Essay, Research Paper: Essay On Sports


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No sport moves more quickly or requires as many skills as basketball. Basketball
is the most electrifying and most innovative game known to man. The primary
objective of the game is to score more points than the opposition by putting a
round ball through a circular band, called a rim. On defense, a blocked shot or
a steal can lead to a fast break at the other end of the court. On offense, one
quick move can result in an easy basket. Good dribbling and passing skill can
set up wide-open shots for teammates. But long before players can be become part
of the excitement on the court, they must first lean and study the basics. This
takes a great deal of practice and attention to detail. The basic skills of
dribbling, passing and shooting are essential to the continued improvement of
every basketball player at every level. In order for a player or team to become
a good offensive player they must have the ball. How do obtain or control the
ball you might ask? Learning how to be a solid defensive player does this.
Consistent winners play good defense, and good defense breeds consistent
winning. Fans appreciate and identify with a strong defensive effort, and
players respect a strong defensive team. Teams who take pride in, and have
patience on defense have far fewer off nights than the team that relies only on
offense. Strong team defense builds good team morale. We have seen a good
defensive team that wasn’t ‘together’. Everyone respects a good defensive
player especially players. Individual defense can do the following for you: it
can give you self-confidence, anyone that wants to pay the price can play good
defense. If you are gifted with speed, quickness and basketball sense, you can
be a great defensive player. It can build you a reputation of being tough and
aggressive. Help you get in the best physical and mental condition. Earn for you
the special pride and self-respect you get from playing at both ends. Playing
individual defense can also give you the chance to make one of the biggest plays
in basketball, drawing the offensive foul. The first myth about playing defense
is that you have to have speed and quick feet, which is not true. Defense is
played with anticipation, or being aware of what’s going on around you, good
body balance and basic fundamentals. There are certain fundamentals you have to
follow. But anyone can play defense. If you are willing to work and watch
what’s going on around you, then you can become a solid defensive player.
Defense is as much a mental as a physical skill. Rather than play reactive
defense a player should be encouraged to be proactive. By emphasizing active
elements of defense represented as follows by the acronym ATTACK, proactive
defense is encouraged. Each letter of the word stands for a must for us to be
our best. A Attitude: It all starts with your attitude. The starting point of
all defenses is the determination to become an aggressive, intelligent defensive
player. Each player must develop and maintain control of his attitude,
especially on defense. T Team: Through teamwork a collective effort of five
defensive players is greater than five individual players. T Tools: The three
basic tools of defense that is the most important to develop are your mind, body
and feet. We play basketball with our mind, body, and feet; and foul with our
hands. A Anticipation: Use your basketball sense and judgement. Know when to
make your move. Eliminate moves that have little or no chance for success. C
Concentration: Be alert and ready to play defense at all times. Make the change
from offense to defense quickly. Defense before your opponent has the ball, and
it will be much easier. Maintain a basketball position. K Killer Instinct: You
must be aggressive on defense. It is essential that you force the opponent to
react to you. Do not react to the offensive player. Force that player away from
those strengths. Ten Cardinal Rules of Defense 1. Transition (Early recognition
– get the defense set) Quick, organized transition with communication by all
five players keys to strong team defense. 2. Pressure on The Ball Continuous
pressure must be kept on the ball. Every shot must be pressured both physically
and verbally. The live player must be forced to go or you must turn that player
back. The dribbler must be forced to change direction or challenged. The dead
player must be swarmed. 3. Position One (80% of fouls are because of poor
position) When guarding a player with the ball, your position is BALL – YOU
– BASKET. When guarding a player without the ball your position is BALL –
YOU – MAN. (Position must be adjusted every time the ball moves see both
player and ball, take away from all front cuts.) 4. Jump to The Ball After your
player makes a pass, jump to the ball, every time. Jumping to the ball allows
you to be in proper position to defend your player and help teammates. 5. Deny
Penetrating Passes Deny passes to your player that takes the ball closer to the
basket or towards the baseline. Make your man go without the ball. 6. Form The
Flat Triangle (When defending non penetrating passes) use an open stance and
point your pistols. Concentrate on the ball. Be ready to help and then decide to
recover back to your player or switch to the ball. (You call the switch.) 7.
