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How do you defend a shooter who holds space?

Would like some advice as to how to coach defenders to defend a shooter who holds to protect space?  Any advice would be appreciated.  Thank you.

how do you teach your defence to zone/block/hold their space?  and that is the answer to your question.  its just basic zoning, and you just have to teach your defence how to handle being defended.  i do this all the time as a shooter and most defence dont have a clue out to get out of a basic defence stance.

get your defence to keep moving to get back into her defence stance, and dont let the shooter concentrate on the game, but on trying to get her psosition.  its a lot of work, but i use to find it amusing to do when i played defence.

Hi Anne, a shooter that is good at holding space is a challenge for any defender even in the highest levels of netball.  Some strategies that could be used are (1) playing slightly off the player to encourage the pass and watching ball flight closely to anticipate the tip or interecept, (2) hold shooter from post side out as far as possible and/or close to goal line without letting them get around defender which can take a lot of effort if shooter is persistent (3) defend with arm/arms outstretched straight upwards to give the passer something to think about before passing straight into the held space but this must be done when the pass is about to leave their hands or obstruction may be penalised (4) keep active with good defensive stance i.e. with eyes up, chest out, bent hips, knees, arms at the ready to switch sides and tip/intercept with outside arm (5) work out if shooter has dominant side and defend that side to encourage errors with receiving on non dominant side.  Some shooters will continually set up on defenders early in the passage of play and the battle of holding for space begins early.  It can sometimes help if defender keeps to outer edge or out of circle altogether until absolutely necessary to close the gap just to keep a shooter guessing but the timing has to be just right.  There is no easy answer but incorporating a range of techniques just to see how the shooter reacts and, if you can change the situation even if only slightly, is better than getting stuck in the hold and losing motivation. 

they need to come off the shooter. There is not pointing in standing still as the shooter will just set up and hold space. Tell your defender to get on her toes and move around the shooter. A holding goalie hates a bouncy defender because it's hard for them to  set up.

Thank you Lee-anne, Janet and Joanne for taking the time to give me your advice.  It is such a difficult situation in the circle.  I appreciate your responses and have passed them onto my defences.  Any further advice would also be appreciated.

no probs Anne...just let us know how they go, and im sure you will get more responses if you need more help. :)

These answers are fantastic. Thank you. I am also trying to teach my GK this skill as our main opposition in the finals has a GS that has been taught to hold well. They rely on her a lot in their attacking play. One other option I am considering to trying a disrupt this play is getting my GD to double team the GS with GK but also look to float off for the intercept of any pass to GA as she drives into circle. GD is fast and has excellent anticipation. I plan to ask my C to pick the GA up in the goal third and try to zone her out and slow her progression to the circle to further pressure the attack. Any feedback on this approach ladies? have you used it? Any suggestions on how best to teach zoning and double teaming like this would be appreciated.


MMMM your strategy for double teaming the GS is often used with WA or C to pick up/block out GA.  The key is that the GD or GK needs to be able to respond quickly once the GA gets into the circle to prevent a successful pass getting in.  This strategy can create an intercept opportunity for the defender if they are skilled enough which is what the defending is all about.    If it works a couple of times then the opposition would most probably change their tactics so it is always about adapting to the situation.  If it doesn't work a couple of times I would go back to one on one. Just beware of the GS that keeps the defenders busy then moves to screen out defender from challenge of pass to GA, a great move but not often seen.  Also beware of that fake pass into GA to get GD to move off GS and then pass goes in to GS.  By zoning you mean blocking as zone defending is area focused not player focused.  Blocking and double teaming can be practised at training by blocking down court drills (e.g. Running the Gauntlet) then incorporated into set plays into the circle to get the message across of what is required but the key point is the communication between GD & GK as they need to read off the down court play and be on the same page as to when to double team or not and how each is to respond if the block is broken. A push (verbal of physical) from the GK to the GD is a good way of encouraging the move off the GS and letting the GD know that the GK has got the GS covered.  Practising this against another team with at least equal or better skill level is a good way to develop the communication aspect and sharpen responses. 

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