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Basketball Rebounding & Defense : How to Play Zone Defense in Basketball


Let’s talk real briefly about body position
and the differences between playing defense and body position whether you’re playing man-to-man
or zone defense. With man-to-man obviously we’re playing our man. Wherever he goes on
the floor, whether he comes down to the post, whether he goes out to the wing position,
to the top of the key, floats into the lane, we’re sticking with our man, our opponent.
We’re staying on him. We’re utilizing our good defensive skills that we’ve learned.
Now, when we talk about zone defense, a whole different concept. We’re not following one
person around on the court; we’re actually playing a zone, a particular area. That area,
depending on what type of a zone you’re playing, it could be one-three-one, it could be two-three,
it could be box-and-one, it could be one-three-one. You’re going to be playing a particular zone
and your zone, if you’re down here on the block, let’s say, your particular zone is
going to be, really, right here on the block, half way up here, we’re going to come out,
we’re going to play the wing and we’re going to come down and we’re going to play the baseline
wing. What you’re concentrating on, what you’re focusing on, you’re still using all of your
skills, your side-to-side pushes, your bent knees and you’re always keeping your hands
up when you’re in a zone, whether they’re up high or spread out wide. When everybody
on your team does that it creates an illusion and an effect that number one, you’re fresh,
and number two it’s harder to get, when they’re looking down there and they see all these
arms up, they’re thinking, “Hey, I can’t get a pass down through there. There’s too many
arms and hands.” And, it is better for you because you’re already ready to grab that
ball when it does come down. So, in a zone we’re playing an area as opposed to playing
a person. A ball comes and our man is out here, we’ll have our hands up and we can go
almost into a regular man-to-man defense when our opponent has the ball and it’s just us
right here because we’re relying on our other people back. Now, if you’re guarding a person
out here on the wing, you’ve got your arms up and they happen to dribble up towards the
top of the key or even into a higher position up there, well then they’re out of your zone
and they cross into your teammate’s zone and your teammate’s responsibility is to pick
them. We’ll get into, that’s more in advanced basketball as far as position and zone defenses
and how we can play them. The key thing is that when you’re playing a zone, you’re using
the same skills that you’ve already learned, the position, the arms up, the focus, but
you’re playing a specific area. Whether you’re playing up at the top of the key, down at
the post or in the middle, you’re playing a specific area as opposed to playing a specific
person.

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