No matter what position you are playing it is extremely important to make sure you know where the ball is at all times.
You will need to stay focused and keep your eyes on the ball.
Eyes Up – Do not watch the ground when you run – it won’t move!
Watch the Ball – you need to see it to catch it!
Ideally, your eyes should be watching the ball with help from your peripheral vision, while your body remains able to deny your opponents from throwing or receiving passes.
It may take some time getting used to but after much practice, it becomes easier to tail your opponent or intercept a pass even when the ball is moving speedily down the court or at a distance away from you.
As soon as you drop your eyes away from the ball and are not looking at the play you are at a disadvantage. The player with the ball will not be able to pass to you effectively and the ball will be more easily intercepted. Make sure you keep your head up and your eyes on the ball to give yourself the best chance to take an effective pass.
Too often inexperienced players allow the defender to control their movements. If your team is attacking, you are in control, know where the ball is and where you will move to next. If you make the decisions then the defender is forced to work harder to get the ball back.