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Basketball Post Player Tips

Read these 13 Basketball Post Player Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Basketball tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Defending a Beast

There will be times that you will be defending someone much taller, bigger, stronger than you(unless your name is Shaquille Oneill). When this happens, you must outsmart him and you must use your advantages as a smaller player. When battling for post position, get low! You are much stronger the lower you are. If he is still pushing you back, then use your quickness to beat him to the ball. If he gets too low of post position, front him. Or you can do the Rick Mahorn trick and "pull the chair" on him. That's when you make body contact with him, then when he feels comfortable, you pull away at the last second. Often times he will lose his balance.

Many times if I'm guarding someone bigger, or if I just got caught on a switch, I will actually avoid body to body contact. That's what a bigger player wants, body contact, because he can feel where you are, can control you with his strength. Use your quickness to disrupt him, as the post entry pass comes, slip around him and get your fingers on it. If he gets the ball, anticipate, get in position, take the charge. If you're playing streetball, anticipate, get in position, strip the ball as he goes up with it.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Position in the Low Post

When you are on offense in the low post you need to make the defense play you on just one side. The offense wants to keep contact with the defense and once he has established his defensive position, pin him there and make him stay where he is. Be big and wide and always give a "target hand" so your teammate knows where to pass the ball.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

“wide” target

Keep the knees bent - make yourself a “wide” target. DO NOT stand up straight. We want the lower body low - the feet wider than the shoulders. The post player should show his numbers to the passer and hold his hand out to give an aggressive target. Show the passer where you want the ball and if the passer is any good, he will get it to you there.

What is a good drill for a big man?


This is a drill for your post players to practice exploding up to the basket, and using the backboard to score. With 3 players and one ball per basket, the 2 balls are placed on the blocks. It is a timed 1 minute drill. Player 1 picks up the ball on the right side, makes a drop step, gathers his feet and goes up strong off 2 feet, using the backboard and scores a layup. Then he does the same on the left side. Players 2 & 3 rebound and replace the ball to the blocks. Player 1 tries to make as many baskets as he can in 1 minute.

how do I play defense?


Leverage Is Vital! Leverage is gained by foot and body movement and contact. Footwork is one of the hardest things to teach because it is not natural. Toes and shoulders should be pointed at the ball. Sit on the defender's thigh - the post's center of gravity is thereby lower than the defender's and this makes the post stronger. If the defender steps around in front of the post's foot, the post should step over the top of the defender's foot. If the defender attempts to go behind the post, the post keeps the defender behind him by maintaining contact with the defender.

how do I get the ball in the post?

Create space

Create as much space for the pass as possible: A) If the defense is on the baseline side, set up lower to create more space for the pass on the high side - KEEP CONTACT WITH THE DEFENSE! B) If the defense is on the (top) high side, set up higher to create more space for the pass on the baseline side - KEEP CONTACT WITH THE DEFENSE! C) If the defense is behind, set up at the edge of the lane above the block to set up a situation where you can go either way. ATTEMPT TO MAINTAIN CONTACT WITH THE DEFENSE!) If the defense fronts with the ball at the wing, set up as far from the lane as possible within four feet of the lane to create more space for the lob pass. If the defense fronts with the ball at the guard spot, set up as high as possible up to the fourth free throw lane space, to create more space for the lob pass. KEEP CONTACT WITH THE DEFENSE!


Inverted Post Position

This is a postion I teach to many of my players. It allows for more offensive freedom once the ball is caught, but the disadvantage is you lose 1-2 feet of post position. IMO it is well worth this couple feet of floor space with the freedom it allows the post player. First I will breakdown the normal post position and compare it the inverted post position.

Normal Post Position From the Right Side of Rim: Normal post position would call for the post player to have his left foot back, a wide base, right hand would be the passer's target. As the pass reaches him, he would meet the ball by extending his right foot, keeping his left foot planted, to "save" his place on the court. As he catches the post entry pass, his left foot would now be his pivot foot as he goes to work on the block. Sounds great, but the problem is, half the court is now shut off to the post player. He can't spin baseline without first dribbling or traveling. Both of which usually lead to turnovers.

Inverted Post Position From the Right Side of Rim: Starts off exactly the same as before. Left foot back, wide base, right hand is passer's target. As you go recieve the ball, this is where the change in foot position occurs. Instead of extending with your right foot, keeping the left planted, you instead lead with the left, keeping your right foot planted. Once the ball is recieved, your right foot is now your pivot. Again, you lose a shoulder's length of position, but the entire baseline is now open for business. You can use a baseline spin move without a set-up dribble. It's a beautiful thing.


