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Break Any Press

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Break Any Press

The coach can do a lot to help the team break a difficult press. If the coach panics, the team panics. In the first half, the team will be breaking the press right in front of their bench. Call out instructions to them. Remind them to go to the ball, to cut, to post up, to spread the floor, et cetera.

Emphasize press break rules over a press break offense. Get the ball in quickly! Drill your kids to pull the ball out of the net and fire it inbounds before the defense can set up. Don't run any other drills that result in scores where they are not required to inbound the ball. On your 3-on-2 and 2-on-1 drills, have them inbound the ball after made baskets. On every shell defensive drill, have the defense inbound the ball after every score. The dividends are huge.

Stretch the defense. It doesn't matter whether you start out of a stack--run four across, send guys to the mid-court corners--just get that floor spread.

Discourage the dribble, particularly the speed dribble, against a zone press. Do as much as you can off the pass. Any dribbling should be controlled dribbling, with head up and always reading the floor.

Make sure your receivers come to the ball! They should attack each reception with the same intensity that the defense does. This cannot be overemphasized. Have them jump to the ball and pivot in the air so that they are facing the front court when they land. This gives them much more latitude to attack the defense.

Use V-cuts to get open and ball fakes to avoid telegraphing the pass (“fake a pass to make a pass”). Have your cutters move in straight lines, either toward the ball or toward your basket. Wide arcs and side-to-side cuts favor the defense.

Instruct your players to post up in the open floor, then cut to the ball to get open. Most kids have a tendency to avoid the defenders, thinking that this is the solution to getting open; however, bodying up to the defender and then cutting toward the ball will obviously preclude the defender from beating the receiver to the pass.

Keep the ball in the middle of the floor as much as possible and away from the trapping zones.

If you use your dribble, don't lose your dribble! Once your players start to dribble, make sure they keep it alive if at all possible.

Don't panic. Ten seconds is a long time to get the ball across half-court.

Once you cross half-court, don't make careless mistakes. The press is broken. If you've got an advantage, make the defense pay by scoring a layup. If not, slow things down. We run a pressing defense and get most of our turnovers AFTER our press has been beaten. It just amazes me...

When facing a man-to-man press, you should clear the backcourt and let your point guard bring the ball up one-on-one. That's obviously sound advice. But we sometimes like to invite the trap by having our two or three man linger in the backcourt with the point, staying ten or fifteen feet ahead of him. As soon as the forward defender jumps to trap, the point kicks the ball to his teammate, who then pushes it up the floor four-on-three against the remaining defenders.

Incorporate these principles into your pressbreak and, pretty soon, teams will stop pressing you because of your success against it.



1/26/2011 6:43:38 PM
Peyton said:

What is your team doesnt help and it is 1 vs. 3 what do i do to break the press because my team dosent get it


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