Speed Defense Drills
If you take a look at the best defensive basketball players, you will notice they all have one thing in common and that is their speed and quickness to react on the court. In order to become quicker on the court their are are few things you can work on. I recommend performing foot speed types of drills which include defensive slides, jumping rope, and practising your sprints.
To perform defensive slides, begin at the corner of the court on the baseline. Slide to the middle of the lane, and then slide back to the sideline. You want to continue performing this drill up court until you reach the opposite baseline. This drill will really improve your quickness when it comes to switching directions and staying focused. See the video below for an example of defensive slides.
When it comes to jumping rope, you will want to begin with a 60 second warm up. During the warm up phase, jump rope as a slow pace. Once your warm up is complete, begin jumping rope with both feet for 60 seconds, then alternate feet for 60 seconds, then jump on one foot for 60 seconds, and finally jump on just the other foot for 60 seconds. Perform five sets of this basketball drill and watch your foot speed really improve!
Lastly, you will want to focus on building up your sprinting ability. This will help you catch a quick offensive player running down the court. The best way to build up your sprints is to go to a track and begin with an easy warm up lap. Take this initial lap at a jogging pace. Once your done with the warm up, make your way over to the longer straight away portion of the track and just run sprints back and forth. Start with a shorter distance and work up to more as time goes on. I recommend beginning with about twenty five yard sprints. Perform at least twenty sprints, resting when needed.