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Henlan's fine art of defence
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Martin Henlan reveals a few tips to the Sport Academy
Spinning the ball on your finger..but can you defend?

Martin Henlan reveals his defending tips to the Sport Academy

The oldest saying in basketball is that "defence wins championships".

There are no statistics kept for individual defence, but it is always reflected in the final score.

American legend Michael Jordan took most pride, not in his fantastic ball skills, but on his reputation as the best defender.

First the bad news. Of all the skills involved in basketball, defence is by far the hardest work.

Get in the zone

It makes you tired and you have to play it for the entire game.

Basketball is one of the few sports in which your ability to stop the opposition from scoring is as important as your own ability to put the ball in the hoop.

And now for the good news, and there's plenty of it.

Martin Henlan shoots some hoops for the Academy
Stopping a basket is as important as scoring

Defence is the easiest skill to be good at and good defence is guaranteed to help you towards winning.

All mistakes made when shooting, passing or dribbling the ball can be forgiven by playing good defence, or good 'D' as us professionals like to call it.

There are two basic forms of defence. Man to man and zone defence.

The first is all about stopping a particular opponent.

One of the most important things to remember is to stay between your player and the basket you are defending.

After that, it's all about your desire to stop your opponent.

Zone defence is all about protecting an area, such as the free throw line or under the basket.

It's a bit like a football goalkeeper controlling the penalty area.

Remember that whoever comes into your zone, they are the one you should be defending. Even if they haven't got the ball.

So that's the motivation speech out of the way.

Go play some good D.

Martin facts
Born: 25 May, 1966 in Birmingham, England
Weight: 121kg
Height: 205cm
England caps: 27
Former clubs: London Leopards, Iraklion (Greece), London Towers, Kingston/Guildford Kings and Sandwell

Defending man to man
1: Stay between your man and the basket you are defending
2: Be able to see both your man and the basketball at all times
3: Every time your man shoots the ball, have your hand up and in his face

Defending your zone
1: Anyone who comes into your zone is your responsibility, especially if they have the ball
2: When someone leaves your zone you must tell everyone where they are going
3: Know who is in your zone at all times and be able to see where the ball is


Martin Henlan in defensive mood
Martin Henlan
Bullets and England

Good defence is guaranteed to help you towards winning

Did you know?
Martin has had two spells with the London Towers. 1994-1996 and 1998-2001

:: Birmingham Bullets official site
:: London Leopards official site
:: England Basketball Association

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