One of the most common questions that comes up at our leagues is ‘how to defend against a tall Goal Shooter?’


Defending against a tall goal shooter in netball can be a challenging but rewarding task. Here are some tips to help you improve your defence against a taller opponent:


Maintain good positioning:
Proper positioning is crucial when defending against a tall goal shooter. Stand between your opponent and the goalpost at an angle, keeping your body low and your feet shoulder-width apart. This will make it harder for the shooter to find space to receive the ball.


Use your arms wisely:
Your arms are your primary tools for defence. Keep them outstretched and try to block the shooter’s view of the goal. Avoid making contact with the shooter, as this can result in a penalty pass or shot.


Anticipate the pass:
Pay close attention to the opposing team’s attacking patterns. Try to anticipate when and where the pass to the tall shooter will come from. This can give you a split-second advantage to intercept the ball.


Quick footwork:
Stay on your toes and be ready to move quickly. Stay at an angle to your opponent so you can see their every move and be able to anticipate where the passes will be coming from. Use short, rapid steps to adjust your position as the shooter moves around the shooting circle. This will help you stay in front of them and contest the shot effectively.


Effective communication with your fellow defenders is key. Let them know when you need help or when you’re going to challenge the shooter. Coordinate switches and double-teaming to put pressure on the shooter.


Try to deceive the shooter by making them uncertain about your next move. Change your stance, move your arms, or fake a lunge to keep them guessing. This can disrupt their shooting rhythm.


Stay calm and patient:
Defending against a tall shooter can be frustrating, but it’s important to remain calm and patient. Avoid rushing in for a block, as this can lead to a penalty if there is ‘contact’ or ‘obstruction’. Instead, wait for the right moment to contest the shot.


Learn from each encounter:
Pay attention to how the shooter plays during the game. Take mental notes of their shooting habits, preferred angles, and tendencies. Use this information to your advantage in throughout the match.


Defending against a tall goal shooter takes practice and experience, and everyone has their own style! It’s about finding the right balance between aggressive defence and avoiding penalties. As a defender it’s important to be versatile and have the ability to change your approach when playing against different attacking styles, however finding your own rhythm and type of play will help your confidence on the court! With dedication and a good understanding of your opponent’s playing style, you can become a formidable defender in netball. Good luck on the court!


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