How to Defend Ball Screens

Good Defensive Teams Don’t Let Ball Screens Stop Them From Shutting Down Their Opponents!

Nearly at every level, more and more coaches are making the pick n roll a staple in their team’s offense. Coaches know that ball screens can create mismatches, let ball handlers attack down hill, provide drive and kick situations, put the other team’s post players in position to pick up a foul AND oh yeah their TOUGH TO DEFEND!

The reason why they are so tough defend and require so much careful preparation for is that each ball screen, depending on where it is set on the floor, the skill sets of the two offensive players involved and your overall defensive goals, requires a different strategy. Knowing how important defending the pick n roll is to your team’s season’s success, I have included not one but two videos on how to defend ball screens in the very first module!

Inside the videos we’ll go over the 5 basic ways to defend the pick n roll as well as how do you determine which method is the one your team should adopt and why.

Defending Ball Screens

Below are 2 of the 5 ways covered in the first video on how to defend the pick n roll:

Switch and Get Under the Roll

If you have versatile personnel, then switching the ball-screen may be the best option. A guard to guard ball-screen is the perfect time to switch, but often times it is a post to guard ball-screen. The key to a successful switch is for both defenders to be in the proper position. The defender getting screened must come shoulder to shoulder with the ball-screener’s defender to force the ball-handler to use the screen. The on-ball defender then must get under the ball-screener and prevent a roll to the basket. The switching defender must first make sure that the ball-screener sets the ball-screen and doesn’t slip to the basket. A switch only occurs if a screen is set and the ball-handler uses the screen. After the ball-handler uses the screen the switching defender must be in a position to prevent the ball-handler from going between them and the ball-screener. Switching ball-screens will allow you to keep good ball pressure and stop the pick and roll or pick and pop actions.

Hard Hedge and Over

The best method for teams that don’t have versatile post players is to hard hedge and get over. This is mostly used by defenses in order to slow down a ball handler who is a great penetrator or who is someone who is looking to come off the screen for the pull up jumpshot.

As the screen takes place (1) the on-ball defender must position their feet so that they are perpendicular to the screener and (2) the hedger must be parallel to the back of the screener. As the ball handler comes off the screen, the hedger is going to take two large slides forcing the ball handler off their path. Meanwhile, the on ball defender is going to fight OVER the top of the screen and slide UNDER the hedger. Once under, the hedger will retreat back to the screener while the on ball defender will be in a recovered position waiting for the ball handler’s next move.

Hard Hedge and Over

Teams that excel at defending ball screens not only have the right strategy, have both the on-ball defender and hedger execute their jobs BUT they also have excellent help side defenders!

Along with this video, inside Module 1 you’ll also find videos, pdf reports, charts/diagrams, podcasts and animated plays on the following topics:

  • Naming Special Plays
  • Fronting the Post
  • How to Handle Halftime
  • Focusing on the Stats that Matter
  • Starting the Game Right
  • Defending the Pick N Roll
  • Practice Planning – 3 Part Series
  • 4 Areas That Can Keep A Post Player From Becoming Great
  • Performing Under Pressure
  • When to Call a Timeout and When Not to
  • Dealing With Parents
  • The Importance of a “Go To Player
  • Principles of a Good Man to Man Offense
  • Coach, Parent and Player Meeting
  • Scouting the Opposition Sheet
  • Player Performance Evaluation
  • Daily Practice Plan
  • Evaluation Matrix
  • Goal Worksheet
  • Simple State Sheet
  • Shot Chart
  • Bench Shot Chart
  • Half and Full Court Diagrams
  • 6 Half Court Diagrams
  • Establish a Defensive Philosophy
  • Steps to a High Scoring Offense
  • 10 Animated Plays
  • “Ask the Coach” Submission Box

To get access to this program as well as gain access to the 5 BONUSES click the link below!

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