It is important to take pride in defensive effort. This is one area of the game that can and should be constant.
2. SEE THE BALL / SEE THE MAN
Be aware of where the ball is at all times. An offensive player cannot score without the ball.
Guarding a player with the ball our position is BALL-YOU-BASKET.
BALL-YOU-MAN away defense to prevent "face-cuts" to the basket.
It is essential that all five players communicate with each other. Calling “ball”, yelling “help”, "shot", “skip” or “double” helps ensure that all five defenders will be in good position and know what is happening on the court.
Three talking rules: Early, Loud and Often.
5.NO DIRECT PASSES OR DRIVES
Make the offense throw passes below or above, not through. Therefore, the only acceptable pass to give up is a lob pass. Force the offense to their weak hand to take away the straight line drive.
10.BLOCKOUT AND OUTLET
Defensive effort is completed when we have POSSESSION OF THE BALL (ICE) - Identify, Contact, Explode.
When the ball is shot ALL FIVE PLAYERS have rebound responsibility - covering the paint in a triangle shape with guards blocking out then moving to the elbow areas. Play the odds when rebounding a jump shot and flood the weak side with a guard to give additional rebounding strength.
A coach can only do his best, nothing more, but he does owe that, not only to himself, but to the people who employ him and to the youngsters under his supervision. If you truly do your best, and only you will really know, then you are successful and the actual score is immaterial whether it was favorable or unfavorable. However, when you fail to do your best, you have failed, even though the score might have been to our liking.
This does not mean that you should not coach to win. You must teach our players to win and do everything in your power that is ethical and honest to win. I do not want players who do not have a keen desire to win and do not play hard and aggressively to accomplish that objective. However, I want to be able to feel and want my players sincerely to feel that doing the best that are capable of doing is victory in itself and less than that is defeat.
It is altogether possible that whatever success I have had or may have could be in direct proportion to my ability not only to instill that idea in my players but also live up to it myself.
Therefore, I continually stress to my players that all I expect from them at practice and in the games is their best effort. They must be eager to become the very best that they are capable of becoming. I tell them that, although I want them to be pleased over victory and personal accomplishment, I want them to get the most satisfaction from knowing that both they and the team did their best. I hope that their actions or conduct following a game will not indicate victory or defeat. Head should always be high when you have done your best regardless of the scores and there is no reason for being overly jubilant at victory or unduly depressed by defeat.
Furthermore, I am rather thoroughly convinced that those who have the self-satisfaction of knowing they have done their best will also be on the most desirable end of the score as much, and perhaps more, than their natural ability might indicate.
John Wooden, from: Practical Modern Basketball