Post Drills
Pick Up


Most post drills that aim to improve scoring in the paint should be simple, because offense in the key is rarely complex. Rebound and put back. Power layup. Hook shot. Drop step. These can be elegant, fluid moves when done right, but they are quick and straightforward. There is no room in the key for complex, time-consuming moves.

More than any other aspect in the offensive end, scoring from inside the paint needs to be quick and decisive. In such close quarters, it takes no time at all for defensive players to close up on the man they are marking.

And more often than not, when an offensive player tries to be fancy in the key, they screw up. They lose control of the ball, or they miss what should have been an easy layup, or they allow the defense to close in on them. In the open court, when you have plenty of parquet between you and the defense, It's possible to be flashy. But in the paint, power and simplicity will always win out.



In the paint, power and simplicity will always win out.

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This post drill is a simple drill, but what I like most about it is that it creates muscle memory - doing the same thing over and over makes it automatic, and so by practicing these 'simple' drills, players don't think as much in the game. They act or react immediately, instead of freezing while considering all the possible options.

One advantage of this is that it makes the moves more aggressive, stronger and less likely to be contested. When players go strong to the hoop, without hesitation, defense very often backs off or doesn't react quick enough to get in the way.

It also focuses on scoring immediately - getting the ball and without thought, going straight to the hoop. And that's what inside players need to do - go hard and quick to the hoop.


Post Drills: Pick Up
Instructions to Players

  • Players must move as in game situation - quickly to the ball, and then either shoot or drive immediately.
  • Focus on footwork - as the player approaches the ball, a two foot stop to pick it up will allow a pivot in either direction and greater stability
  • The move is not only quick, but authoritative - hard dribble and up strong for the layup; quick shot and follow for rebound on the jumper


Post Drills: Pick Up
How the Drill Works

Post Drills - Pick UpPick Up
  • Coach stands at top of key with a basketball
  • Post player begins underneath the basket, facing the baseline
  • The coach calls 'Go' while at the same time rolling the ball (in different directions each time) toward the baseline
  • The post player turns and sprints to the ball; using a two foot stop, the player picks up the ball
  • As he reaches the ball, the coach calls 'Drive' or 'Jumper'
  • Post player executes whichever shot is called out - if he shoots a jump shot, he must follow the shot, rebound and put back if he misses


Run the drill for 30 - 60 seconds, making sure to mix up the calls so that players get practice with both jump shots and drives. As the players become more comfortable with the drill, encourage them to make quicker moves so that the movement becomes ingrained.

Also, make sure you are rolling the ball to both left and right - ensure players are practicing moves on both sides of the key, and that they are using left hand to drive on the left side, right hand to drive on the right side.

A simple drill with great benefits for players looking to score down low.





“This is basketball, not figure skating. You don’t get extra points for degree of difficulty”

– Bob Hurley






Kevin Sutton: 30 Drills for Building a Complete Post Player

Championship Productions DVDs