Moves Against Taller Basketball Players


Basketball is one sport where height is an asset. You cannot coach height; once you are fully grown, no amount of training or coaching will make you taller. Shorter players must learn moves to compensate for their lack of height, but they're not alone -- most basketball players will at some point encounter a taller opponent. Knowing what moves to use against that taller opponent is essential to success.


  • Being in the correct position can help counter a taller opponent. An example is rebounding. The two critical moves in rebounding are positioning and blocking out. You must anticipate where the ball will go if a shot is missed. That requires studying film and games and making notes on how balls bounce off the backboard and rim. For example, a missed shot from a shooter a long way from the basket will generally produce a long rebound; that is, the ball will bounce out a good distance. Move to the right place on the court to beat the taller player to the ball.

Blocking Out

  • Rebounding is one skill in basketball that favors the taller player. When two or more players jump to grab a missed shot, the taller player has a natural edge. Blocking out is a move that allows a shorter player to be a good rebounder. It follows moving to the correct position on the court. Blocking out is simply standing between your opponent and the basket. Keep your back toward the taller opponent and your arms extended. Move as necessary to keep your opponent from going around you. When the ball comes up in the air, your opponent will have to go over you to reach the ball, which is difficult to do without committing a foul.

Defending the Taller Player

  • Most basketball players encounter a situation where they have to defend a taller player. This is particularly difficult with a center, or pivot player, who is generally the tallest person on the opposing team. The secret to good defense is to prevent the center from getting the ball. Choose one of two moves. Stand beside your opponent. When the ball is passed to him, step out and catch or deflect the ball. If you miss, though, he has a clear path to the basket. The second move is called fronting. Stand in front of your opponent to stop any pass. The problem is that if you are too short, the other team will throw the ball over your head. Choose the move that works best based on the size difference between you and your opponent, and your relative quickness.


  • Learn moves to be able to score against a taller opponent. Do not allow the opponent to block your shots. If you are quicker, dribble around her. Use fake moves to get her in the air and off her feet. Then, as she comes down, you go up, thereby negating the height difference. When you have the ball, keep moving to lose your defender. Getting free for a moment allows you to shoot before she can block your shot.

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