

  3. Applying good ball pressure can cause turnovers.

  4. Applying good ball pressure can take the offense out of their comfort zone and lower your opponents shooting percentage!

To learn how you can apply better ball pressure and take your opponent out of their comfort zone, check out this great video by Bruce Bowen:

This video includes some great tricks and tips for players and coaches...

If you'd like to learn more about developing a great man to man defense and how to lower your opponents shooting percentage, check out our complete defensive instructional system.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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matt karaffa says:
2/12/2008 at 8:52:17 AM

good defensive video, bowen does a good job


Jack OConnor says:
2/12/2008 at 12:21:55 PM

This is a great defensive video. Not difficult to follow and very informative. Thank you


N.Appala Raju says:
2/14/2008 at 12:48:50 AM

This video is exellent and it helps a lot to coachs & players.


Paul-Alexandre says:
3/1/2008 at 1:03:51 PM

It is a shame, the video is no longer available !
Could you do something to correct this situation ?


Jeff Haefner says:
3/1/2008 at 1:49:24 PM

Paul - The video should be working now. Thanks for pointing that out. If you notice anything else, let us know.

  1 reply  

ken says:
1/24/2018 at 8:11:22 AM

Hi Jeff, this video really isn't available now


widwidan julio says:
3/13/2008 at 12:26:21 AM

nice document to give viable importance of a one -on-one defence


andrew says:
4/9/2008 at 6:32:39 AM

this is a very good basic defense video..hope will see a lot more..


Imbetterdenuatbball says:
4/11/2008 at 4:29:43 AM

I luv his style. <3333

Miami heat are better =P


Frank says:
4/15/2008 at 10:42:03 PM

Great tips from one of the NBA"s best defensive players.


steven owusu akyem says:
5/9/2008 at 2:03:38 PM

I am a basketball player and new in my team in Ghana and i need your help to improve on my skills and how to make 3 pointer shot and also be the best in my team i hope you will help me



Joe Haefner says:
5/9/2008 at 3:59:42 PM

Hi Steven,

You can reference our fundamentals page to learn about how to improve as a player:

We also have more information on shooting in our Q & A section:

Joe Haefner


6/5/2008 at 6:05:57 PM



chris servas says:
6/14/2008 at 12:51:18 AM

Bruce Bowen wasnt able to contain Kobe in their series.Kobe scored more than a hundred points in five games.He was not able to use his hands effectively to slap or deflect the ball.Second Bruce must also consider my defensive stance where his forehead should be pointing towards the neck or chest of kobe or any other offensive player.


Kent says:
6/14/2008 at 11:59:31 AM

First off, Kobe might be the best player in the world and he’s going to score his points. I have not seen one player or team consistently contain Kobe. Kobe could score 40 points a game on the best defender in the world which Bruce just might be. Do you think the best coaches in the world are wrong about Bruce being a great defensive player? Last I checked, he almost made the U.S. Olympic team mostly because of his defense.

You also have to look further than statistics. Kobe had to work his butt off to score every one of those points on Bruce Bowen. In return, this can make him tired which can lead to:

- Kobe playing less minutes which is a good thing.

- Being tired on defense. Kobe is one of the best defensive players in the league. If you can make him less effective on defense, that’s great.

- Being tired at the end of the game. This can extremely useful, because we all know how Kobe plays at the end of the game.

Bruce also made Kobe take more shots to score his points. Kobe only took 11 free throw attempts in the whole series. The series before he took 96! That means Kobe had to work hard for his points. They weren’t easy points scored at the free throw line.

Bottom line: Kobe is the best player in the world and nobody is going to stop him. To discredit Bowen is absurd. He has been named to the All-Defensive Team 8 years in a row. He has been a runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year twice.

As for his stance, you probably should look at the person’s chest or waist. I agree with you there. But who are you to tell Bruce Bowen what to do? How many All-NBA defensive players have you coached? How many times have you been assigned to guard Kobe because of your defensive skills?

