How To Handle Defensive Pressure
One way to never be bothered by pressure defense is to simply be the very best player on the court — faster, stronger, and quicker than everybody else. Easier said than done though, right? The good news is that handling pressure defense is not just about speed and quickness or even getting by your man with some gimmick move.
On a scale of one to ten (one being slow and ten being super fast), you want your defensive intensity to be a ten. But you do NOT want your offense to be a ten. Think about it. If you were to get all fast and crazy on offense — especially when you have the ball — then you’re doing exactly what the defense wants you to do.
When there is an intense pressure defense, and you try and speed up your offensive game to match that, then you will probably end up turning the ball over many more times than you should.
Instead, slow down to a 6 or 7 speed, and try out this little trick:
Early in the game, maybe even the very first time you have the ball, try beating your defender by bumping into him on purpose. This will tell him that you are mentally (and physically) up for any type of aggressive challenge. A simple bump early in the game, will let him know that “you’re for real” and it will give him a taste of your aggressiveness.
If you do this right, his natural instinct will be to back off a bit. He’ll have to think twice about putting intense pressure on you — possibly for the entire game. So, if he backs off a tad, that will give you more room to do what you do best, and then you can have a good ole time by toying with him all night long.
However, if your defender is one of those strong, tough guys that actually “likes” the that type of aggressiveness, then he’s probably not going to back down quite that easy. In fact, it could do the reverse and actually make him put even MORE pressure on you. So, then what?
Well, in this type of situation, you’re going to have to rely on your own strength. Which circles back around to what did you do in the off-season to get stronger? Are you conditioning in a way that gets you “basketball jacked” and mentally stronger? I’m not talking about the type of muscles that look good, but end up messing with your game. I’m talking about doing the right type of workout and off-season fitness program that will allow you to handle aggressive, intense, defensive pressure.