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Basketball Post Drills

Turning your Post Players into Offensive Threats

Basketball post drills need to develop attitude as well as skill. Playing one of the "big man" positions - center, forward, or for that matter, whenever a player finds himself in the post area - requires a different mind set and skills set than playing out on the three point line. And once your post players are able to execute the most effective Post Moves, it's a different type of basketball drill that's needed to develop this mind set and to ingrain the position's basketball moves.

Post players are different from ball handlers. Guards and wings are rewarded for finesse and "touch"; post players require focus, persistence, and aggression. Post players need to perform while being jabbed, elbowed, hip-checked and worse. It's the nature of the game - put three or four or five big guys into a crowded space and tell them all to do the same thing, they're going to run into each other.

But they still have to perform, even while they are being bounced around. They have to be able to take the ball up strong to the hoop, finishing the shot even with an elbow in the ribs. The better they can tune out all that noise and contact, the more effective their basketball post play will be.

These basketball drills focus on developing the skills and moves necessary for post players to be a threat on the offensive end - drills like The Mikan Drill, probably the best known and most often used of the basketball post drills, and a great drill to start younger post player off with, as it is great at teaching them how to go up under the rim. And you can add in The Baby Hook Variation of the Mikan Drill soon afterward.

But the baby hook and the close-up layup that the Mikan Drill practices are more finesse than anything else - not that there is anything wrong with that; finesse allowed Kareem Abdul Jabbar to win plenty of titles thanks to his unstoppable sky hook. But post players also need to have some more physical moves, and the Power Layup Drill practices the most common and most important foundation power move.

Post play is very physical, and we want to add to our practices some basketball post drills that deliberately introduce contact in order to simulate game situations. Drills like The 2 Man Cut Throat Drill add in some one on one action, but we really need to ensure our players know how to get and keep position against other players, so be sure to add in some Boxing Out Drills, along with 4 Man and 5 Man Posting-Up Drills.

Once you feel comfortable that your players understand how to execute the offensive skills, you can add the Post Action Drill to your practices on a regular basis to help players develop all these offensive moves.

In the drills that deliberately force the contact, players need to make strong moves and be persistent. In the basic skills drills - like the Mikan Drill - where there is no contact made, the emphasis changes to performing the skills with the best form and proper concentration, to build muscle memory so that, when the players are in the game, good mechanics become second-nature.

Other resources to help improve your basketball post drills:

Better Basketball Coaching Pages & Resources
External Resources

Remember to keep your players focused on the basic skill - i.e., they must always use proper form and movement every time they run these drills. The better their form is in practice, the better it will transfer to the game.

And remember to keep them focused on the job - post players must be able to tune out what is going on around them, so they are not distracted by contact or missed shots. In the post position, aggression and persistence will always win.

Good post play can easily make the difference between win and loss, championship and failure. Be sure to develop your post players with these basketball post drills to make them offensive threats and to give your game another dimension.

Leave Basketball Post Drills to go to the Better Basketball Coaching home page

"It's not how big you are, it's how big you play."

Want something more visual?

Check out UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg's video package of drills


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