One of the areas that we as coaches always look to improve on is how to handle pressure, whether it is full court presses in the open court, or half court traps on the perimeter. Because if your guards aren't ready to play against pressure, then your team won't even have the chance to get into all that stuff you've practiced for your half-court offense and early offense.

In this short video clip, Coach Tobin Anderson demonstrates how your guards can beat the double-teams and the pressure. Take the trap low, take the trap wide, then rip and pivot.

Obviously if the player is a forward or center and is much taller than the players trying to double-team, he should look to go over the top. But if it's a guard who is of equal or lower height, get low and pivot. Move the defense, then look to either pass out or split the double team,

The absolute worst thing is to turn your back. Once you do that, you have no way of seeing the players in front of you. Also, if you still have your dribble, make sure your players know how to effectively use change of speed to crab dribble then explode.


I've seen teams spend a whole week of practice on their press offense, but zero on the fundamentals of playing against pressure. Press offense is great when you know exactly what your opponent will use. What happens when you play against a team with a different trap or press? Spend another week preparing another press offense? More than any press break, teaching your players how to react to pressure, what to do when they see a double-team coming and making good decisions will ultimately lower your turnover rate more than any press offense.

For more drills and skill development info specific to guard play against pressure, check out Bruce Weber's DVD on press break fundamentals. Head over to the X's and O's Basketball forum to discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics.