This section is just a high-level guide to defensive footwork, for the full defense guide, please go to the defense section in the School of Hoops!
Playing defense depends on footwork, foot speed, positioning, as well as other factors like agility and strength.
Balance: As a defender you must always keep your balance. You want to keep a wide base, but not so wide that is hard for you to move at maximum quickness laterally.
Short, quick steps: When guarding the ball it is important to take short choppy steps and avoid crossing your feet if possible. If a defender lunges or takes long awkward steps, this gives the offensive player a window to blow by them.
Stay low: You want to stay in a good defensive position low and strong. If a defender stands straight up, the offensive player can go right by them. This subject will be covered in great detail in the defense section of the site. So head that way to become a superior defensive player.