Attackers defending space seems to be becoming more of a trend in the senior levels.
With the rules allowing equal body on body, this will assist the attacker (which is really every player on court), to hold space and protect this space for a drive or a ball.
To receive a pass from a ‘defending the space’ position, takes practice. Finding the space for the ball and toying with the defender to get them in a position where they are incapable of tipping or intercepting the pass is rewarding.
During your training sessions, you might be working the players in groups of three (one attacking, one defending and one as the thrower). The coach may ask for 10 tips or intercepts then rotate or 10 moves from the attacker to get free then rotate. What about 10 ‘defending the space’ then rotate.
When I was coaching this the other day a coach mentioned the player ‘defending the space’ was like the ‘Fridge’ on an ad currently airing for Private Health Care. That is exactly how this player should set up. Like a fridge that can’t be pushed around. When setting this up, the person defending the space doesn’t run around all over the place. Defend the defender.
This is another skill that requires constant practice and once players are confident with this form of getting free it gives them another skill to use when the situation arises.
This is great for the shooting circle as both shooters can start working front and defending their defenders. Turn the tables and find the defenders then start defending them. This will surely distract them and alter an oppositions game plan.