In order to stop the ball and deny dribble penetration, you must begin with a good stance.
If you don't have a good stance, you won't have a good defensive slide, and you'll constantly be out of position and off-balance. This will enable the offense to score on you at will. EVERYTHING begins with a good defensive stance!
In the clip below from the Man To Man Defense Video with Jim Huber, he discusses critical components of a great defensive stance.
Here are 10 Keys to a Great Defensive Stance:
- Fronts of the Feet - A little more than half of your weight should be distributed to the fronts or balls of your feet. Heel should still be in contact with the ground.
- Stable Base & Feet Straight Ahead - Your feet should be pointing straight ahead. This creates an angle that allows you to provide more force against the ground.
Your feet should also be slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Hips Back & Knees Bent - Butt should be behind the heels and your knees should be pointing forward.
- Knees Inside of Feet - This helps create alignment with your lower body which enables you to explode more efficiently in any direction.
- Butt Down - Staying in a stable position with your butt down enables you to stay balanced and engage the glutes which is the most powerful muscle in the lower body.
- Shoulders Over Knees - Your shoulders should be over your knees with your chest out and back straight. You don't want to be leaning too far forward or backwards.
- If you have a tendency to lean forward too much - bring your hands above your head as this will bring your torso more upright.
- If you have a tendency to be too upright with your butt tucked under and knees stick too far forward, keep your hands straight in front of you as this will force you to push your butt back into a better position.
- Hands up - Depending on the tactic (Hands out or hands up to defend shot/dribble).
- Eyes focused on the player's waist or chest.
Balance is the key to a great defensive stance and guarding the ball. If you lose your balance you are beat!!!
You can learn more about one on one defense by checking out this video and article about guarding the ball. It includes some great tips and tricks for coaches and players.
Or to learn more about about great TEAM defense, check out our comprehensive man to man basketball defense video.