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Guarding In Basketball: The Ultimate Guide

Guarding in basketball is one of the most important aspects of the game. It’s also one of the more difficult ones to learn and perfect. The idea behind guarding someone in basketball is to deny them access to their desired destination. While staying on your side of the court.

This article will go over what guarding entails, how you can train it, and give some tips for guarding against different types of players.

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What is Guarding in Basketball?

The first step is to understand guarding in basketball. This involves staying between your player and the basket while playing defense, without impeding their path of movement towards the basket.

The defender should stay on his side of the court by moving sideways along with his opponent when they try to move around you. If someone tries to cut back toward the middle of the court, you should anticipate this and cut them off before they can get there.

Stay Low, and Keep Your Distance!

When guarding someone in basketball it’s important to stay low while keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. This will make guarding much easier because you’ll be able to move around more easily and quickly when needed.

Also, if somebody tries to go under one of your legs on their way past, make sure that you keep up with them by sliding both feet at once. Instead of just stepping back with one leg or the other.

guarding in basketball

The moment that they try to take advantage of a lazy slide is the moment where guarding pays off for you! It’s also important not only to know how far away from an offensive player that you are allowed to stand, but also to know what your position on the court can allow you to get away with.

Improving Your Guarding in Basketball

Now that guarding in basketball has been discussed. It’s time for us to talk about how you can improve guarding skills through training. This article is focused more specifically on guarding against different types of players. We will leave some key tips up to the discretion of the reader when appropriate.

The first step to improve your guarding is to practice guarding somebody better than you. This way, you can learn what not to do from them and how to counter it. If they’re quick on their feet, work on keeping your distance. So that they don’t go under your legs as easily.

If they’re bigger than you, make sure that when guarding in basketball or if guarding a big man (or girl), keep yourself lower and closer to the ground. While trying to stay between them and the basket at all times!

Some of our favorite drills for practicing guarding are:

Keep Away

The offensive player tries his best at getting open by driving around defenders before shooting an open shot with no defense playing him whatsoever. Once he misses, then another defender takes over until he scores.

The defender must keep his hands up at all times when guarding in basketball to avoid fouling! Once the offensive player has scored, they switch roles so that both players can get a turn guarding each other.

Shadow Drills

While guarding somebody in basketball. Try dribbling with your head facing toward them instead of looking down at the ball while dribbling it. This will help you learn how to anticipate what they’re going to do next. And prepare for guarding against their movements earlier on during practice or games!

Partner Guarding

Have one person guard another one who is trying their best to score by getting open through cuts around defenders before shooting an open shot with no defense playing him whatsoever.

Keep your distance and hands up to avoid fouling! Once the offensive player has scored, they switch roles so that both players can get a turn guarding each other.

guarding in basketball

Different Guarding Techniques

There are three main ways by which people tend to move around their opponents while playing defense. These are fronting, backpedaling, and guarding straight-on (facing someone head-on).


Fronting occurs when one player moves between an offensive player attempting a pass or shot toward another teammate. Who may be cutting into open space under them at just the right moment. This guarding technique is usually employed when guarding smaller, faster players.

The fronting technique is most effective when guarding somebody in basketball if you can keep your feet shoulder-width apart at all times to prevent the offensive player from going around you. This guarding technique is used by players who have a lot of experience guarding, so be prepared for it!


Backpedaling occurs when one player keeps their distance while moving backwards with an opponent driving toward them or trying to shoot a jump shot. The goal of backpedaling is not only to stop penetration and play good defense but also to allow teammates time to rotate over on help-side defense (the side where they’re needed).

This guarding technique works best against more powerful guards who might bump into you as they try their hardest to score. Try stepping forward with either foot anytime you need to readjust your guarding position. This allows you to move forward with them, but also lets the ball carrier know that they don’t want it!

Guarding Straight-On

Finally, guarding straight-on involves staying between an offensive player and where they want to go without giving them any space whatsoever. This guarding strategy works best for people with quick hands and good anticipation skills as it often leaves little room for mistakes or missed opportunities!

This guarding technique works great if there are other defenders on help-side defense around because it gives them time to come over for more support as well as cover-up potential rebounds off missed shots.

However, do not guard straight-on if guarding somebody in basketball is too difficult or uncomfortable for you because many different guarding techniques will work a lot better! are useful in guarding someone.

Different Types of Guards

We could not mention guarding in basketball without mentioning the different types of guards on the court:

The Point Guard

The point guard is usually the smallest and fastest player on a team who is responsible for bringing the ball down court to start plays as well as guarding smaller players like small forwards or shooting guards. Some of the best point guards in basketball history include Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook and Allen Iverson, to name a few.

guarding in basketball

The Shooting Guard

The off-guard tend to be bigger than point guards as they are usually taller, more athletic, and can shoot better from long range; their job is also to bring the ball down the court and guard players who are taller than them.

The shooting guard (off-guard) is often a team’s best shooter from behind the three-point line; their job is to score points for their team by shooting layups or open shots from long range when they get them!

This guarding technique works great if there are other defenders on help-side defence around because it gives them time to come over for more support, as well as cover-up potential, rebounds off missed shots.


Thanks for reading our blog on guarding in basketball. We’ve covered most of the basics, along with some tips to help you improve your technique and train this defensive strategy. If there are any other questions or comments about how to guard better, please let us know!

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