Newsletter #133

May 1, 2018


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Today's Quote:
"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." - John Wooden

Today's Theme... Full-Court Pressing
Press defense extends your defense into the opponent's back-court. First you must decide whether an uptempo, pressing defense is best for your team.

Do have team quickness, well-conditioned athletes, and a good bench? Will your players "buy into", commit to a pressing defense?

Whether you press or not, you must have good Transition Defense.

Trapping press

Advantages of a Good Press Defense

A good press can quickly produce back-court turnovers, steals and easy baskets for your team. So it is an offensive weapon as such, and a way to come from behind, or a way to break open a close game, and a way to wear down a slower, less well-conditioned opponent.

It may help nullify the opponent's "bigs", who may labor to get up and down the floor. You can turn the game into a "track meet", rather than a slow-down game that favors the opponent's big post players.

The press keeps the opponent off-balance, changes the tempo of the game, and often has the opponent doing things they don't normally like to do. It often forces the opposing coach to use valuable time-outs. It favors a well-conditioned team with a deep bench, and with more substitutions, allows more of your players to get playing time.

Disadvantages of a Press Defense
A fair amount of practice time is required to develop a good, cohesive press. Also, remember that any press is a gamble (especially trapping defenses). You risk giving up the easy transition lay-up, and you have to be willing to accept that fact.

If your players are not well-conditioned, fatigue can become a factor. Your players may be more apt to foul and get into foul trouble, so a good bench is very valuable in this regard as well as the fatigue issue. But you might want to press only in certain situations (e.g. after a made basket), or certain times of the game, as a "surprise" tactic.

We like the full-court match-up press defense for our high school level teams:
Match-Up Press Defense

Teaching the Match-up Full-Court Press - Breakdown Drills

When teaching the match-up press, we break it down with drills (see article above). The drill progression for teaching the match-up press looks like this:
1-on-1 drill
2-on-2 drill
2-on-2 cut and double drill
2-on-2 run and jump drill
3-on-3 drill
4-on-4 drill
5-on-5 drills vs various press break formations (1-Up, 2-Up, 3-Up, 4-Up) using "80" press and the "81" and "61" deny presses.

Somwhat similar to the match-up press is the Run and Jump Press Defense.

You might also choose a zone press such as:
1-2-2 Full-Court Zone Press

Full-Court 2-2-1 Zone Press

1-2-1-1 Diamond Zone Press

For youth teams, I favor a simple full-court man-to-man press:
Full-Court Man-To-Man Pressure Defense


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