Part 1 of How to Dominate in the Low-Post

 After reading this article, the only thing you'll need are some great low-post and big man drills to run with your team in practice. You can get the exact drills, plays, & practice plans you need in Elite Coaching System...

Position in the Post & Receive the Pass
- Make Yourself Bigger
To play in the post, you have to make yourself bigger. You do this by spreading your feet wider than shoulder width apart in an exaggerated basketball stance...

You flare you elbows out and keep your hands up. What this wide, exagerrated stance does is help keep your defender from coming around you or reaching over your back to steal the ball.

Use your upper arms to block you defender from getting in front of you, and continuously move with him to maintain position. One hand should always be up ready to receive the pass, so your team-mate can throw it into you.

Your goal is to be a ready target for receiving the ball. Staying in front of your defender and keeping one hand up are the most important concepts in fighting for position.

Always keep contact with the defender's body, never let him create space. This way, you always know where he is and how he's playing you, so you can make a better move when you receive the ball.

- Read the Defense

Early on in a game, you'll know how the other team is trying to play the post. It s important that you read how the defense wants to play you.

As the point guard brings the ball up, the post-player should be on the high side of the box, which is the rectangle along the free-throw line. Then, you should face the lane and look at your defender eye to eye. This confuses your defender because he expects you to have your back to him, not staring at him. This causes your defender to feel foolish playing in front of you, so while he's frozen up, you can make your next move...

Once the ball comes near the 3-point line and you're ready to receive a pass, make a quick first-step toward the baseline so your defender backs off, make contact with him, and pivot into him to seal him behind you. Imagine stepping to the left or right of someone and then pivoting into them so you have your back to them...

The pivot should be executed nicely. Knees flexed, hips low and out, elbows out, feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Pivot on the balls of your feet for quickness, and plant the other foot that you're not pivoting with should come out and plant down firmly. Also, flex your abs for greater stability.
Now, its time to watch how the defender plays you. Most teams will have a certain way of defending the post, so watch for this and make adjustments or let the coach know. A good coach looks at how the other team is playing the post, and makes the necessary adjustments. Lets look at some of the ways the defense might play and the things you can do...
Here's a visual demonstration of how the defender will play you in the post:

This images shows the 4 different defensive positions that a single defender will play in.

- Yellow Circle #2 is You, the post-up offensive player.  Yellow Circle #1 is your teammate who'll be passing the ball.

- Each of the red triangles represents how a defender will play you in the post. A defender will usually play you in one of these positions.

- Triangle 1:  The defender is playing you on the low-side near the baseline.

- Triangle 2: The defender is playing you on the high-side away from the baseline.

- Triangle 3: Playing directly behind you.

- Triangle 4: Staying in front of you completely.

Lets take a look at some of the ways that You, the post-up player, should adjust based on how the defender plays you:
Triangle 1: Defender is playing you on the low-side near the baseline.

Offensive Positioning: You (Circle 2), should stay in the position you're in (as shown).

Moves: As soon as you get the ball, think "short hook to the middle", or make a quick move to the middle and try to do a mini jump-shot or jump-hook.

Triangle 2: Defender is playing you on the high-side away from the baseline.

Offensive Positioning: You (Circle 2), should move up the lane to the second lane mark, but stay on the lane (as shown).

Moves: As soon as you receive the ball, think of making a quick-move to the basket for a power lay-up.

Triangle 3: Defender is playing directly behind you.

Offensive Positioning: You (Circle 2), should get to the high-side of the box (as shown), and be one or two steps away from the lane mark.

Moves: When you get the ball, you take two strong steps on the outside and do a short hook. Or, you can go middle and take a short jumper. Lastly, you can fake middle and then do a quick drop-step with the baseline foot and get a power layup.

Triangle 4: Defender is playing in front of you completely.

Offensive Positioning: In this case you would move up to the second lane mark (as shown), and move about one or two steps away from the lane (as shown).

Moves: You want your team-mate to lob the ball over the defender's head. You would catch, quickly turn, and go strong for a lay-up.

- How to Get Open When the Defender is Playing Great Defense
Many times your defender will be playing you very well, and you'll need a few extra moves. Or, you might just want to get open for an easier bucket. In either case, here are some of the moves you can use:
The Rear Turn
If the defender is playing you very close in the post, and being very physical, then you need to make a quick rear turn to free yourself for a pass.
- First, hook your outside foot around the foot of your defender, and then pivot about 45 to 90 degrees with that same foot.
- Make sure to lower yourself, stick your butt out, and make contact with your defender so you can gain position on him.
This move basically helps to create space between you and your defender and seal him off behind you. When your foot is hooked outside his foot, he's not in a position to move very well, allowing you to receive the pass and make a strong move with the ball.
You should also seal the defender off with with the forearm that you won't be catching the ball with. Put this forearm, at a 45 degree angle, on the defender's chest, but make sure not to push off or hold him. Another way to seal off the defender is to hook your forearm around the elbow area of his extended arm and push it down. Remember to keep one hand up as your target hand, in which you'll receive the ball.
Hold your post-up position for two seconds and keep one hand up to call for the ball. If you don't get the ball within two seconds, give up your position and help your team-mates by setting a screen.
The Step Across
If the defender is in front of you, and your teammate cannot lob the ball over the defender's head, then you need to be able to get back in front of your defender. Use the step across move by:
- Taking a strong step in any direction away from the ball, then use the foot closest to the ball to come back quickly in front of the defender, lower yourself, and throw your hips into the defender's legs to keep him from coming around you.
Now that you've gained position, put your arm up asking for the ball.
The Reverse
If you're on the low-side of the post near the hoop, and your defender is preventing you from getting ball, then do this move:
- Take a hard step toward the passer, and then do a drop-step with the leg closest to the baseline.
- Hook your leg that is dropping back around the defender's leg, lower yourself, and throw your hips into the defender to seal him off.
- Ask for the ball with your target-hand.
The Lob Pass
The lob pass involves your teammate throwing a nice pass to you, while you move just the right amount at just the right time to catch the ball. The key is to make sure that the pass is out of your defender's reach.
When the man is fronting you, get ready to catch a lob pass by following these steps:
- Face the basket, get low, and put your hips and back into the defender.
- Put one forearm on the defender's back to hold him in position, and keep your other hand as the target for the ball.
- Once the pass is over the head AND hands of your defender, release your forearm, catch the pass, and take a strong step to the hoop to score.

Ball Reversal

At times, the defender is fronting you so well, that you might not be able to get a pass right over his/her head. In this case, you need to signal your teammate to pass the ball on the opposite side of the rim. The pass needs to be thrown very well and you have to time it and catch the ball.

The Flash Cut

The flash cut starts from the weak-side, or the side away from the ball. Here's what you do:

- Take a couple of strong steps away from the direction you want to go, to bring your defender in that direction.

- As soon as your defender moves, you quickly cut in the direction towards the passer and put your hands up signaling for the ball.

- Since your defender is now behind you, you can catch the ball and shoot right away, drive, or pass.

What's Next?

Now that you know how to teach your players to position in the post and get open, they need to learn how to score the ball. In Part 2, we'll show you some great low-post finishing moves that they can use to score... Stay tuned!

 Now you need some great low-post & big-man drills to run with your team in practice. And, you gotta have some nice plays for your post-up players. Get the exact plays, drills, & practice plans you need in the Elite Coaching System...