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Defending Ball Screens - On Ball - Forearm

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

This technique is credited to the first coach I saw teaching the concept, Coach Calipari and his staff at the University of Kentucky. It is a technique to help players gain leverage when fighting over a ball screen.The technique also forces accountability for the on-ball defender to shrink the space and stay even with the ball handler.

The defender places his/her outside forearm onto the offensive player’s upper arm to prepare for the screen. This forces the defender to get tight and shrink the space in preparation of the screen: limiting the reject and set up moves of the offensive player.

The technique also gives added leverage to the defender to disrupt the line of attack, create space between the handler and screener, while also forcing the defender to get ‘skinny’ over the screen. It is a far superior technique than having a hand on the hip; this technique doesn’t offer much leverage to create space and it can be accomplished with far more space between ball and defender.

Of course foul concerns should also be in the back of our mind as coaches and how the ref will officiate your game and level. However this technique can make a world of a difference for your players fighting over ball screens successfully.

See you next time.

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