Playing great defense will make you a much better than average basketball player. But understanding defense and becoming a disciple to it, having the ability to stop the other guy or make him change his game, effectively “getting in his head” will become the advantage that will consistently give you the win. Michael Jordan wasn’t selected to the NBA All-Defensive first team nine times by coincidence. He clearly understood that great defense would make him a winner.
Defense, more than anything else, is about how much you want it so all of the drills are done at full intensity all the time. To play great defense, you must have strong core muscles. Your hips, abs and butt will keep you balanced and able to move quickly in all directions so the CORE FITNESS exercises are very important. This is a tough workout. There is no “buddy” system. There is no chatting between sets and no one spotting. This workout requires discipline and self motivation. When you get to 10 weeks you will be ready for tryouts.
Always warm up before you begin – Stretch when you are finished – Time your sessions; you will get faster as you get fitter – Always use good form in every exercise – Keep an exercise log in a composition notebook.
Make Varsity in Ten Weeks: Part Three – DEFENSE!
- Positioning: More than anything great defense is about where you are on the floor in relation to the ball and your man. You can’t make a great play if you can’t get to the ball!
- Footwork: What you do with your feet will determine whether you can get to the ball and make a play.
- Finishing: So, you are in the right position, you’re well balanced and pointed in the right direction and you reach across your body and smack down on the ball. You get called for the foul. Huh! Wrong finish.
- Suicides: Improves your ability to change direction.
- Jumping Rope: improves foot speed. This is not an optional exercise if you want to be the best!
- Jump for time
- Jump for speed
- Vary your routine
- Block and Recover: Jumping, footwork, shot blocking
- Start on the right elbow
- Run down the foul lane and jump up and touch the backboard with the inside (left) hand
- Back pedal to the elbow
- Hands up, slide to the opposite elbow
- Run down the foul lane and jump up and touch the backboard with the inside (right) hand
- Repeat 10 times. That’s 1 set.
- Do 3 sets
- Steal It: Develops your steal/recovery skills
- Stand 3-4 steps from a wall feet parallel and weight balanced
- Throw a chest pass, and on its return, tap/poke it away with the right hand
- As quickly as you can, go after and retrieve the ball with both hands
- Return to the starting position
- Repeat with the left hand
- Repeat 10 times. That’s 1 set.
- Do 3 sets.
- As you get better, pass the ball so that you have to slide a full step before you tap the ball
- If your off hand is noticeably slower/weaker than your strong hand, WORK HARDER on that side. Another way to say that is if your left hand is noticeably weaker than your right you’re going to get beat by strong right hander’s and most players (about 90% ) are right hander’s.
- Handball: Develops eye-hand coordination
- From the “ready” position tap a handball to the wall
- Hit it on the return bounce
- 10 times right hand
- 10 times left hand
- 10 times crossovers
- That’s 1 set. Do 3 sets.
- Sharpen the drill by using a target on the wall
- Karaoke: Teaches you to swivel your hips and feet
- From the ready position swivel your hips and cross your right foot in front of your left foot as you advance left across the court
- Alternate between crossing your right over left from front to back
- When you reach the opposite side of the court, reverse and cross the court in the other direction
- Keep your hands and palms up
- Keep your head and shoulders level
- Each cross and back is one rep
- Do 10 reps
- Ankle Walks: Strengthens ankles and improves footwork
- Walk on your toes from one side of the court to the other and back
- Walk on your toes, backwards, from one side of the court to the other and back
- Walk on your toes, pointed in, from one side of the court to the other and back
- Walk on your toes, pointed out, from one side of the court to the other and back
- Slide defensively from one side of the court to the other and back
- Do 3 sets of each exercise
- Spidermans (mountain climbers)
- Toe raises
- Lunges (step back)
- Burpees (squat thrust)
- Jumping jacks
- Knee ups (jump up bringing knees to chest)
Do 10 reps of each exercise without stopping between exercises.
When you have done all 10 exercises you have just completed one Super-set.
Repeat the Super-set from the beginning.
Do 4 Super-sets.
Do this every other day for 4 weeks.
After 4 weeks, add 1 Super-set every other day every week until you are doing 10 Super-sets.
In 10 weeks you will be doing 100 reps of every exercise.
After 10 weeks do everything faster but always in good form.
Make Varsity in Ten Weeks: Part Three – DEFENSE! It is ok to take a day off but don’t take too many and stick to the schedule. It will take 4 weeks before you become used to the workout and begin to see development. It’s okay to do your CORE FITNESS on your Shooting Day but you must do CORE FITNESS every other day. After 10 weeks do 2 days for every one day off. Some folks like to continue the cycle until they are doing CORE every day and taking the weekend off. That’s your choice, but I like the 2 day back to back cycle to simulate having to play back to back days.
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