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10 Keys to a 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 - Most of your weight should be on the fronts or balls of your feet and the majority of the weight should be on the big toes. Heel should still be in contact with the ground.

2. Wide Base & Feet Turned Slightly In - Your feet should be pointing straight ahead or slightly turned in (pigeon-toed). This creates an angle that allows you to provide more force against the ground. In the picture to the right, the feet are bowed out which is improper form.

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, but not past the toes.

4. Knees Inside of Feet - This helps create better push-off power.

5. Butt Down - Staying low helps maintain balance.

6. Shoulders Over Knees - Your shoulders should be over your knees with your chest out and back straight or slightly arched.

7. Hands up - Depending on the tactic (Hands out or hand up to defend shot/dribble).

8. Eyes focused on the player's waist or chest.

9. You should be able to draw a vertical line from the front of your forehead thru the front of your knees thru the front of your toes.

10. All of this should create GREAT BALANCE.

Balance is the key to a great defensive stance and guarding the ball. If you lose your balance you are beat!!!


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