How to Post up

Learning to 'post up' on offense in basketball will give you a great advantage.


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    Get in position. Go down low in the key, near the block, and prepare to receive the entry pass from your teammate.
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    Prepare for the entry pass. Place your back against the defender and make as much contact as possible.
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    Bend your knees. This will seem to make you shorter, but it will allow you more mobility and faster reaction time to jump for the ball. This also helps give you a lower center of gravity.
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    Set a wide, stable stance. This will give you more power.
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    Call for the ball. Usually you can use your outside hand to get the ball, while your inside hand can fend off the defense and keep control.
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    Catch the entry pass. Be aggressive; you have to want it. If needed, jump towards the ball so that you create separation from your defender.
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    When your teammate throws you the ball, give your defender a good strong bump. This will keep him from reaching in (it's seldom called) and stealing the ball.
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    Check for the double team. If a defender doubles on you, wait until he is close to you to pass the ball. Hopefully your teammate is smart enough to cut to the basket when he is open. If not, just pass it back out.
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    If there is no double team, start backing your opponent down. Dribble close to the ground with your back to your defender and push him under the basket.
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    Check again for the double team.
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    If he goes for the steal, spin away and make a layup.
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    If you successfully get him deep under the basket, grab the ball with two hands, get way down and jump into your opponent while turning. This move must be lightning fast. Make sure you get the ball over or behind your defender's head. This makes it impossible for him to block your shot without fouling you.
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    If he is bigger than you and you can't move him, give him a good bump and take a turnaround fade away jumper. This shot takes a lot of practice. Alternatively, pivot and fake like you are going to shoot a turnaround, then jump towards the basket and lay it in as he flies past you or jump into him and get the shooting foul.


  • Basketball is a physical and mental game. Use both.
  • A good post defender will bump you so that you lose your balance. Stay low, use fakes and draw fouls when necessary.
  • Even though size is an advantage, speed and power are more important. Practice your quickness to make the most of your post play.
  • The biggest misconception about posting up is to "not bring the ball down." This oft-repeated statement only makes sense if you grab a rebound or catch a pass in traffic. Even then, you should get out of trouble before you are swarmed. Just smile and nod when shorter players yell this at you.
  • Keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings.


  • Basketball is a physical sport. Posting up underneath can draw physical contact. Make sure you are in good physical shape to push yourself to the limit. If not, you may injure yourself badly.
  • Most people in pickup games have no idea how to throw a good entry pass. Don't be frustrated if the guard throws it right to your defender.

Things You'll Need

  • A basketball
  • Determination

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Basketball