Refine Your Defensive Sliding For Increased Success and More Playing Time
As mind boggling as it is, many San Antonio Youth middle and high school basketball players come to us without good defensive stances. Far fewer can execute sliding at a high level for any period of time. Players must:
- Keep on their toes and forefoot
- Start with a base at a minimum of shoulder width apart…and then train to expand that base
- The wider your defensive base and arm action the more difficult you are to beat on defense.
- Arms should not be placed at sides below the waist. Arms must be active.
- Arm should be up on the potential shooting arm of the player who is a threat to shoot the basketball.
- Other arm should be a mosquito. Buzzing, jousting, in the face, in the crossover dribble lane, and in the passing lane of the opposition.
- Accept that you will get beat sometimes and work hard on opening your stance but not permitting the opposition to cross back like Manu Ginobli and Steve Nash do. This ability to change direction again negates the ability of your shot blockers and help defense taking offensive charges.
- Your chest and upper body should not be leaning forward or to the side. The chest should be prepared to absorb a blow of an offensive player. Keep the chest open to the player. Your stance should not be bent over but rather like someone sitting in a chair. Your leg muscles are not used to this. It will require hours of practice. The rewards are worth it. Do it.
- Do not lunge unless you are confident the reward outweighs the risk. Be sure or risk hanging your team out to dry, and taking years off your coach’s life. Have your hands be active while you maintain your balanced power base.
- Train, train, train. Defense is more than heart. It is technique and training.