basketball coachingSo your rival has a dominant low post presence. He’s got your tallest guy by six inches and thirty pounds, he’s got touch like Kevin McHale and he passes like Bill Walton. In a word, he’s unguardable. Or is he?

Defense is a funny thing in basketball, because for 95% of teams and players, it is a reactive phase of the game. What you do is dependent on what the offensive player does. Defensive basketball coaching schemes are designed to try to get the offense to do things that the defense wants (inefficient shots), but most of the time, you are reacting to the offense’s movements, not vice versa.

If you are facing an elite post player, your basketball coaching emphasis needs to be on preventing the post player from catching the ball where he wants it. This could be as simple as forcing him to catch the ball two steps off of the block instead of on it. It could be by forcing him to reach up and catch a pass, knocking him out of his comfort zone, or it could mean not letting him catch it at all. Below are basketball coaching tips for each of these styles.

Force him off the block – If the offensive player is bigger and stronger than your player, this might not be the best basketball coaching tactic, but it doesn’t mean that its impossible. Tell your post defender to meet the offense at the foul line and bump the post player instead of allowing him to run freely to the block.

Most young post players don’t know how to fight for position. A large number of the younger players in the NBA haven’t even mastered this skill yet, so if the defender can stop the offense from getting a clean run to the elbow, you can frustrate the post player. Have your defender get low, because the person with the lower center of gravity usually wins the spot. This is the simplest basketball coaching technique because it doesn’t require any special skill, only a post defender willing to put in the effort needed to be physical on every play.

Force a difficult catch – This is 100% about your guards. Feeding the post is a lost art, but even the worst passers can make a post entry pass if they’re left unguarded. If your basketball coaching style has your perimeter players pressuring the ballhandler, they will make it difficult to throw a clean entry pass; if the guard even throws it at all! If your guards have a hand in the face and a hand tracing the ball, you will prevent clean entry passes and quickly frustrate the opposing post player.

Prevent the pass – This is the riskiest basketball coaching technique because it gives the other team the opportunity to make someone else beat you. If you ”front” the post (have your defender play between the ball and the post player instead of between their man and the basket) you deny an easy entry pass to a posting up post player, but you give up the possibility for a lob pass over the top. To combat this, your help defender needs to overhelp and be within an arm’s length of the post player so that he has no space to catch a lob and finish. The downside to this strategy is that it leaves the help defender’s man wide open on the other side of the floor, and if they are a good shooter this is a very risky strategy.

Ideally, you can use some combination of these three strategies to defend the post effectively. If you can prevent the ball from going in to the post player early in the game, you might notice that he stops running the floor hard, stops going after rebounds, and doesn’t defend as well. Post players are more active if they get touches, so your basketball coaching strategy should be to be aggressive defensively in order to limit their quality touches early.

To your success,
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Coach Tate