Youth Basketball - Three Basic Defenses | Drive Nation

Youth Basketball: Three Basic Defenses to Learn

Youth Basketball Defense

Defenses to Know for Youth Basketball

Good defense is a fundamental skill for a good basketball player. Part of being a good defender is knowing the different defensive formations. Although it won’t get too complicated in youth basketball, there’s still a few defenses you should know and be able to run when your coach calls them. Today in the Drive Nation blog we’ll talk about some of the defenses used in youth basketball so you’re prepared when it’s game time.

Defenses to Know

Today we’ll be going over three different defensive calls. Man-to-man, 2-3 zone, and press defense. They’re all fairly simple, so it should be easy to learn and remember each one.


This one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s also the most common defense you’ll see in youth basketball. That’s because it’s easy to teach, easy to learn, and effective. When this defense is called, you simply guard the person you’re assigned to. Sometimes you’ll need to switch assignments in case someone loses theirs. Typically, a switch will happen if the offense sets a pick. If someone is blocked by a pick, the nearest person will pick up that person’s assignment and switch.

Zone Defense

In youth basketball, you won’t see the zone defense utilized as much, but it’s still good to be familiar with it. The 2-3 zone is when you have two players up front, near the three-point line, and three players down in the post. Instead of being assigned to an opposing player, you’re assigned to cover anyone who enters your assigned zone. This is useful for guarding offenses who have good spacing and pass the ball well.


Finally, you have the full-court and half-court press. This is used near the end of the half or the end of the game to put more pressure on the offense. This is the same as man-to-man, but you cover them from the moment they pass the ball in after you score. During the press, you’ll want to play aggressive defense, and try to set up traps with other players on your team. Again, in youth basketball, you won’t see full court presses a lot. This is because it can leave the offense wide open if you’re inexperienced or someone isn’t paying attention.

Youth Basketball at Drive Nation

Drive Nation offers an incredible youth basketball program. Some of our offerings include youth basketball camps, leagues, and clinics. For more information on these, contact us today, or browse this page to register.