1. Make sure you maintain a good defensive stance. Bend your knees so that you look like you are going to being sitting down in mid-air. (Female players are very bad about bending at the waist versus the knees) Keep your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. And be ready to move at any moment. Keep your hands out, either toward the ball or the player, never at your sides.
2. Always position yourself between the offensive player you are guarding and the basket.
3. Keep your hands up. You canít steal the ball or block passes if your hands are down at your sides. Never, ever have you hands at your sides.
4. ALWAYS know where the ball is so that you can anticipate passes and plays.
5. Learn how to be aggressive without commiting a foul. Go for the steal, block the shot, box out your opponent, block passes.
6. Once your opponent stops dribbling, Close In ! Keep jumping and challenging them to make them pass the ball. Get your hands and arms in their way and bother them. They cannot leave all they can do is shoot or pass.
7. Be aware of which way, right or left, the offense likes to move, and then stop them from doing it.
8. Hustle! You must be fast and use your legs in order to catch up to an offensive player who gets by you.
9. Talk to your teammates. Let them know when a screen is coming, a shot has been made, or a ball is thrown inbounds, etc.
10. When you try to steal the ball from a player who is dribbling come up with your hand from below and not down. You will get a lot less fouls this way.
11. "Check" your player. A lot more contact is allowed now than it used be in basketball even on the grade school level so if you turn your head to catch where the pass is going check your opponent and make sure you keep track of him/her. This does not mean grab and clutch their shirt in your hands or push on them. Lightly touch their jersey to remain aware of where they are. It only takes a second and can make a big deifference.
See you on the court!