Is this type of defending an advantage or disadvantage?

Is this type of defending an advantage or disadvantage?

I play school and state netball as a GK/GD, when my other player is defending the GS or GA, I hold on to her defenders leg/hand for an extra lean. Because I'm quite larger and taller than most girls and already have a pretty good lean, when I ask my defender to hold me so that i am closer to deflecting the shot, she uses two of her hands and her body strength to hold me. My coach told me not to do this because she believed I wasn't allowing myself nor my other player to get an intercept or rebound, even though we had gotten most rebounds and had gotten a few intercepts with this technique. Is this an disadvantage or advantage to us?

Netball CoachCoach
Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

There are advantages and disadvantages to being held by your other defender to get a greater lean.  yes you should get a better lean as you can lean that little bit further, but if she is using all of her strength to keep you from falling, the other player is left free, and the advantage is taken away.  if you are tall already then i would just concentrate more on improving your own techniques for defence, and making sure you are jumping high for your rebounds for one day you will start to play against players who are your equal and you will have to really work to keep the ball from going into the ring and getting those rebounds.  so although there is some advantages of using your other player to help you defend the ball, it shouldnt be used too much or relied upon.  good luck with it all.

Janet Coach, Australia

If you are playing state level netball, your coach would have heaps of experience and knowledge covering correct technique and game strategy that you should be taking notice of. Coaches at this level are charged with improving and developing players so they can progress to higher levels and doing something that works for you now will not be appropriate the higher up you go.  In my own defending experience having someone try and "help" me cover a shot was restrictive and annoying and they got the message to leave me alone after the first attempt in the season.  I liked to be mobile and move up and down, threaten to jump & jump to tip/block and could not have done any of this with someone hanging on to me.  If your lean over the ball is dependent on being held there and then it is passed off, goalie steps away or moves ball beyond reach, how can you adjust quickly with someone hanging on to you?  Work on your technique and defensive reactions under the guidance of your coach rather than relying on co-defender to make up for any deficiencies.

Sportplan TeamAdministrator, United Kingdom

Hi Samantha,

we made this our question of the week on the Sportplan Netball Facebook page and received this answer from Margaret:

My older daughter used to use this a lot... hold onto bib or shirt... stops defender from falling in... as long as you let go early enough no problem... once again timing is everything.

Hope this helps and let us how you get on with this technique - was it a help or a hindrance for your team in the end?

Netball CoachCoach

I think Janet's answer is great.  I agree you need to listen to your coach and perfect your own technique and quick reaction times.  If the other defender is holding on to you they have to have cat like reflexes to defend a pass to the other shooter.  It also allows the undefended shooter to create a lot of extra space to receive a pass and gives them plenty of time to shoot before defence sets up again.

Paul FournierCoach, Australia

In general, I do not encourage this technique. It effectively takes one defender out of play leaving the other shooter free to take an easy pass. Holding the defender also stops her from being able to mix up the type of defence i.e. incorporating a jump. Most importantly, holding the defender stops her timing to step in front of the shooter (after she has shot) and blocking her out of a rebound attempt.

I encourage players to be creative with defence, for example the recent creative use of the rugby line out lift, but this is done right under the post.

For a medium distance shot, I would stick to the fundamentals of one on one defence, applying different types of defence to keep the shooter guessing, double arm, lean, jump etc then blocking for a strong rebound.

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