Help and Decide When your player doesn’t have the ball, be ready to help on
the ball. Be ready to help and then decide to recover back to your player or
switch to the ball. 8. Cover Down Rule When the player guarding the ball is
beaten the nearest teammate stops the ball and everyone else covers down.
(Rotate into the penetrtion, plug up the basket area and force the ball to be
passed back outside and then recover back to normal defensive position.) 9.
Block Out Execute block out responsibilities every time. When an opponent gets
an offensive rebound it’s about the same as a turnover for your team. 10.
Communicate Communication among the players is a must for a great defensive
team. Help each other, we are all in this together. Like shooting or dribbling,
defense demands a proper setup. To keep yourself balanced and ready to move,
stay on the balls, or front of your feet do not stand flat-footed or back on
your heels. If you are not up on the front of your feet and ready to move,
offensive players can easily dribble by you. Also, keep your feet as wide as
your shoulders. If your feet are too close together, it’s harder to move
quickly. Bend your knees slightly with your trunk, or backside, low. From here
on once you have yourself in position, defense is basically played with your
hands and feet. Remember; stay up on the balls of your feet with your trunk low.
Extend on hand down low on the ball and the other up higher to guard against a
shot or pass. Other defensive skills include defending a player with the ball.
When guarding an offensive player with the ball never give the offensive player
a choice of direction. While defending against the dribbler stay between the
ball and the basket. In the backcourt, cut the dribbler off, make the dribbler
change directions. Use choppy slides keeping a wide base. In the front court,
force the dribbler to the outside. Keep your hands around the ball without
reaching, when the dribbler gets in shooting range the hands come up to chest
height, palms facing opponent. Spring to recover, if the dribbler gets ahead of
you then reestablish defensive position. Stop the offensive player with your
body, feet and mind any contact should be made with the chest. When defending a
‘live ball’, a player with his dribble remaining, establish the gap (the
distance between you and the offensive player) you can play defense with. Keep
your inside foot up, force your opponent to your back foot usually to the middle
or to their weaker hand. Apply pressure on the ball with your forward hand but
keep your stance. While playing defense keep your eyes focused through the
number of the ball handle; using split vision to see the whole floor. If
opponent puts the ball overhead belly-up, this means put both hands up around
the ball mimicking the ball in every movement, wrists cocked, elbows close
together, staying in defensive position. Defending a ‘dead ball’ (player has
no dribble remaining). Swarm the ball without fouling, both hands around the
ball, wrists cocked. The call is ‘dead-dead-dead’. All other players cut all
leads with complete denial. When closing out to the ball when a pass has been
completed to your opponent you sprint until you get within the danger of being
beaten on the drive; get under control and slide in your stance the rest of the
way. The key is to keep the feet moving. Hands should be chest high if the
opponent is in shooting range. Put pressure on the ball handler, but don’t
give up the drive. Make all shooters adjust their shot. This is done by being
vocal and getting a hand up on the shot or at least in the face of the shooter.
Block all shooters in their tracks; bump and go to the ball. After your opponent
makes a pass always jump to the ball. After you jump to the ball, then adjust
your ball-you-player relationship. All five players should jump to the ball when
the pass is made. Anytime you are not guarding the person with the ball, you
should have a ball-you-player relationship. If the relationship ever gets
ball-player-you, you are beat and must recover. Always stay between your
opponent and the ball. Defending a player without the ball you must stay in a
ball-you-player relationship at all times. Defending penetrating passes is
called denial defense. You deny all the passes that penetrate to the basket or
the baseline (within the hash marks). This area is know as the power zone, which
is located 15-18 feet from the basket. Be in a closed stance with your chest
facing your opponent. The arm closest to the ball is in the passing lane, palm
facing ball handler and thumb to the floor. The further you are from the ball,
the further you play from your opponent. If your man back cuts and you loose
vision snap your head and throw your arm in the passing lane. Be ready to help
and decide (to switch or stay) on penetration by the ball handler. Power Zone-
shaded area located 15-18 feet from basket Similar to defending players without
the ball, when defending against cutters you must maintain your ball – you –
player relationship. Never allow the player you are guarding to cut ball side.
