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First Defender

To keep the attacker from gaining ground, it’s important to ensure the right first defender positioning. This technique provides an important defensive skill for pressuring the ball handler—and is especially important if you’re a first defender. The idea is to delay your opponent, deny penetration and destroy the play with a tackle. Start by pressuring the handler so they can’t move forward as you funnel them into a small area. Keep your feet moving and eyes on the ball. Then be patient, and avoid the temptation to tackle too early since most teams win the ball with an interception.