Basketball Defense: 10 Keys to a Great Basketball Defensive Stance

10 Keys to a Great Basketball Defensive Stance

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!

Here are 10 Keys to a Great Defensive Stance:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Hips Back & Knees Bent – Butt should be behind the heels and your knees should be pointing forward.
  4. Knees Inside of Feet – This helps create alignment with your lower body which enables you to explode more efficiently in any direction.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. If you have a tendency to lean forward too much – bring your hands above your head as this will bring your torso more upright.
  8. 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.
  9. Hands up – Depending on the tactic (Hands out or hands up to defend shot/dribble).
  10. 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!!!


Source: Basketball Defense: 10 Keys to a Great Basketball Defensive Stance

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!


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!

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.

Applying good ball pressure can cause turnovers.

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:

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