When planning your player development program for a post player it is important to break their strengths and weaknesses down first. Decide what their skill is that will get them into a game first. For example: Energy big, shot blocker, post scorer, defender. It’s important to work around their strengths and weaknesses. In most cases players are who they are if a player has zero feel for scoring in the post don’t try to turn them into Kevin McHale. Try to get them to be a basic scorer and work to their strengths.
Post Players To Look For On Youtube: Kevin McHale, Yao Ming, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Andrew Bynum,Dirk Nowitzki, Ryan Anderson, Zach Randoph
Touch Around The Basket
Post players need to be able to have good touch around the basket. It doesn’t matter if the player is a low post scorer energy player, or strictly a rebounder having touch around the basket is so important. Getting your player multiple repetitions shooting hooks and lay ups is a good start. Putting them through the Mikan drill is also another great drill to use. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on it every day, but 5-7 minutes per workout is a great way to develop touch around the basket.
Having good touch is good on tip-ins, post offense, and rolls to the basket. This is an important skill to have at any position. It is especially important with young players.
Rim Running/Transition Offense
Not every post player is a scorer, but that isn’t exactly a death sentence. Post players can have an impact on the game with playing with energy. Being able to run to the rim in transition is such a great skill to have. NBA players such as Tyson Chandler, Serge Ibaka, and Joakim Noah aren’t great post scorers but can have such an impact on the game with their ability to run in the open court.
Being able to beat your man up the court in transition can open up high percentage lay-ups on the break. What it also does is it forces other players to leave their assignment to bump the big to stop the easy lay-up. This can enable drivers and spot up shooters to get open with the confusion of the rotations.
Even if you don’t get an open lay-up in transition it can lead to them getting deep post position early in the shot-clock. Teach your post players, especially the first one down the court to run hard to the rim and if they don’t get the ball to post up on the ball side block.
Back To The Basket Offense
Don’t get caught up in teaching a million moves to your post players. Teach your players one or two moves that they are comfortable with. A good start is to teach shooting hooks and jumpers over both shoulders with no dribble. Stay on the low block and don’t let them drift too far out. Since every big man wants to drift out to the perimeter keep them as low as possible with their position on the block.
Once they get the hang of the hooks and jumpers add a counter. Shoot up and unders WITH the dribble. Have them finish without a dunk so they can work on their touch around the basket as well as range on their hooks. Another good and basic move is the 1-2 dribble back down to the middle and shoot a jumper/hook. Add an up an under or drop to to the baseline finish with a hook jumper.
A quick spin to the baseline is a very high efficient move that can be developed over time. Make sure their first step is a long one clearing their defender and protect the ball shielding it from the defender with their body.If the defender cuts them off they can spin back to the middle with a 2 foot hook or a jump shot.
Stay basic with your moves. Especially with young developing big men have them concentrate on establishing deep post position and getting confidence with their hooks on the block. There are a lot of moves out there, but try to hold back until your players master the basics of their craft.
Also teach your big men to be patient when they catch on the block. Give the passer that gave them the ball time to clear out with a cut or relocation before they make their move. Too many players , especially young ones want to play the game too fast. Have them slow down and play off the defense.
Rebounding is a big part of a big man’s game. Spend time with them every day on rebounding drills. Rebounding for the most part is God given. Players are either active or they aren’t as far as going after the basketball or they aren’t. But rebounding can be perfected and preached every day.
First thing to stress is keeping the ball high on the rebound. Biggest issue with young players after they grab a rebound is keeping the ball low and getting it stripped from another player. On the rebound the ball should stay at chest level or above. Whenever the snatch up a rebound keeping the ball high must be stressed by all coaches.
Reading where the ball is going to travel when it hits the rim is very important. You can drill them to death with Superman drills and other things, but having them chase real rebounds so they can get a feel for where balls bounce on misses. Have your coaches/players shoot jumpers from all over the court and have your big men go get the rebounds and keep the ball high on the catch. This will help them in their rebounding efforts.
With defensive rebounding lack of boxing out plagues our game from every level. Players when they see the shot go up ball watch and stare at the ball when it is in flight. This enables the offensive player to go right around them and grab the offensive rebound. Stress to them when the shot goes up find someone to box out teach proper mechanics and then go after the ball. Make sure they get a player on their back and ride them out with their shoulders and elbows.
On offensive rebounds make sure they keep the ball high and put the ball up right away. You can drill them with one hand put backs to work on their touch around the basket.Activity and desire with rebounding is key. Mostly it is self taught, but must be stressed every day and all day.
Face Up Offense
Same rule should apply for face up offense what I stressed for back to the basket offense. Don’t get caught up with a million moves be basic and have them play off of their defender. To start have them use an inside pivot and shoot a short jumper keeping the ball high on the face up.
The key to good face up offense is the ability to move their defender one way on the open up and then drive the other direction. The key to creating space at any position is to move your defender either back/forth, left/right, or up/down. On face ups you can open up with one of four pivots and get a defender to move side to side or you can face up and jab them back to free up space for your jumper.
A defender will always fear the drive and finish for a lay-up so they will tend to shift their weight on an open up. Just be patient and play off the defender. Keep the ball high and react on where the defender leans to.
Playing Out Of The High Post
Get our players comfortable to play out of the high post. It could be a simple catch square up and shot, or if they aren’t a shooter they can work on catching opening up on a pivot and then driving the other direction to the rim for a finish. You can also work on catching squaring up and then passing to a wing or corner and initiating screen and roll.
High post offense is getting more popular in offenses from high school, college, international, and NBA basketball. I think that high post offense should be implemented in all post player workouts. At least getting their footwork in tact so they can be an option when getting the ball from their.
Passing is important at every position. With big men it is important to teach them to enter the ball to the low post from the high post. High/lows are a lost art in our game and should be taught from the lowest of levels. Drilling it on your players flashing from the weak side post to the top when ball side post is fronted is a good way to drill it.
There are many ways that they can enter it. A very important part of the high low is keeping the ball high on the catch. Having your big men work together on this can improve their interior passing together. It helps them to be familiar playing with each other
Screen Roll/Pop Offense
Make sure on screen and rolls that your screeners have the mentality to make contact with the defender first. I know in drills sometimes you dont have people for them to screen, but it is important that they understand the concept of giving the ball handler the advantage with hitting their defender with a screen. On rolls to the basket make sure that they roll hard to the rim.
Rolling hard to the rim puts pressure on the defense to bump them to stop an easy pass to the rim This can open up so many other options on offense from the defense rotating off of that. Hard rollers have an impact on the game even if they dont get the ball on the roll. Putting fear into the defense that they will get it sometimes is just as effective.
On pick and pops make sure that contact is made from them and the defender. When the screen is set make sure that they clear space between them and the ball handler giving the ball handler space to throw the pass. On the catch they need to be shot ready to get it off quickly.
With advanced big men you can teach them to catch on the pop and when the weak side big rotates to them they can catch the ball and drive to the basket as well. On a high pick and pop if they catch on the elbow you can also teach them to throw to the corner if its filled and set another screen and roll. Many options that should be talked about during workouts
Big men are always a work in progress. Point guards and big men take the longest to develop. Have patience in their development and understand that they will make mistakes. Some days they will look great, others not so much. Like all players it will take time. Keep them motivated and make them understand that they can have an impact on the game other than scoring.
Continue to make them better and believe in themselves.