Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Post Play

Mike McNeill

Scott Clark

Alison McNeill

Christine Stapleton

Lisa Thomaidis

Basketball Canada

Bob Bain

Hal Wissel

Moncho Monsalve

Bruce Brown and Joe Callero

Larry Dean Jackson

American Basketball Quarterly

Keith Cooper

Jim Hayford

Greg Brown

Coffs Harbour Basketball Association

Mike McNeill, Tactics to Get the Ball Inside (coachesclipboard.ca)

•    the duck-in is a weakside low-post move done when the defender plays below the attacker

•    the weakside low post faces the basket and steps across the defender with his inside foot and sits on the defender’s thigh

•    the inside elbow goes into the defender’s chest to form an “L” with the palm facing the passer

•    the target hand is usually low for a bounce pass, but the pass can go high if there is a significant size advantage

•    the passer must get tight to his defender to make the pass, taking one dribble at the elbow to close the gap then fake high and pass low with a knee-to-knee bounce pass

•    when the post goes to the basket to score it should in the direction he came from, away from help

•    on a hi-lo post downscreen, the screener jump stops then forward pivots across the defender with the foot furthest from the ball and swims with his outside arm over top of the defender

•    a pass from high post to low post should a two-hand overhead pass, therefore the pass to the high post should be high

•    on a big-little downscreen to post up, the screening and pivoting is the same as the hi-lo downscreen

•    after the cutter gets a pass at the wing he will often have to take one dribble towards the baseline to improve the passing angle

•    a small-to-big backscreen can be used to get the ball inside and relieve pressure

•    the post must cut shoulder to shoulder to force the xscreener to help, take the cut toward the front of the rim to force the defender higher (above the line of deployment), and not cut past the defender, allowing the defender to easily get over top and front or side front

•    the post swims back by taking his baseline arm over top and in front of the post defender and steps across the top foot of the defender with his baseline foot

•    the passer may need to take a baseline dribble to improve the passing angleup

Scott Clark, Motion Offence Principles (coachesclipboard.ca)

•    posts have 3 chances to score in transition - on the run, front of the rim, on the block

•    post as deep as possible and get a piece of the paint, straddle the first marker on the lane, maintain contact and move the defender higher or lower

•    establish your position one pass ahead.

•    when a posts catches he must look to score - see defence over inside shoulder - look cutter and diagonal kick out

•    the weakside post needs to flash if his defender loses vision of him or over-commits to ballside defence (call for the ball)

•    do not cross lane on a reversal pass or seal until the ball is changed to the wing so as to not take away the wings back door cut

•    in-out game - posts gain ground after they kick out, shooters are responsible for creating a pass lane when spotting for a kick out (let the ball see you)

•    on catch by a post the other post needs to cut to the front of the rimup

Alison McNeill, Motion Offence (coachesclipboard.ca)

•    the post is allowed one block-to-block cut per offensive position - you can only cut if you are open

•    face in as the ball comes down the floor.

•    look to duck in when the ball is at the diagonal swing spot or high post and your defence is flat

•    pin screen - post screens a weakside defender who is sagging into the lane, should set the screen on the lane lineup

Christine Stapleton, Improving Post Play (coachesclipboard.ca)

•    sealing - foot fight and defence on back, or face defence, step in, split defender’s feet, sit and spin

•    post dribble moves - attack the dotted circle, dribble with baseline hand, use top arm as sensor, if defender high to stop middle, reverse to baseline move, if defender stays low attack the top foot (power move or inside pivot)

•    if defence sags off a player who does not want to shoot, use the back down or crab dribble, make the defence move laterally, attack the dotted circle, be ready to pass if doubledup

Lisa Thomaidis (beone.basketball.ca)

•    chair, chin, check, and challenge

•    chair - balanced, feet wide, low as if sitting in a chair, arms 90 degrees at the elbow, palms out

•    chin - just under the chin, both elbows out

•    check - turn the head to see the middle of the floor (do not pivot)

•    challenge - make a move, back to the basket or facing upup

Basketball Canada Level II

•    start above the block, square to ball in the wing (i.e. 45 degrees), target hand away from the defence, catch and chin ball with jump step, drop step baseline foot, one power dribble with both hands between legs, jump stop, power lay-up.

•    or fake baseline side with shoulders, go inside with drop step, power dribble, jump stop and lay-up (option - reverse pivot after power dribble and jump stop, lay-up with other hand).

•    drill - passer in the wing, post player starts help side low and out, cuts into the lane to the ball (ball cut), catch, chin, jump stop, drop step left or right, lay up.

