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Post Player – How to improve?

Does a tall player have to be a post player? Or can it be a short player? There is a lot of the stigma that a tall player is a post player.

To be successful as a post player, height contributed a lot to that. However, it is useless to be very tall if there are skills that are not mastered.

What to master to be a post player?

To be an indoor player it is necessary to:

Feel comfortable playing with your back to the basket

Most of the time post players will play with their backs to the basket, yet not every player feels comfortable doing so.

It requires a lot of practice and experience to be able to play with your back to the basket.

Not being afraid of contact

Inside player positions are the ones that require the most physical contact. Trying to gain an interior position requires a lot of contacts. The ability to withstand contact is essential and still take advantage.

But how do you build a post player?

To be a post player in addition to feeling comfortable playing with your back to the basket and not being afraid of contact, some fundamentals of the game are essential to be a good inside player.


Well-designed footwork prevents players from committing unnecessary violations, at a stage of knowing the game other than the initial one. Not only does it prevent violations, but it also allows you to create spaces and overcome direct defenses.

The moment when we use footwork can have different ways of doing it, but to develop and teach different ways of using it is necessary to teach the basics. 

For example, before we teach stride stop, we must teach how to jump stop.

To master these aspects, repetition is essential. At an early stage of learning the player, I advise you to spend a lot of time on this content as it will facilitate that all other content, both technical or tactical, to flow better. However, if the players are already at a slightly advanced stage, spend 5 minutes in training to repeat this fundamental.

Finish near the basket

In the interior positions, it is important to know how to shoot from a mid-distance and finish near the basket. However, at an early stage, I advise you to focus on improving finishing near the basket. And then the outside shot is improved.

To learn to finish near the basket, you need a set of capabilities that will help to be able to succeed and dominate this important ability in the game.

Finish with contact

To improve the finish near the basket it is mandatory to be able to finish with contact.Inside positions are the ones that require greater physical contact with opponents.

It is extremely important to know “to suffer” contact on one side of the body and to finish with the hand further away, or even to create legal contact to remove the defender from the move, to know how to finish with contact is trainable, many times just the coach “simulate” contact with a pad or a swiss ball.

Diversify finishes

Be able to finalize several ways, using both hands will become a much more difficult player to defend. However we can know how to finish in several ways, but it is also important to know how to read the defender to adjust the layup.

Use different steps

Footwork is the basis for everything in the basketball game and knowing how to use the step according to each game situation will make it easier for the player to finish near the basket. It is very common on the right side of the court to know how to do 1st step with the right foot and the 2nd step with the left foot and finish, but it is also necessary to know how to do the 1st step with the left foot and the 2nd step with the right foot and finish with the left hand on the right. For this, it is necessary to know how to use both feet on both sides of the field.


Inside players often appear alone in areas close to the basket, but far enough to finish in the layup. At that moment, the shot may be a solution for this, it is necessary to be worked out in detail.

The question that all coaches ask – how am I going to improve the shot?

The answer to this question is as simple as the question – Key points and repetition.

For our players to score more necessarily we need to know if they are doing it correctly, so I define 4 key points in which we can qualify an athlete’s throwing technique.

Shooting Foot

The Foot of the shooting hand can and should be slightly in front of the opposite foot.

Hand under the ball

The shooting hand is always under the ball. If your hand is on top of the ball, it will fall, if your hand is behind the ball, the throw will be straight.

Follow the ball to the basket

Following the movement of the ball to the basket is very important so that the throw comes out straight with the basket, ending the movement with the wrist down.

Elbow in line with the basket

Keeping the elbow in line with the basket is always the most difficult, it is very common to see players with their elbows out, perhaps because they saw some “star” on television shooting like this. Therefore, being careful to check and correct if the elbow is in line with the basket is very important.


A very important feature in the interior game is knowing how to gain position. The struggle for a position is quite tough because a good position can easily lead to a converted basket, which is why it often becomes an interior battle.

Footwork and physical ability become crucial to ensure a good position. Sometimes intelligence and tactical experience can also influence position gain.


Finally, a necessary foundation for being an inside player is a rebound.

In the fight for the rebound, the most important is the box-out. Remove my opponent from that area to win the rebound.

However, there are several studies of the rebound. A long shot can be a long rebound, a short shot can be a short rebound. Only they are probabilities and not certainties.

What to do to build an inside player?

The fundamentals described above have to be applied in exercises, it is the first thing to do. Then I work on situations of 1×0 and 1×1. Finally, playing time in that position will help evolution, and the more opposition you have, the greater the growth.

I will leave here some exercises that I do to improve my post players. I always start with 1×0 situations and end with 1×1 situations.

Exercise nº1: American Wheel

Basketball Drill - Shooting: American Wheel

This drill I have already presented in other articles, but it works very well to work finishing in the post position.

The exercise begins with two columns to the wing, all athletes with the ball except the first one column only.

The player without the ball cuts to the basket upon the intended completion and receives the ball from the first player in the column with the ball.

Then, the player who made the first pass cuts to the basket to the opposite side from the previous player and receives the pass from the player who is in the row on the side to which he cuts. And always like this successively.

Exercise nº2: X finishes

Finish - Drill Nº1: X Finishes

The second exercise I also presented in the article on finishing near the basket and also serves to work the finishing in the position of the post player

The exercise starts with four columns, two in the mid-court facing each other and two in the winger position. The wing columns all start with a ball and only the first of one of the midfield columns with a ball. The first player of one of the columns of the mid-court makes 3 passes with the first player of the opposite column of the midfield. After the third pass, he will cut to the basket on the opposite side where he was and finish with a pass from the end.

Rotation: whoever finishes catches the bounce and goes to the end of the row on the side where he shot. The winger who passed the ball goes to the end of the mid-court column on the side where he was. Example: 1-6-2-5-1

Exercise nº3: Post Moves

Basketball Drill: Post Move Drill

The purpose of this exercise is to work simple moves in the post position. It also serves to work the type of interior pass we want.

The layout of the exercise consists of two columns, one column in the wing position with a ball and another column in the short corner on the opposite side. The exercise begins with the player in the short corner column working to receive from the side of the ball in the low post position, the winger column assists the post. Upon receiving the ball, the player makes the move to finish. After completion, they switch columns.

Exercise nº4: Triangle 1×1 Low Post

Basketball Drill: Triangle 1x1 Low Post

A very simple exercise to work 1×1 in the interior position.

There are three columns, one in the final row, and another in the middle outside the three points and another in the winger position. Only the column in the final row with the ball. 

Basketball Drill: Triangle 1x1 Low Post

The exercise is performed with a pass from the player of the final baseline to the player in the middle, the same at the reception passes to the player in the wing. After assisting the ball to the wing, the middle player cuts to the low post position. The baseline player defends the player who attacks from the post position.

Rotation: 1-3-2-1

Exercise nº5: Ironman

Basketball Drill: 1x1 Ironman

The purpose of this exercise is to fight for an inside position that will allow you to gain an advantage.

It starts with two columns to the wing and two players in the post position. One to attack and one to defend. Only one end has a ball. If not able to gain position right from the start, the attacking player must rotate and seal the position to make room for the pass. The ends must pass the ball to each other until one of them has an open pass line to pass the post.

Ready to transform or increase your inside game or that of your athletes?

Reaching the highest level as an inside player is possible, but it must be with these fundamentals. If you are not able to finish close to the basket with contact, to throw from a distance, to gain an interior position, and to win rebounds, you will certainly have difficulties in asserting yourself as an interior player.

I hope it has helped you to be a better inside player or to improve your athletes.

Good practices!

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