I believe strongly that at its core, defense is a movement skill. Of course there are key perception elements, reaction time and understanding of angles and techniques. But ultimately the skill is reliant on movement and the better we can improve those movement skills, the better an individual’s defense can become.
As teams start to workout in limited conditions - this is the time most programs introduce and priorities their strength program as well as a conditioning program. Hopefully that conditioning program also incorporates agility and explosiveness training. Because these should hold greater weight in basketball than standard distance and stamina training.
This is were I find the perfect conditions to start training defensive movement patterns, agility and explosiveness. It also gives purpose behind the training we do so as to have game applicability.
The first step for me is introducing key movement patterns like defensive footwork. The basic slide is shown below:
Notice that we progressively load the athlete throughout the drill and off-season to build greater explosiveness and change-of-direction with the use of resistance bands. (I prefer the waist resistance band as compared to the ankle/knee resistance bands, but that is a whole other topic, which I discuss in the Footwork Training Video).
We can progress through an entire series of drills I’ve created and discovered through studying the best defensive players and mimicking their movements in a trainable environment. Not only are we teaching our athletes movement patterns that they may have never discovered on their own, but we are training those techniques and making them more and more explosiveness.
If we want better defenders this off-season, it starts now. We can create better defenders even before we start to touch a ball.
If you are interested in those ladder, we are sold out of the Lockdown Ladders but any hexagon ladder will do: https://amzn.to/3RnWMoD
See you next time!