Defense wins games, and one of the most exciting defensive plays you can make, is to block an offensive player’s shot. Blocking shots will force the opposing team to respect your defensive presence, and you will be able to create more scoring opportunities for your team.
Here are some tips to help you block more shots on the basketball court.
Increase Your Vertical Jump
When I was in High School I used to rely mostly on my athleticism to get blocks. At first I didn’t think much of it, but I realized that blocking shots will earn the respect of your teammates and your competition. The opposing team will think twice about throwing up a weak lay-up when you’re lurking around just waiting to send the ball to the other side of the court.
A high vertical jump allows you to get more blocks without having to focus too much on timing and patience. For the average guy, getting a block requires great timing and focus, but when you have hops, you can get blocks despite a lack of focus or timing.
When you can jump out of the gym, getting blocks becomes inevitable. As long as you take defense seriously, you will find yourself getting blocks left and right.
There are two ways to block a shot; in a 1-on-1 situation and in a help defense situation.
In order to get blocks in any of the two situations you need to have good timing. Good timing requires you to play disciplined defense and it requires you to be patient.
Don’t jump until the offensive player’s feet leaves the floor, or the ball leaves his hands. Don’t be a jumping machine, you can get blocks without jumping if you play good defense. I can’t tell you how many times I blocked somebody without even jumping.
Basketball rewards disciplined players who take defense serious, so if you want to get more blocks, you need to be patient and focused on defense.
Blocking shots requires you to anticipate what the offense is going to do. So basically, you need to be able to read and react to what the offense throws your way.
This means you need to get in the right place at the right time and rely on your past experiences and your opponent’s previous behaviors to dictate where you need to be in order to make a good defensive play.
Jump straight up and don’t lean towards the defender. After playing organized basketball for years, I realised that referees will call a foul almost automatically if you lean towards a defender as you jump up for a block.
The more experience you have the better. So, play 1-on-1 and lots of pick-up games and seek out opportunities to block shots and you will become a better shot blocker.