Thoughts on Great Scorers and Great Defenders

These observations are from Alan Stein. Alan is one of the premier Strength, Conditioning, and Sports Performance Coaches around. I encourage you to visit his site and follow him on Twitter! Stronger Team Blog.

This excerpt from the series was originally put together by 5 Star Basketball Camps.

Today’s lists are part 2 of my posts. Here is a link to part 1 in case you missed it.

Great Players (Part 1)

Today’s list includes:

Thoughts on Great Scorers and Great Defenders.


  • Great Scorers can beat you in a myriad of ways – they are not one dimensional.
  • Great Scorers develop exceptional concentration and focus.
  • Great Scorers don’t get discouraged if they miss a shot or two. They always think ‘my next shot is good.’
  • Great Scorers know how to keep the defense off-balance.
  • Great Scorers attack their opponent’s weaknesses.
  • Great Scorers have multiple weapons and keep defenses guessing.
  • Great Scorers finish strong, even through contact. They embrace getting fouled!
    Great Scorers know how to control, read and react to their defender.
  • Great Scorers know the moves, angles and tricks to create space.
  • Great Scorers recognize scoring opportunities and get open easily.
  • Great Scorers practice game-like situations against tough competition.
  • Great Scorers make great ball fakes and shot fakes. They use their eyes to deceive.
  • Great Scorers are comfortable in the paint and can finish around the bucket.
  • Great Scorers have confidence in their game. A bad game doesn’t phase them.
  • Great Scorers can score from all three levels. They have their 3-pt, mid-range, and interior games on lock.
  • Great Scorers run hard on the break and get points off of offensive rebounds. They always look for ‘easy’ buckets.
  • Great Scorers make free throws. Period.
  • Great Scorers can get their shots off quickly, but without ‘rushing.’


  • Great Defenders take pride in deflecting passes.
  • Great Defenders have their heads on a swivel and see the entire court (always see their man and the
  • Great Defenders play the pick & roll effectively – they hedge with a purpose!
  • Great Defenders delay the other team from getting into their offensive sets. They keep the offense out
    of rhythm and control the tempo.
  • Great Defenders pay attention to the scouting report and film sessions. They know who the other
    team’s best players are
  • Great Defenders are CONSTANTLY talking – they relay information quickly & efficiently.
  • Great Defenders are NOT afraid to take a charge – in fact, they embrace it.
  • Great Defenders dive on the floor for loose balls whenever the situation presents itself.
  • Great Defenders communicate when they are double-teaming or when a screen is coming.
  • Great Defenders don’t gamble. They make the right play, the easy play, the smart play.
  • Great Defenders know that THIS possession is THE most important possession of the game –
    regardless of time and score.
  • Great Defenders play aggressively but intelligently.
  • Great Defenders never take a play off. Resting is NOT in their vocabulary.
  • Great Defenders dictate what the offense is going to do.
  • Great Defenders approach each game thinking ‘I’m going to shut my guy down tonight.’
  • Great Defenders do not let the ball go to the middle of the floor on penetration.
  • Great Defenders understand the concept of ‘ball-you-man.’
  • Great Defenders keep the offense uncomfortable and off balance as often as they can.
  • Great Defenders understand that defense wins championships. If the other team can’t score, they can’t win.
  • Great Defenders don’t commit lazy or stupid fouls.

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