In the game of basketball, the opponent will grab every opportunity they can to score. Which is why, it goes without saying that the defense needs to be strong. There are certain drills designed for this very purpose, which are meant to acquaint players with all the defensive tactics necessary to prevent the opposition from scoring.
Your hands should be above your head and moving during a game. Slapping at the ball in motion or flight is enough to send it off course, and prevent a player from scoring.
You need to practice zone and man to man defense. Zonal defense means that each player is given a specific area to guard, and man to man defense, as the name suggests, is where one defender focuses on one attacker. Further, gauge the weakness of the opponent as well as their patterns of attacking.
If you see that a shot is being taken, take a leap towards the ball and hit it in the direction of another player in your team. If that is not possible, get it out of play. However, in the latter, the possession of the ball will go to the opponents.
Cultivate a keen and alert court sense with offensive basketball moves. This will help you react quickly when the game is in progress, and you can create scoring chances for your team. Anticipation as to where the ball can go will go a long way in helping you with the same. Imbibing the skill of transition from offense to defense or vice versa, is ideal.
When the ball is on the other side of the court, make sure you are in a 'help' defense position. You should be alert and ready to double in and help, in case your player who has the ball gets beaten.
In case a player cocks back for shooting a ball, make sure you put up your hand which is closest to his. For example, if the player is right-handed, stick out your left hand. Remember, the closer the ball is to the attacker, the closest you have to be to him.
Never jump out of your shoes with an intention to block, as the other player may be playing a trick or a dummy on you.
If you hold your fort while defending, the opponent cannot get past you (at least ideally, he shouldn't). This is enough to make you a good defender. You need not deflect or block a shot in such cases.
Last, but not the least, keep on cheering your team and communicating with other team members. When the offense may not do a sparking job, the defense has to step in. Defense is after all, of, for, and by the team.