•    ball reversed from the wing to the point, step between defender’s legs and spin inside (reverse pivot) to sealup

Bob Bain, York Yeomen - Offensive Post Play

•    first look should be into the post.

•    post players need to work with perimeter players.

Moving to position:

•    flash - to the ball from weak-side - use inside arm to knife through the defender

•    v-cut - high then low (behind defender), or low then high.

•    spin move - flash, reverse pivot, open up going 90 degrees toward ball-side block.

•    screening - across for weak side, then flash to high post ball side.

•    button hook - from 2 or 3 position, cut to low block, reverse pivot away from baseline to open up.

•    face D - face the defender at low post, ball goes into corner on that side, post reverse pivots to seal the defender.

•    duck in - balls goes to FT line, low post steps in with outside foot, forward pivots to seal defender.

•    circle away - run around defender and back to the ball.

•    go and come back - fake towards weak side, come back.

•    re-post - ball goes to low post, defence sags, kick ball back out, then back into post.

•    post position: make the letter “H”, elbows out, arms bent 90 degrees, wide and stable, butt out, keeps defender away.

•    show the passer your numbers (chest)

•    get a foot advantage - step over in front of defender.

•    put the defender in jail - go to the player, lock her in; sit on the defender’s quads.


•    bounce pass on baseline side to low post, catch and chin it, drop step to baseline, power dribble, pump fake and shot.

•    turnaround jumper - seal, forward pivot, shoot.

•    jump hook - one bounce, two-foot take-off.

•    spin - catch, spin, drive past defender (for small quick posts).

•    face up - catch, forward pivot, take on the defender.

•    Sikma - catch, reverse pivot.

•    locator move - catch and chin it, dribble the ball to find the defender, then go opposite.up


Hal Wissel, Man-to-Man Offence: Passing Game (FIBA Assist, issue 18)

•    you can flash to the high post [from low weakside] when your teammate is being fronted in the low post, and you can flash to the low post if your teammate is being denied at the high postup

Moncho Monsalve, Inside Players (FIBA Assist, issue 9)

•    use both hands

•    play in the low, medium and high posts

•    the best offensive action is from inside to outside

•    encourage 3-point players - basket and 1.

•    should be good free-throw shooters

•    role as distributor - high/low, reversal to other side, finds spot-up shooters

•    play facing the defender, allow him to define his position, then pivot so he is behind you

•    if he gets a foot out in front of yours, reverse pivot

•    if right-handed, initially start on the right side

•    the most difficult action to defend is the flash cut to the ball

•    think when you get the ball, not before, the defence will always tell you which way to score

•    if a post player does not signal a target with his hand, don’t pass to him

•    get the ball on the low post - score, pass; on the high post - pass, score

•    master three shots - jump shot (with or without fake or dribble), hook ( with and without dribble), power

•    don’t always wait for the shot to be taken before looking for offensive rebounding position

•    the use of one hand is only effective in offensive rebounding (tapping)

•    drill - 3 on 3 under the hoop, no jumping for rebounds

•    if a perimeter ballhandler’s defender is two steps away, don’t pass into the post, dribble to force the defence to get closer, then pass with a better passing angle

•    don’t keep the ball above the head before passing, this tells everyone the intended direction of the pass

•    the best pass for inside players is the bounce pass, they have more time to see it

•    if you pass inside, move - cut, or move to a free space

•    if your defender goes to help on the post, attack the back of his neck

•    if he doesn’t move or turn his head, go any directionup

Bruce Brown & Joe Callero, Offensive Drills for the Post Player (FIBA Assist, issue 4)

•    get on the line of deployment between the ball and the basket

•    v-cut into position from the weakside

•    determine location of defender

•    if behind and not making contact, attacker glances at his bottom foot to see if the defender has a foot outside his own, if not, drop step power move, if yes, same move to the middle, or shoot turnaround jumper to the middle

•    or check defender’s top foot, may get him to move that way

•    or check over the baseline then top shoulder

•    if overplayed on one side, do a quick roll around the defender, pinning on the other side

•    when moving across the key, don’t move in a straight line, use v-cut and change of pace

•    step into the key as if screening or cutting away from the ball, then reverse and come back to the block

•    to get open for a pass from the high post,

      •    jab step with the inside foot, then step over defender’s top leg and seal

      •    step across the lane and seal on the opposite side

      •    step between his feet and quick pivot to seal him below

      •    flash up with a quick step up the lane to meet the ball

      •    step up toward the ball if fronted, seal and look for the lob

•    follow every shot in a shooting as if it is going to be missed

•    order of options is pass, shoot, dribble for high post; shoot, pass, dribble for low post

