Our friends at PGC do a phenomenal job at breaking down skills and providing efficient ways to improve your overall game. Recently during one of their Halftime Talks of the Hardwood Hustle Basketball Podcast, PGC’s Tyler Coston listed out three tips to becoming a better on the ball defender.
Live in the Bubble
The “bubble” is the space around the offensive player in which they have to work. Invade this space as a defender and make the offensive player aware and concerned about you as the defender. More importantly than invading their physical space, but you are also invading their mental space. By Living in the Bubble, you are forcing the offensive player to think more about you than the offensive play, making the open pass, and the move they can make to score.
Slap Up – Not Down (At the Ball)
Many players slap down at the ball and the referee tends to call this a foul, even when sometimes it is not, because it looks like a foul. This technique will help keep you on the floor longer by not sitting on the bench in foul trouble. In order to master this skill, as you are guarding the ball and the bring the ball down, facing your palms up rather than down will help in performing this tip. A few acronyms they use to teach this are:
ESP – Eternal Sign of Passivity: By facing your palms up, this signifies passivity and will also discourage the official from calling unnecessary fouls.
KUP – Keep Up Palms
Rubber Band their Hands
Also referred to as “Lock Left”, this term refers to getting your defensive hand so close the offensive players dominant hand, that you could rubber band them together. The idea behind the concept is to focus less on your stance and angle, and more on taking away the offense’s dominant hand. By keeping the dominant hand guarded (covered), this will reduce the likelihood of the player, shooting, dribbling, or passing with the dominant hand.
So remember, Live in the Bubble, Slap Up, and Rubber Band their Hands!
As always we would love your feedback on this topic. How do you prefer to guard on the ball?
For even more great Halftime Talks from PGC check out the Hardwood Hustle Podcast.