Fake Spin, Drop Step - Inverted Post Position

Another effective move from the Inverted Post Position is the fake spin/drop step. Again, the spin move is the most explosive move from the Inverted Post Position, but after one or two "Worthy" spins, your defender is going to be wary, causing him to overplay the baseline. That's when you give him a dose of it's counter.

From the Right Side of the rim - After recieving the ball, your baseline(right) foot will again be your pivot. You're looking to the strong side of the court, which is left from this position. Ball is chined as you survey. At the right moment, you make a quick head-turn baseline, ball still chined. This quck head fake toward the baseline will get the defender thinking "baseline spin", which will open the middle of the court up for you. As soon as you head fake baseline, your "free" (left) foot will sweep around your defender, allowing for a two handed "power" dribble(see basketball terms) toward the rim. If close enough you will have a wide open lay-up/dunk, or if not a wide open hook/jump shot. Get the timing of the head fake along with the leg sweep and power dribble. This is very effective, especially if the defender has already seen a glimpse of your nasty spin move.

how do I get the ball in the post?

Keep Contact

Prevent or inhibit movement by the defense by keeping contact with the defender. This is called ‘pinning” the defense. The post must get at the defender's legs; he cannot allow the defender to get at the pass.

how do I get the ball in the post?


When being fronted by a defender use the “HIP-AND-ROLL”. Before the entry pass maintain contact with the fronting defender with your hip. See the ball. Put BOTH hands in the air as a target. Then, let the pass be thrown. Wait until the passed ball is DIRECTLY above the defender's head, then give the defender a slight nudge with your hip as you jump to meet the ball. Now, posterize somebody.


Triple Threat - Inverted Post Position

The strength of the Inverted Post Position is that it allows the offensive player to take advantage of the defense in so many different ways. How the defense plays you is gonna dictate how you attack from this position. As you catch the ball, the defense will either play body-to-body, or they will keep you at arm's length. If they go body-to-body, you will either use a "Worthy" spin move, as described in this tip section, or you can go to the normal ground-and-pound post position that Barkley made famous in the 80's and 90's, where you open up in a wide stance and take various power dribbles to get in better position.'

What if the defense doesn't play you body-to-body? That is another beauty of the Inverted Post Position, if the defense is not playing physical, tight, low post defense, then with a quick, extended jab step, you will find yourself in perfect triple threat position.

Again, here's a breakdown from the right side of the rim: As described before, the Inverted Post Position would call for you right, baseline foot to act as your pivot. The defense is playing at arm's length, so the "Worthy" spin move is not an option. Instead, with the ball tucked to your hip, you sell the inside drive by tucking your head and shoulders, and using a quick, but strong jab step to the inside. The key is to swing far enough inside that after the jab step, you will be in perfect Triple Threat Position. From there, you can either pop the short jump shot, or shot fake and drive to the rim. Again, how the defense plays you is gonna dictate how you attack.

how do I get the ball in the post?


“BUST IN” when you are side-fronted by a defender's arm. KNOCK the defender's arm away by raising BOTH your arms (totally legal) toward the ball and stepping over the defender's top foot. Knock the defender's arm away from below by raising your arms, not pushing-off (illegal).


Spin Move - Inverted Post Postition

One of they key advantages of the Inverted Post Position is it opens the baseline up to a "James Worthy" spin move. Pau Gasol is a current player who has added this spin move to his game in recent years.

Again, catching the ball on the right side of the rim, the Inverted Post Position calls for your baseline foot(your right foot) to be your pivot. As you extend your left foot to recieve the post pass, you immediately move backwards until you feel contact from the defender. The more aggresive the defender is at this point, the more susceptible to the spin he is, because you are going to use the defender's own body as a pivot point, spinning off of him as you go baseline. As you feel this body contact, you will dip your head and shoulder inside(showing the defender the opposite as usual), while at the same time making a quick jab with your left foot. You then take the momentum of this inside move to push off, using the left foot as your explosion point toward the baseline, spinning you around on your right pivot foot. Footwork is of extreme importance, as it is with all post moves, but especially with the "Worthy" spin. As you use your set-up jab to the inside, make sure not to bring your left foot too far inside, or you will have too far of a distance to spin baseline to make it effective. Short jab, explode baseline, and then posterize somebody.

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