By working with this guide on how to get more steals, this ability is yours for the taking.
Being able to force a turnover in basketball is a powerful skill, leading to more offense for you and less points for your opponent.
Here, you’ll be getting three tips on getting more steals for on-ball defense and three tips for off-ball defense.
Steals in on-ball defense
This refers to stealing the ball from the player you are guarding.
Tip #1: Get low
Getting in a low and stable defensive stance is crucial for any lockdown defender.
However, specifically for getting more steals it’s also a major key.
A low defensive stance gets you closer to the floor, and whoever is closer to the floor is more likely to get the ball first after it bounces.
Tip #2: Forward lean
This isn’t a necessity for regular defense, but adding a forward lean to your defensive stance gives you a huge boost when trying to take the ball from your opponent.
By doing this, your arms are closer to the ground AND the player you’re guarding.
Because of this, it greatly increases your ability to knock the ball loose.
Tip #3: Active hands
Keeping your hands active and in the proximity of who you’re guarding is a general trait of all lockdown defenders.
Still, it’s essential when trying to get more steals.
Sounds obvious I know, but you use your hands to steal the ball.
Because of this, keeping them active and outside the frame of your body will help out a lot.
Don’t slip into laziness on defense and you’ll be rewarded.
Steals in off-ball defense
This refers to when you aren’t defending the player with the ball.
Tip #4: Analyse the player with the ball
Try to keep an eye on the player with the ball, whilst still guarding the player assigned to you.
Often, the ball handler will make eye contact with a teammate and play the pass.
Other times, their body language makes their next pass obvious.
Watching the player with the ball can lead to easy interceptions.
Tip #5: Pounce if their back is turned
If the player with the ball can’t see you and has their back to you, that’s your chance to knock the ball loose.
HOWEVER, this can be a risky play, since if you’re spotted the player that you’re guarding is left open to shoot.
Remember to make sure that the player with the ball can’t see you coming.
Tip #6: Swipe at players driving to the basket
As players drive to the basket, many of them leave the ball exposed.
Although it might be protected from their defender, it is often left open for you (a potential help defender) to swipe at and get more steals.
Even if you don’t get the ball, this can make the shot they take more difficult or force them to make a bad pass.