How to Play Post Defense in Basketball


It is very difficult to guard a good post player in basketball. A good post player will be effective at getting you off balance and out of position. It is your job to prevent those things from happening. Follow these steps to play good post defense.

  • Beat him to the spot. Every post player is more effective the closer they are to the basket. The first key to playing post defense is to keep your man from posting up right under the basket. If you are positioned properly when he cuts to the block to post up you can beat him to the spot and keep him from getting good position.

  • Stay centered. It is very important that you do not lean on one side or the other of the post player's body. They are trained to feel where the defender is and then spin in the opposite direction.

  • Maintain a good defensive stance. When you play post defense it is easy to stand up straighter than you should. Make sure you keep your knees bent and remain ready to move. You cannot put both hands on the post player's back or you will be called for a foul. Keep one forearm on the post player's back just above his rump. This will help you control his movement and keep him from backing you down. Keep your other hand up to challenge passes and obstruct his view.

  • Keep your weight forward. Many post players rely on bumping into the post defender in order to get him off balance and clear space to get his shot off. If you stay up on your toes so you can move quickly and keep your weight forward. With your weight forward you will be better able to absorb the contact and stay close to the post player when he attempts his shot.

  • Challenge the shot. The whole key of playing post defense is to make the post player take as bad a shot as possible and to make the shot as difficult as possible to convert. If you implement these steps to play post defense, you will be able to challenge his shot.

  • Box out and get the rebound. Your job is not finished after the player you are guarding takes his shot. Box him out and make sure that if he misses he cannot get an offensive rebound. Once you or your teammate has the rebound, you have done your job.

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