Defense wins games, and one of the most exciting defensive games you can make is blocking an offensive player’s shot. Blocking shots will force the opposing team to respect your defensive presence and you can 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 mostly relied on my athleticism to get blockages. At first I didn’t think much about it, but I realized that blocking shots would earn the respect of your teammates and your competition. The opposing team will think twice before throwing a weak layup when you hide in anticipation of sending the ball across the field.
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 good timing and focus, but when you have hops you can get blocks despite lacking in 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 blocking left and right.
Timing / Patience
There are two ways to block a shot; in an individual situation and in a defense aid situation.
In order to get blocks in either of the two situations, you need to have good timing. Good timing requires that you play disciplined defense and be patient.
Do not jump until the attacking player’s feet have left the ground or the ball has left their 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’ve blocked someone without even jumping.
Basketball rewards disciplined players who take defense seriously, so if you want to get more blocks you need to be patient and focused on defense.
Blocking shots forces you to anticipate what the offense is going to do. So basically you have to be able to read and react to whatever offense throws at you.
This means you have to be in the right place at the right time and rely on your past experiences and your opponent’s past behaviors to dictate where you need to be in order to make a good defensive play.
Jump straight ahead and don’t lean towards the defender. After playing organized basketball for years, I realized that referees would almost automatically ring a foul if you lean towards a defender when jumping for a block.
The more experience you have, the better. So play 1v1 and lots of pickup games and look for opportunities to block shots and you will become a better shot blocker.