Scody Netball Top 5 Tips: How To Be A Better Netball Defender
As a defender in netball, the goal is to gain possession of the ball from the opposing team. This can be achieved by interception or even blocking the opposing team players. Positioning is critical as you need to be able to read the play and stay ready for any opportunity to intercept the ball. The ball should be the center of your attention as a defender and you should always stay alert for any opportunities to take possession of the ball from the opposing team.
photo credit to Laura Geitz
Reading the play
A good defender should have the ability to predict where the ball is going and judge the best times to try and intercept the ball as well as which players need to be marked from the attacking team. Remember that the long and high passes by the attacking team are easier to intercept than the shorter, lower/chest passes. Keep an eye out for these opportunities and make the most of your intercepts.
This sounds very simple but it is often harder than it sounds. Paying attention to the movements of other players on both your team and other opposing team is very important if you are defending. If the attacking team goes for a shot at goal then you need to stay alert and ready for any rebounds that will enable your team to take up possession of the ball.
Defending in netball is really all about being confident on the court and asserting yourself. Don’t be afraid to hassle the attacker to put them off their game and hopefully get them to make a mistake that you can capitalize on by taking possession of the ball for your team.
Height doesn’t matter
A lot of the great netball defenders are slightly shorter as this allows them to be slightly agiler and means that they can move very quickly. They should also be able to hassle for the ball and have a good vertical jump. Being tall isn’t as important as a defender but your confidence and jump are!
Being able to move around the court at speed will always help you to be a better defender. Moving quickly will not only help to give you more opportunities but also help to tire out the players on the opposing team. When these players become worn out they will tend to make more mistakes which, as a defender means that you will have more opportunities to gain possession.
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