3 Ways to Be a Better On the Ball Defender
Defending 1v1 is an art form that requires a multitude of skills. There are a lot of little tactics that have to come together perfectly in order for you to be able to defend well.
Here are three tips on how to be a better on the ball defender:
1. Have good body positioning
Body positioning is especially important when someone is dribbling with speed towards you. Remember to get low and stay balanced. Bending your knees and keeping your back straight will help you keep your balance and allow you to more easily back pedal.
Make sure you aren’t flat-footed or the attacker will push the ball right past you. Having your feet staggered one in front of the other is important so you can easily change direction if you need to.
2. Have a plan
Having a plan in your head of what you want to do such as which way you are forcing them and where your back up is, is important.
If you know your attacker’s skillset, it will be easier for you to know what your plan for defending them will look like. If you know the attacker is faster than you, you will keep a little more distance between the two of you so that they will have a harder time pushing the ball past you.
As well as knowing the other player’s skills, recognize your own and play to your strengths.
3. Be patient
Sometimes it’s difficult to keep your composure when someone is dribbling towards you at speed, but the best on the ball defenders are extremely patient. They wait for their opponent to make a mistake.
For example if the attacker takes too big of a touch out in front of them that will allow you to steal the ball away. That’s better than reaching in and trying to the take the ball right off their foot and having them make a move and being able to get around you.
Putting all of these skills in motion will improve your defending on the ball. When you stay relaxed and keep your cool it will lessen the likelihood of making mistakes and letting your opponent beat you.
Also, when your opponent sees how composed you are, they will probably get more nervous and be more likely to mess up.