Trap the inbounds pass, steal the ball or get back. It's a basic one-trap press to get the ball quick, very safe. Pressing wears down the other team. Pick your spots, e.g., after foul shots.
X4 can be your worst athlete, aggressive but slow (X5 has to move more). X4 is a little crazy, gets on the ball, if he can kick an inbounds pass then 4 can't run the baseline. Against a team that likes to set up a pressure set, X4 will hand the ball to 4; if the other team likes to get it in quick (they are tough to press), X4 tries to let the ball hit his shoulder.
X3 is responsible for the area to the right of the midline back to the top of the 3-point line extended, he backs up until he finds someone in his square, stops the passing lane, plays offside (not tight to 2). If 4 is looking at 1, X3 cheats in.
X2 finds a guy in the left square, trying to push a receiver up to the ballside baseline. X2 is a good athlete since most teams are right-handed.
X1 always looks ballside, for the third attacker on the court, has to match up, and will go as high as the third attacker. X1 gets back when his team shoots, and has to help until X5 gets back after a make.
X5 has a tough job, how close does he have to be to 5 to make a play if 2 breaks long, without giving up a pass to 5 (X4 has to be tough on the baseline)? If 5 starts to go to the basket, X5 opens up to see him, but doesn't go after him or would be out of the press. X5 can't give up a layup. Once the press is broken he is the safety.
If 1 goes long and exchanges with 3, X2 takes 3 and X1 takes 1. It's the same if 1 and 2 screen for each other, X2 and X3 pick up attackers in their areas.
X2 and X4 trap the inbounds pass, hands up, banging with their bodies, 1 should not be able to dribble out, and with a good trap, 1 can't throw too far upcourt. Most teams try to throw back to the inbounder, X4 will try to deflect that. X3 has a tough job, can he get to a pass to 4 without giving up a pass to 2? He has to look into the trap, often 1 will throw to what he sees as the first open guy.
With a trap in the corner, the easiest pass is up the sideline, X1 looks into the trap, tries to steal or save a pass (throw the ball towards the opponent's basket). The primary look for X1 is sideline, the secondary look is middle. Defenders always play one and a half guys.
X4 will trap with X2 or X3, X1 never traps. X4 decides whether an inbounds pass is too deep to trap, e.g., past the arc extended, everyone sprints back on defence. Don't try to take a dribbler in the middle of the court, sprint to the lane from behind the ball, looking for a turnover.
If 2 goes away from the ball, often X3 moves up to take 4, X5's primary look is 5 but his secondary look is to help X1 with 2.
On a pass to 4, get back, there is only one trap. Match up before you press if you are dropping back into man to man.
If you are the attacker being trapped, get low with the ball, if the trappers come down, come up to pass, if they stay up, go under to pass. If you bring the ball over your head they will step into your space.
X3 and X4 will trap the inbounds pass if 4 runs the baseline. X1 goes across. The diagonal pass to 3 is tough, especially for a right-hander.
If 4 is under the basket, he can't throw long, X5 comes way up.
If 5 flashes up, X5 starts up with him, then X1 picks him up, X5 lets X1 know and steps back in case an attacker goes long.
An inbounds pass to 5 in the middle doesn't hurt, don't let him make an easy pass to 1, and X2, X3 and X4 are sprinting from behind.
The more guys the other team brings back, the closer the press comes to the baseline. You like teams who use a lot of players in their pressure set because you see everybody and it's crowded.
Against a 4-across set, cover everyone with X1, X2 and X3, X5 looks for a guy going long.
Here if 5 goes up towards the baseline, X1 will go up too (don't allow an easy catch away from the baseline), then X3 has to go up (X1 can't trap), X1 comes back to take away 2.
Pressing after a free throw is really good because you can get into your press set, X5 is always back unless he is shooting. X4 rebounds on the right, taking him towards the inbounds spot, X3 is on the left, taking him towards his area on the right.
If 5 is shooting a free throw, 1 is back.
If X4 is shooting, he has to get to the inbound passer on a make.
Turn the 1-2-1-1 press to use it on sideline out of bounds. X2 and X3 force receivers up to the sideline. Here X4 will trap a pass up the sideline with X3, and a back pass with X2.