In youth basketball many teams deploy a full-court press because most young players have not yet developed good enough skills in the areas of ball-handling, passing and court vision. To take advantage of these lack of skills, many coaches throw a full-court press to quickly accumulate a lead in the first few minutes of the game and to also demoralize their opponents into submission.
The tactic works more oten than not.
So how does one beat a full-court press? Or, how should one position his team to beat a full-court press? Let's start by first understanding what most teams try to accomplish with a press and how one can use this information to develop a game plan to beat the press.
Three Key Points:
The most effective trapping area is just over the half-court line because this prevents the offensive player from stepping back or throwing the basketall back beyond the line.
The reasons these areas are the most effective trapping spots are because the inbounds lines and the half-court line acts as another defender.
In the picture you'll notice 1 is trapped by the defense in the corner. If 1 steps to far back or to far to the side he/she will be out of bounds.
This is an example of how the boundary lines can essentially become another defender.
There's several ways to avoid getting trapped in the hot-spots. One way is by passing the basketball before the defense can come to set the trap. These can be forward passes or backwards passes depending on what the defense gives us. Notice in the diagram to the left how being trapped just over the half-court line has taken away the option to make a backwards pass. If 1 passes the basketball back over the half-court line it would be a backcourt violation.
Another key option to avoid trapping hot-spots is to teach the team not to dribble into a trap. In the diagram, if player 1 would have either passed the basketball back or not dribbled over the half-court line he would still have all the options available to pass or dribble away from the trap.
The one area of a basketball court without boundary lines is the middle of the court. This area is essential to any press break offense.
When one gets the basketball to the middle of the court one can often dribble through the press because this takes the boundary lines out of play for the defense.
Without the inbounds lines or the half-court line it makes setting effective traps very difficult.
These concepts can be used not only to learn about breaking a full-court press but to also use the trapping hot-spots for your own press defense.