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Basketball Drill - Press-Break Passing Drill

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @

This drill teaches players facing full-court pressure and a trap, not to panic, to locate a receiver and make a good, crisp pass. Often the first pass after the in-bounds pass is the crucial pass in breaking the press, and is also the one often intercepted by the defense. This drill practices the in-bounds pass reception and the first pass up the court, either to the center on the ball-side sideline. And we can also use it to learn how to deal with the trap itself (see below).

Use three lines for the offensive players (yellow). Use three defenders (assistants). Have two set the trap, after allowing the in-bounds pass. Have the third defender play the gap between the two offensive receivers and try to intercept the pass. You could use a manager or coach to make the in-bounds pass.

Press-break passing drill

The offensive O1 player receives the in-bounds pass. We teach our inbounds receiver to get into "triple-threat position" when receiving the pass, rather than just putting the head down and starting to dribble.

We like to square up and face the trap, bent over in a basketball position, with the ball on hip away from the trap. We never want our trapped player to either stand straight up, or to hunch over and turn his/her back to the trap as in both cases, the defenders can simply close-in and tighten the trap.

Instead, get into triple-threat, see the floor and your open teammate and make the pass. Or, aggressively attack an outside leg of one of the defenders. Sometimes, you can split the trap if the defenders are not "knee-to-knee"... here we teach our players to bend over, get low and strong like a football player going through the line with one low power dribble forward.

In this drill, we immediately try to locate the open receiver and make the correct pass, with "zip". The passer should use an "air" pass if possible (as the bounce-pass is easier to intercept), and may need to use a head, shoulder or pass fake to free up a receiver.

See also: Attacking the Full-Court Press.

Helpful DVDs:

Bruce Weber: Drills for Breaking Full-and Half-Court Presses

Bruce Weber: Drills for Breaking Full-and Half-Court Presses

with Bruce Weber, University of Illinois Head Coach; 2005 NCAA Runner-Up.
In this DVD, Coach Weber assembles the pieces that make up a successful press attack; it must be simple, provide continuity and be consistent. Features of this presentation include Press Attack by Fast Break, which requires a quick inbounds pass to the point guard up the floor. Nine drills are shown, including the 18 second drill and 35 second drill that challenge players in the full court. A big part of Weber's press breaker is running the baseline to counter what the defense presents. Weber shows over 10 drills that he uses every day in practice. These include the Keep Away drill... (more info)

Price: $39.99
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Roy Williams: Tar Heel Offense & Transition Drills

Roy Williams: Tar Heel Offense & Transition Drills
with Roy Williams, University of North Carolina Head Coach; 2009 and 2005 NCAA Champions. Explore the secrets of the Tar Heel offense with four-time National Coach of the Year, Roy Williams
Get easy baskets using this tournament-tested transition offense.
Discover drills to improve your primary and secondary breaks.
This offensive system guided North Carolina to 90.2 points per game in 2009.

Many of Roy Williams' current beliefs were developed in his early days of coaching high school basketball in North Carolina. This basketball DVD will illustrate the "Tar Heel Running Game" with the use of players in an impressive on-court demonstration. This style relies on running the floor and sharing the ball with teammates. Advantages of this style are that the running game negates the defense's ability to get set, which leads to many easy baskets. Coach Williams covers his three offensive rules against a set defense... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now

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