Updated: Oct 10, 2022
This is a popular technique that first started becoming wide spread I believe 5-7 years ago. It is a necessary skill for a containment defender and likely all defenders will need to apply it at some point. However, there are times when the Wall Up technique is oversimplified in my opinion. It is far more than simply throwing your hands up and contacting your chest.
I believe there are 3 simple principles to properly executing a Wall Up.
1. The most obvious one: hands up and back. Some will even use the teaching cue, “hands behind ears,” to emphasis not fouling. At no time should a defender bring one or both hands down to attempt a block, often times this bails the offense out of a tough finish.
2. Be a Strong Wall! This means the defender is maintaining contact through the finish. We don’t want the offense to create separation when they go up to finish. This will only give them a better chance at scoring the goal. Instead we want to “foul with the lower half” - as Jay Wright would say.
Driving the offensive player off their line of attack, maintaining physicality while showing legal defense with the upper body. Show with the hands, foul with the legs.
3. No brick walls. We need our walls to be strong but also mobile. We need a wall on wheels. This allows the defender to push out that line of attack, keep the offensive player on the chest and go airborne in legal position if needed.
These techniques can hopefully turn offensive drives into offensive misses. Turn a containment defender into someone who can prevent easy baskets. And help all your players better protect the basket without fouling.
Thanks for reading, see you next time!