This article was written by Jason Eaker who is the assistant men’s basketball coach at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Jason has been with Liberty for the past 5 years and has been the Liberty Flames assistant coach for the past 3 years. Jason is a graduate of Texas-Pan American college and before that was a starter on the Hardin Simmons basketball team.
Coaching Basketball Post Play
How many times as a coach or a player have you walked into a gym to watch a workout with post players and seen a coach throwing the ball into the a post player and seen him show off his array of post moves? From a jump hook to a up and under coaches over the years have spent way too much time on these small skills that very rarely happen in a Division 1 basketball game.
Before a young big man can ever start showing off the skills of a Kevin McKale or a Tim Duncan with a wide variety of post moves he must be able to catch a finish around the rim when guards penetrate and pass them the ball.
Practice Game Like Scenarios
We as a coaching staff here at Liberty try to put our bigger players in workouts that are very game like. As you develop your workouts for your bigs try to match your workouts with what is actually happening during games. What we try and explain and drill into our post players heads is that guards will throw them bad and unexpected passes all the time. In every drill we constantly force our bigs to have their hands up even as they move around.
Basketball is a BANG BANG sport for post players. A quick drive by your point guard who will try and deliver a quick pass to a big man are plays that will either help your team win or be that small margin of a loss. Those Bang Bang plays between guards and bigs are a big part of your season. If your post players can catch passes around the basket and quickly finish with a high success rate your team will be that much more dangerous on the offensive end.
As you read think about your own team and think back to your last game. How many times did your guards enter the ball to a big on an isolation play and you and your opponent let him play one on one basketball? In our studies of our games over the years at Liberty not very many possessions play out in that way. But on the flip side how many times did your guards drive the lane and throw some sort of pass to a big man around the basket?
What we began to ask ourselves as coaches is why are we not working on that more in our workouts with our post players. We spend over half of our time with our bigger players putting them around the basket or cutting to the basket in an open area trying to catch hard and difficult passes by us coaches and our managers. We want our bigger players to have to try and catch 30-50 hard and difficult passes each day in a practice session.
Good post players can react with their feet and have proper reaction when a pass comes their way in order to catch and finish a play near the basket. If your post players careers really are defined at times by how well their hands can react to the action then why not make it a big part of what you do on a daily basis.
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