Players should be instructed on how to help in the following situations:

  • dribble penetration into the keyway;
  • passes inside the keyway;
  • post players.

Help to Defend Dribble Penetration - Help and Recover

“Help and recover” (also called “hedge and recover”) is a technique that all players must be able to perform, from both the post and on the perimeter. Simply, “help and recover” is where a defender moves toward the person dribbling (but does not lose sight of their own player) and then moves back (“recovers”) to guard their direct opponent when the dribbler:

  • picks the ball up;
  • retreats;
  • is covered by their own defender.

“Help and recover” should be practiced from both a denial and a floating (open) stance. By its nature, it is easier to perform from a floating stance, because from a denial stance, the defender must turn around before being able to move towards the defender. Help and recover is a skill used in both half court and full court defence.

When in a denial stance, the defender’s feet are pointing towards their opponent. They must reverse pivot to move into an open stance, before they are able to “help and recover”.

From a floating stance, the defender must step with BOTH feet towards the dribbler. They should take one or two steps, remaining balanced. They should not reach as this will affect their balance. They should also be careful to keep their head in between their feet, not leaning to one side.

The defender’s movement toward the dribbler should be fast and is designed to stop the defender from continuing along their path. The defender then moves just as quickly back to a position to guard their own player.

“Help and Recover” – from Denial Stance

x2 is in a good position to stop 1 from getting into the key.

x3 is in a position to stop 1 dribbling to the wing. They are not in a position to stop 1 getting to the basket.

x1 is not in a good position to help because they are above the line of the ball.

“Help and Recover” – from Floating / Open Stance

“Help and Recover” – Post Defender

From Floating / Open Stance

From Denial Stance

“Help” will be most effective when it comes from below the “line of ball” (the ‘line’ is a horizontal position on the court at the level of the person with the ball).

x1 is above the “line of ball” and is coming from the side of the dribbler, this is less likely to stop the dribbler than x3 who is coming from below the “line of ball” and is 2 between the dribbler and the basket.