Inside Players – Keys to Great Post Play

By Adam Barnes

18 Keys to Develop Your Post Players

  1. Post men must have a positive self-image. They are conspicuous. Make them proud that they are tall.
  2. It’s important that the big guy touches the ball. Get him involved even if his primary role is defense, to set screens, or to rebound.
  3. Always teach your interior players how to properly catch a basketball.
  4. The pivot man is always closely guarded. It is where the defensive man is which determines where you pass him the ball.
  5. Teach the big guy to seal his man.
    • Your butt is a pressure point used to hold off your defensive player.
    • Spread out, create space, hold your arms wide and high, base low and wide.
    • Learn how to hold and not to push. Avoid getting cheap fouls called.
    • Create a passing lane or protect a passing lane with your upper and lower arms.
    • Keep your shoulders free so that you have flexibility in your body. Your lower body, specifically your butt, should be making the contact.
  6. Do your work early! One way to receive the ball is to start by going away from the ball and then holding your man behind you until the ball comes back to your side. Or you can flash the strong side at the proper time (late).
  7. Always let the crap clear. Try to avoid moving as the defense moves.
  8. Another way to get open for a shot is to screen for the ball and then roll to the basket when the defense switches.
  9. When going away from the ball, keep your eyes on the ball – skip across the lane. Take your man away from the spot where you want to receive the entry pass.
  10. Coaches, never assume your big man can pivot. Teach your players the pivot moves you would like for them to learn. Permanent pivot or not? Address that as you start to develop your players.
  11. Big men must know how to dribble the ball so they can help clear it. Do not let them over dribble, regardless of how good they think they are at handling the rock.
  12. Big man shooting
    • The key on offense is to get the post man to keep his arms up. Bigs can get a lot of garbage points if his/her hands are active.
    • Got to be a good foul shooter (above 72% is a great goal).
  13. Big man defense
    • Make the big guy the defensive leader because he is the one who sees the whole floor. This will help his ego. Put the pressure on him.
    • Post men don’t talk enough. They are defensive traffic cobs. Direct the defense by talking and communicating.
    • Keep your arms up in the ready position to cover passing and cutting lanes.
  14. Big man rebounding
    • Head
      • Beware of where the shots are coming from.
      • Be aware of who is taking the shot.
      • Anticipate the shot being taken and get in position for the rebound. Don’t always wait for the shot to be taken before you seek your rebounding position.
      • Talk to your bigs about the opponent’s gym. Tell them the floor is a great rebounder’s floor. Build them up; make sure they know they are important. Winning the rebounding battle equals more possessions.
    • Legs
      • The legs are more important, as relations to position, than jumping.
      • Rapid jumping is more important than high jumping. (Double/Trip jump drills in workouts/practice)
      • Rebounding drills
        • No jumping drill: 3-on-3 underneath, players cannot leave their feet to get the ball. Helps to teach your players to use their legs, arms, hands, quickness, and to focus on position. Athletes think their athleticism can make them great but the key is great position.
        • Timing Drills.
        • Passing Drills off the backboard are good for reaction.
        • Rim Touches.
        • All rapid game situations of the backboard are good drills.
      • Arms – Keep the arms high, and wide, in the ready position at all times. Hands over your elbows, elbows out wide.
      • Hands
        • Developing strength in the hands should be done with the basketball. Forget the gimmicks, such as finger-tip pushups, squeezing a tennis ball, hand squeezers, etc.
        • One hand rebounding is only effective on the offensive board. You can keep it alive this way, but you must use two hands on the defensive board. ALWAYS secure the rebound.
        • Learn to pivot and hold the ball securely as you identify the outlet man.
  15. Boxing out in rebounding.
    • Always turn in the direction the player is going-front pivot.
    • Make contact before you turn (we punch the shoulder).
    • Rebounding off the foul shot is very important. You should not hold your hands up high because this can alert your opponent. Your arms should be in a position to lock your opponent’s arms.
    • In weak-side rebounding if you are in poor position, you should go out to meet your opponent before attempting to box him out. Do not wait for your opponent to come find you. They are keyed in on the ball.
  16. Your big men should have positive learning experiences. If you need to, have your manager or a lower-line player drill against your main guys so they can have success. If you always battle your best against best, there is always the possibility that there will be a negative experience.
  17. Rebounding off the floor (loose balls) is vital. Get horizontal, get dirty, and get the 50/50 balls!
  18. Zone boxing out: Form a triangle and take up a space in the key rebounding area.
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Player Development Specialist (High School, College, & NBA) & Recruiting Analyst/National Camp Director
Nov. 8, 2015 – November 08, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; ANDRE DRUMMOND (0) looks to pass at the Moda Center. Photo by David Blair (Credit Image: � David Blair via ZUMA Wire)

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