Full Court Pressure

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The goal of a full court press is to get you flustered so you turn the ball over. When you know the press is coming, keep calm and know your plan of attack. Keep your head in the game and keep the ball moving. Go over the press break offense often so you never forget how it works. Get the ball in-bounds quickly. The longer you keep the ball out of bounds, the longer the defense has to set up their press.

Full-court press

If you can inbound the ball quickly then you put some of the pressure back on them. If you are the designated inbounder, always remember to grab the ball quickly after the other team scores and get into position, ready to pass. If you are typically the first player in-bounds to get the ball, start moving and watch for the pass. Run the baseline if your opponent just scored. Where you throw the ball in-bounds from is important, so whenever possible pick a spot between the basket and the corner. Learn to move back and forth to shake your defender.

Learn to move along the baseline in a way that you can easily pass the ball around the defender who is guarding you. Inbound the ball to your best passer. One this player gets the ball, they should get past half court quickly, as you only have 10 seconds to do this.

Basketball Defense - Full-Court Man-To-Man Pressure Defense

Once they are past half court, they should look for the next pass. When you are up against a full court press, you never want to turn your back to the defender who is guarding you. This immediately allows them to close the distance between you and them. It also takes away your ability to see your teammates and watch for an opening. Keep your free hand up to keep the defender from getting too close to the ball. Scan the court for open players. Since passing is crucial to breaking the press, knowing where your teammates are and who is open is important.

How To: Break Full Court Pressure off the Dribble Without Doing Too Much

Never watch the ball as you dribble. You need to find a groove of scanning quickly enough that you see everyone but slowly enough that you notice when someone is open.

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Get the ball to the player who is in the best position to make the play. Make quick, smart passes.


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When you have to dribble, do it for a short amount of time while you look for the next opening. Smart passes mean seeing potential defenders who could steal the pass and avoiding them. Get the ball to the hoop. Your main objective is still to score points, so once the immediate pressure if off, focus back in on the main point.

Once the ball is across the half court line, pass it to your best shooter and either have them drive to the basket, or take a jump shot from where they are.

Basketball Attacking the Full Court Press, the Coach's Clipboard Basketball Coaching and Playbook

Passing the ball from player to player is good to find the right opportunity, but if the defense is running a full court press then you are probably limited on time. Try to keep it to passes total for the play. One pass to get it inbounds. One to get it across half court, or after half court.

And passes to get it to a player who can score.

full-court press

Beat the press after a missed shot. Once a press is broken, however, the defensive team is vulnerable to a potential fast break or open three-point opportunity since defensive players may be caught behind the play. Effective press breaks employ quick passing more often than dribbling to advance the ball up the floor. Short, quick passes are less prone to turnovers than either long passes or dribbling. Another effective way to break a man-to-man press is to pass to the center. Most presses keep a "last man back" usually the center whose job is to disrupt a potential fast break resulting from the press; this may leave the offensive center unguarded and able to receive a pass near midcourt or near the basket for an easy score.

The term first came about around Gene Johnson , head coach at Wichita University now called Wichita State University is credited with creating the full court press. In the s, Hobbs High School , New Mexico boys' basketball coach Ralph Tasker began using a man-to-man pressure defense from baseline to baseline, buzzer to buzzer.

This defensive strategy resulted in numerous turnovers and scoring opportunities for his teams. The Hobbs Eagles team scored points or higher in 14 consecutive games, a national record held for 40 years. Arkansas's coach Nolan Richardson observed and adopted Tasker's up-tempo pressure defense while coaching at the high school level.

His zone press was an adapted and improved version of Gene Johnson's full-court press. He used it for the first-time with French team JA Vichy in This defensive style was then reproduced by other French squads and quickly became popular in other European leagues. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.