On this platform we’ve talked a lot about cushion slides, staying square and keeping the offensive player in front. However, defensive development and ability will largely be based on the defender’s ability to keep them out of the paint rather than just staying in front. To accomplish this task, the defender needs to add physicality to his/her game.
Chesting It - refers to the technique of catching an attacking dribble with your chest. In this way we are beating the offensive player to a spot and running them into a brick wall.
You can see in the above clips we have some of the best defenders using their anticipation, agility and physicality to stop penetration at its starting point. However there are defenders that may lack these explosive abilities that still need to accomplish the task of stopping penetration. In this circumstance the defender uses their cushion slide to create contact, sliding backwards and square, catching the attack with their chest.
This is one of the most important skills a defender can learn to take their defense from average to elite. Executing this technique is a daily practice and habit that we must help build in our players. Showing hands on the contact and catching the offensive shoulder in the middle of the chest (side may be deemed a foul, and middle may be deemed an offensive foul).
Mastery of this concept is why some players get the names; off-night, seatbelt, clamps, and Lockdown Defender.
See you next time.