Fundamentals of Post Play and 2 Effective Post Moves for Basketball
Whether you're a big man or a guard, you should have basketball moves for the post. Need an example? Look at LeBron James. Early in his career he played out on the wing a lot. However, if you watch him now, you see he does a lot of his scoring from the block or mid-post. He has added post moves to his game, and it has made him almost impossible to guard one-on-one.
If you are a younger player, there's a good chance you have not yet learned the fundamentals of playing in the post. It's important to learn the basics.
- Get your work done before the ball gets there. Playing in the post is all about getting position and eating up your defender's space. If you catch the ball in the post with your foot in the lane, you have the advantage. To do this, learn to use your hips and back to drive your opponent backward and put yourself in position to receive a pass.
- Stay low and wide. When you battle for position in the post, stay low to stay strong and keep the defender from driving you out. You also want to stay wide so the defender can't reach around you and deflect the pass. To stay wide you need to put your arms up at a 90-degree angle. This is called "thumbs in your ears" or "field goal posts." Don't wrap your arms around your defender as you post up or you could be called for a foul.
- When you get the ball. Once you have the ball in the post, there are multiple post moves you can make. I am a firm believer that it is better to do a couple of things really well than to do a bunch of things not so well. You need to master some basic post moves, like the jump hook and jump hook counter. After that, you can add up and under moves, quick spins, and other moves.
- Attention to detail. Mastering a specific basketball move is all about paying attention to the details. Two big components of the hook shoot and the jump hook counter are footwork and making contact with the defender's body. You always want to keep your body between the ball and the defender; and before you shoot, you want to make contact with the defender. The reason why you do both is because they prevent the defender from blocking the hook shot.
- Reading the defender. Notice how your defender guards you in the post. For example, if you start to go to the middle and you feel the defender sliding over to cut you off, you can't keep going forward. You need to use your counter move and step back to the baseline. The more you practice your moves against live competition, the easier it will be for you to read your defender.
Here are a couple of videos you can watch to see how to do these two moves. After that, it's up to you to get in the gym and master them.
Notice the leg whip and body positioning the offensive player uses to shield the defender and to get a better angle for the hook shot. Be careful not to over use your elbows when doing the move—you don't want to be called for an offensive foul.
Jump Hook Counter (Drop Step Move)
Once you have beaten your defender to the middle a couple of times, he will try to cut you off with his body. This is when you use the drop step or jump hook counter move and beat him to the baseline. Really focus on selling your move, making contact and using good footwork to get your hook shot off.