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Netball Defence Tips

A defensive player’s main objective is to create opportunities by gaining possession of the ball, thus, this position is imperative to putting points on the scoreboard.

The best defenders attack the opposing team by intercepting, and this happens not just by paying attention to your opponent, but also by being attentive to where the ball is at all times.

The below list was designed with the defensive player in mind. By becoming familiar with the skills and tactics talked about in the netball defence tips, you’ll be the most effective and valuable defensive player on your team.

Watch

First thing’s first, keep your eye on the ball at all times. Watching the player is a secondary skill you should develop, but your many objective is to always know where the ball is and to anticipate where it’s going by judging its speed and distance. Long, high balls offer the best opportunity to cover ground.

Hone this skill by watching your teammates shoot during practice. Focus on how the ball bounces off the ring and where it goes depending on where it makes contact. Using those skills in every game will make you a master at anticipating ball movements.

Space

Get close to your opponent, and make he or she work for every ball. Hassling can be your best friend in this sport.

Filling the spaces in the goal circle creates excellent opportunities for hassling. Use your outside arm! Practicing this skill is something you can do anywhere.

Fast Feet

Speed and agility are essential to a defender, which are skills often associated with people who aren’t as tall. However, if you are shorter spend some time practicing your ups, but know that maneuverability is more important than height in this position.

Ups Practice

As mentioned above, if you aren’t as tall practicing your leaping skills are important in developing muscles that will help you jump higher, thus, making intercepting and assaulting on shot goals easier.

Position

Position will come from anticipation, and placing yourself where you expect the action to be allows you to be in prime position to cut off an incoming pass. Being aggressive and going for these opportunities makes attackers uncertain, which causes error.

Reaction

Keep on your toes, literally and figuratively. Staying flat-footed slows you down.

Chat

If you see something that is important to your teammates call it out when the play is down the court. Because other defenders are completely focused on their opponent and the ball, they don’t know what’s happening on your part of the court. By chatting you’re letting your team members know what’s happening in your world, too.

General Tips

Fact

Tall goal shooters can often be lazy. Use this to your advantage by keeping forward.

Practice

Surprise, surprise: Our best tip for becoming a genius at your position is to actually practice goal shooting by performing regular defensive drills. Because you’re constantly having to think about where the ball may rebound, it becomes a reflexive exercise that helps you hone your reaction, rebounding, attacking and hand-eye coordination skills.