Basketball Moves
Moves that Post Players Need to Know

Being able to execute a couple of basketball moves down low in the key is essential for post players. Playing inside is a tough job - big guys slamming into you, elbows being thrown, constantly pushing for position. It's probably the toughest job on the basketball court, at least from the physical perspective, and requires toughness and some real basketball skill just to stay in the game.

But the good thing is this: on offense, there are really only a handful of basketball moves that post players need to know. If they know these, and are able to execute them well, and are able to use the right move at the right time - your post players should be able to put up solid numbers, even if they are matched against bigger guys with better vertical jumps.

Post players are either posting low, or posting high - i.e., they're either down low around the blocks, or up at the free throw line elbow. The basketball moves they need to know, then, are executed in these two areas of the court.

Basketball Moves for Post Players
Essential Post Up Moves

When the post player gets the pass down low on the blocks, he has two main basketball moves to choose from - the drop step or the baby hook. The move he chooses depends on how his defensive man chooses to play him - does he front him up top, toward the foul line, or down low, toward the base line?

Fronted High: Use the Drop Step

  • If the defensive man is trying to front the post play on the high side, then the baseline side is open.
  • This sets up a good opportunity to use the drop step

Drop Step Instructions here

Basketball Moves - Drop Step OverviewThe Drop Step

Fronted Low: Use the Baby Hook

  • If the defensive man is trying to front the post player on the baseline side, this takes away the drop step but leaves the high side open.
  • This is a good opportunity to use a little baby hook

Baby Hook Instructions here

Basketball Moves - Baby Hook OverviewThe Baby Hook

The key to making these basketball moves really effective is practice, practice, practice. Once they've been taught the basic movements, have your post players practice in game-like situations - i.e., lots of contact, like they'll be up against playing down low during the game. Be sure to incorporate these practice drills for the drop step and practice drills for the baby hook into your practices.

Basketball Moves for Post Players
Essential Shots to Know

When the post player gets the pass up high on the foul line, he is usually just finishing a cut to the elbow - a common move in many basketball plays. In this scenario, he is usually cutting just ahead of his defensive man, so the skill needed to score here is a good Turnaround Jump Shot.

The other type of shooting post players do often is Foul Shooting. Unfortunately, post players are commonly known to be very poor foul shooters - most are poor shooters in general, since the majority of their scoring happens about five feet from the net and they don't have much cause to practice 15 foot jumpers.

But foul shooting is a common situation for players who get hit a lot while trying to score, as post players do, so it would be smart for them to practice their foul shooting as well.

Basketball Moves for Post Players
Getting and Preventing the Second Shot

Besides scoring, the post player's major contribution to the team is rebounding. Both Offensive Rebounding and Defensive Rebounding require aggression and good positioning, tenacity and power. But rebounding the ball on defense and rebounding when you are on offense also require some different skills, so click on the links for a review of what to do and some practice drills to help teach it.

Basketball Moves for Post Players
Defensive Play in the Post

Defense in the post means a lot of contact, but like defense anywhere on the court, the focus needs to be on keeping the ball out of your man's hands - an opponent without the ball is a lot easier to stop from scoring than an opponent with the ball. Your post players need to appreciate this - they can't wait for their man to get the ball and then play defense on him - they need to practice solid Post Defensive Play for the entire game.

A common problem with post players is when they come up against a bigger opponent - it is not too often we end up in the position where our players all tower over the other team - someone is going to be mismatched at some point in the season, and some years we'll have small teams. That's life.

But if your post players understand, practice and are able to execute these post moves in the game, even if they are up against bigger players, they should be able to hold their own and then some. I always remember Magic Johnson in his rookie year at LA - he played every position, including center when Kareem was injured. At 6'9" Magic was no little guy, but he also wasn't a towering center. But he held his own against bigger guys, winning the final game of the championship series with a baby hook.

"If you meet the Buddha in the lane, feed him the ball."

- Phil Jackson

Kevin Sutton: 30 Drills for Building a Complete Post Player

Championship Productions DVDs