Listen to Bruce Bowen, he knows how to play defense.


josh says:
6/19/2008 at 3:57:36 AM

Thanks for the tips.They are a great help to me and my team.


Randy Black says:
11/19/2008 at 10:54:37 AM

is there any way to view this video at this point?


Joe Haefner says:
11/19/2008 at 10:57:13 AM

Hi Randy,

On my computer, the video is still viewable. Just click anywhere on the video screen and it should start up.


Randy says:
6/16/2009 at 11:39:50 AM

I see nothing but a white space where the video should be.


willad chakanyuka says:
9/5/2009 at 6:25:44 AM

very good defence


christina walsh says:
9/15/2009 at 7:49:34 AM

great video and explained very well...look forward to seen more drills from Bruce...


Aaron Lewis says:
11/28/2009 at 5:20:41 PM

dat was a nice video. havin bruce bowen, da best defensive player in da nba to do it


G-Coach says:
1/1/2010 at 1:44:08 AM

Thanks for the video. My guys are already good. Hopefully this makes them great.


Jason says:
1/27/2010 at 10:25:01 PM

Bowen mentioned he likes to front the post and rely on his backside help. I teach my guys to sag and help on the drive, but primarily in the post I tell them to play behind them and encourage my guys who are 1 way on wing and 2 away on the middle to sag and try to steal the entry pass. The reason I am not a fan of fronting is if the kid in the corner shoots a 3 we're in horrible position for rebounding or a quick swing allows an ease seal. Last game we played against a decent post player and I tried matching my big center, my super athletic 3 and 4 spots and he scored on all of them. I think he finished the game w/ 12points or so, but I was not upset, because they did what I told them to do, play behind him, give him hook shots and fade-a-ways, but don't let him beat us on rebounds. He got 0 offensive rebounds, but giving up 12 points was a little troubling, but I felt we had to bend somewhere, I'd rather bend there.

Well, I was only in one system through high school and am open to changing and this is my first year coaching so, any discussion/help would be great! Thanks!


Maher Matar says:
3/6/2010 at 4:52:44 AM

hi coach,

great defense , basketball is based on fast transitions and smart defense , thanks



rachelle says:
7/26/2010 at 9:39:32 PM

thanks for the video it really help me with man to man defence


marc says:
8/2/2010 at 2:01:54 PM

niceeeeeeeeeeeee vid


Kim Smith says:
3/12/2011 at 4:59:55 PM

Girl''s basketball with 3rd and 4th graders, man to man defense, is it something you teach the girls to grab the ball out of the girl''s hand?


Jeff Haefner says:
3/14/2011 at 7:01:15 AM

I just show them situations in practice where they can do those type of things. Then when they do it, I verbally reward and encourage them. If you emphasize it, players will do it. However at that age level, I wouldn't be too concerned with that. Most of your time should be spent teaching offensive fundamentals like footwork, dribbling, etc.


Gary says:
11/8/2011 at 4:09:34 PM

Appreciate the great instructional video


Robert says:
3/5/2012 at 12:20:32 PM

There is a blank white space where video should be.


Joe Haefner says:
3/5/2012 at 4:19:37 PM

Robert, try this link instead:


Annon says:
2/4/2014 at 9:29:13 AM

Why is the video spot blank? I need it for a school assignment and youtube is blocked at my school. What should I do?


Ken Sartini says:
2/4/2014 at 10:08:20 AM

Annon -

What if you just copied and pasted the link to your assignemnt - the video is up and running now.

You could google m2m pressure defense - that might take you to a different site that has a video not connected to you tube?

Hope this helps.


Jude v. says:
7/15/2016 at 11:38:25 AM

i nned help with my mid-range jumper do you have any thing to help me with that


hunter baxter says:
9/30/2016 at 7:56:14 PM

Thanks alot for this video i think it will really help me with my defense as i stat getting ready for the 2016-17 basket season thank you and good luck to all you basketball players out there getting ready for basketball


rinku dutta says:
12/18/2016 at 1:27:06 AM

that''s helpfull


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