Beat the opponent to the ball side alley it a cut is made across the lane by the
opposing player. Be open until the cutter gets to you, then change to a closed
stance. Try to avoid contact until that player approaches the alley. Go to meet
him before he gets out of the alley. Help defense is done on non-penetration
passes or two or more passes away from the ball. In this position assume an open
stance with your back to the baseline and point your ‘pistols’. One at the
ball, one at the player you are guarding. From this flat triangle (on pass off
the passing lane) with vision on both opponent and the ball handler. When
playing help defense position yourself close enough to the ball to stop any
penetration while still being able to recover back to the player you are
guarding if that player gets the ball. The further your opponent is from the
ball, the further you play off your opponent. Low post defense takes place in
the area just to the right of left of the basket on or near the free throw lane.
Taller offensive players, usually centers or forwards set up near those spots in
hopes of receiving a pass and making a move in close to the basket. Typically
the offensive player stands with his back to the basket and an arm raised
waiting for a pass. The offensive player tries to keep the defensive player
behind him by spreading his legs wide. The first key to guarding in the low post
area is to try to keep that player from receiving the ball in such a dangerous
position. In all inside defense, both arms should be spread-eagled and straight
out. The defense works in a half moon around the front of the offensive player.
As you cross in front, throw the head to regain vision on the ball. Don’t make
contact as you eagle, don’t let the opponent feel you. By not allowing the
offensive player to know where you are, this gives you an advantage on defense
now the offensive player must react to you. In defending against screens there
are two ways of handling the situation. On all ball screens and pop outs it is
best to switch, but on off ball screens there is more than one way in dealing
with such screens. Play to the ball on of ball screens. If at all possible try
to go over or fight through the screen. Beating your opponent to the spot with
your chest does this. As a last resort switch if your teammate gets hung up on
the screen and can’t get through. Switch only if necessary. Switching most
often occurs in man to man defense. A switch is simply two defensive players
switching men to give each other better defensive position. For example, let’s
say your man is dribbling to the right. Another offensive player comes and sets
a pick. As your man dribbles by his teammate, you either have to knock the other
player over or go around and try to catch up with you man. On a switch however,
your teammate, who is guarding the offensive player without the ball, simply
steps out in front of your man as he goes by. Since he is now guarding the
player with the ball, you drop off and take over defending the other player.
That is called a switch. Instead of guarding a single man, in a zone defense
each of the five defensive players is responsible for an area, or zone on the
court. The basic principles in zone defense are make transition quickly. Sprint
back to the canter lie with vision, turn and run backwards. On a fast break
situation, sprint to cover the hole, stop and cover the ball and cover the power
zone. Prevent all penetrations, which includes passing and dribbling, inside the
power zone. You must pressure the ball within shooting range. Communication is
the key, communicate with teammates about cutters, and opponent positioning.
Know who and where the good outside shooters are, the good inside players are,
and take away individual strengths. In zone defenses play in the passing lanes
so that you are able to anticipate passes and cause turnovers for the opposing
team. One important thing when in a zone defense is to make yourself big, this
is accomplished by having your hands up and standing tall. You must jump to the
ball on every pass, and challenge the shooter by at least getting a hand out on
the shot. The rebounding rules are; block out the shooter, form the defensive
triangle, and block deep. The most common half court zone defenses are as
follows; 2-1-2, 2-3, and a 1-3-1 zone. 2-2-1 zone press is used most often in a
full court press situation. These zone defenses can only be effective when teams
execute them properly. Zone defenses work best when your opponents are faster,
or taller. Other advantages to using zone defenses are you want to keep the
offense from getting inside, or maybe your team just needs a little rest. The
idea of defense is to keep the other team from scoring, not just you’re
opponent. Work together and help each other, an opponent’s score goes up on
all of us. Things to keep in mind when playing defense is get up on the balls,
or front part of your feet. Be alert with your knees bent and hands ready one
hand down near the ball and the other up. Focus on the offensive player’s
waist remember to never cross your legs when sliding side to side, and keep your
feet from touching and never stand straight up.
Bibliography"Basketball," Microsoft® Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1996
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved .
Vancil, Mark, NBA Basketball Basic, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. New York,
N.Y. 1995
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