•    on a turn and face, think shot immediately if the defender’s hands are lowup

Larry Dean Jackson

•    only one dribble (power) allowed

•    sit on the defender’s thigh, if he steps around in front, step over the top of his foot

•    keep contact with the defender, release when the ball is passed

•    face move - face the defender, spin in either direction to pin

•    slip move - step through with bottom foot if defender moves from high side to front, step through with top foot if he moves from bottom to front

•    come-back move - fake crossing the lane and come back opposite the way the defender is playing

•    if fronted, reverse pivot on the top foot on a pass from the wing to the top

•    catch, chin, check over baseline shoulder

•    all pivots are front pivots

•    drill - passer, low post, defender, progress no defensive pressure, 50-75%, 100% but both players instructed, live (add a coach at the top to work on face move, and sealing on pass from wing to top).

•    three basic post moves

      •    baseline drop-step power layup

      •    baseline bank shot (front pivot on bottom foot)

      •    lane jumper (front pivot top foot)

•    advanced moves

      •    baseline hook shot (half front pivot on baseline foot, shoot)

      •    lane jump hook (power dribble middle)

      •    baseline up and under (forward pivot baseline foot, shot fake, step-through middle)

      •    lane up and under (forward pivot top foot)

      •    lane drop-step power layup

      •    hook shot (long step inside with top foot)

      •    spin move (forward pivot on bottom foot)

      •    add a fake turn first up

How to Exploit Mismatches in the Low Post (American Basketball Quarterly, 2006Q3)

•    hook shot can be the great equalizer

•    some teams hedge too long on pick and roll, or get caught up in the screens in switchingup

Keith Cooper, Down Under (American Basketball Quarterly, 2005Q2)

•    early moves are drop step; turnaround jump shot, shot fake shot, shot fake step through; paint catch jump hook

•    then - jump hook fake, drop step reverse pivot; step out, reverse pivot face up; shot fake, step through

•    come out and meet the pass

•    another critical skill is relocation on penetration by a perimeter playerup

Jim Hayford, Offensive Post Play (American Basketball Quarterly, 2004Q2)

•    know your place of comfort - where you are most effective

•    be ready to receive the ball including “sharp elbows” (elbows extended)

•    go get the ball - shorten the pass

•    drop step power move

•    face up and shoot or step-through crossoverup

Greg Brown, Down Low (American Basketball Quarterly, 2004Q1)

•    Pete Newell said basketball is over-coached and under-taught

•    first way to get open is to run the floor, posts have four seconds to run from defensive box-out to offensive posting

•    run a straight line rim to rim

•    the second way to get open is a v-cut, change speed with every change of direction, rule is high/higher and low/lower - if defender is high, walk him higher, plant to change direction, then leg whip with the high foot that started the v-cut

•    third way is to create a passing lane, i-cut up the lane on baseline penetration, step to the short corner on middle penetration

•    once open, work hard to stay open

•    post play is a battle for the feet, post attacker’s feet should be between the defender and the ballup


Coffs Harbour Basketball Association Coaching Manual (Australia)

•    the low post player stands with one shoulder pointing to the basket and the other shoulder pointing to the ball at the wing position

•    if the defender overplays a pass, the low post puts his high-side foot slightly below the defender’s high foot, forward pivots, knocks the defender’s arm up, sits on the defender’s high leg, and puts his arms in the surrender position to provide a two-hand target

•    alternative footwork could be a stab step to the low side of the defence as a backdoor fake, then step over the defender’s high foot and sit on the high leg

•    on receiving the ball, low post moves are

      •    step through on the high side

      •    face up, shot fake, shoot

      •    face up, shot fake, step past the defender on either side

      •    drop step on the low side

•    if the post defender is even with or lower than the low post attacker to defend a baseline drive, the attacker uses an inside bent arm bar, provides a lead with the outside hand, on catching the ball forward pivots on the inside foot and can

      •    face up, shot fake, shoot

      •    step through on the high side (being aware of the help defence), or under for the baseline drive

•    if the defender attempts unsuccessfully to intercept the pass, the low post reverse pivots on the inside foot and drop steps

•    when the ball is in the corner instead of the wing, the low post will be in a low surrender position, on the catch will head and shoulder fake on the side where the defender is to check his position, then drop step opposite.up


© 2007-19 Eric Johannsen