In a video series titled "Basketball Lessons with Michael Jordan", MJ walks you through most of the important basketball fundamentals everyone should know, especially youth basketball players.
The video series is made up of 27 different lessons, and in this specific lesson, Jordan talks about defensive vision. These basketball lessons are somewhat under the radar, but when you think about it — kid should be all over this footage. Everyone wants to play like Mike, but only a few go so far to think about the crucial basketball principles Mike has laid out so nicely in these clips.
In terms of defensive vision, what most coaches teach nowadays is not really correct in the sense that you have to turn your head back and forth all the time while on D., In other words, your head's on a swivel. It's just constantly moving back and forth.
"The easiest way to attack that is to keep your head at a straight line using your peripheral vision to see the ball and your man simultaneously. When you can see these two points and you can point to them, you no longer have to swivel your head because every time you turn it left or right, you lose your man or the ball for a split second." - Michael Jordan
But if you're keeping your head straight and using your vision this way, you can see the ball you can see your man. When the ball starts to move you start to move. You just change your focus point that much more so you still maintain that peripheral vision and ultimately you can see both the ball and your man.
It's all about peripheral vision and even some professional players underestimate this simple yet crucial fundamental.
"It only takes that little split second for you to lose your man or the ball before you know you're at a disadvantage — so if you're learning early on in your years and you want to learn now and work hard on it, just focus on a point between the ball and your man, keep your head steady and you can see both, I promise you." - Michael Jordan