Offensive Tips For Coaches With Shooters & Post Players

Don Kelbick recently answered a question about offense from one of our email subscribers.  It has some great information about utilizing post players and shooters within your offense.  Here it is:


I have one good shooter and two good post players. I need an offense for my team. Anything would help out would be great.

Don’s Response:

If only the answers were easy, we would all be undefeated.

I would need more information to give you an answer but I can give you some concepts.  Then you trust yourself and your instincts, keep it simple, use a little trial and error and I am sure you can come up with an offense of your own.

First, you say you have 2 post players. Most teams don’t have any so you are blessed. However, if they both posses the same skill set or have to occupy the same area, they will get in each other’s way and cancel each other out. That is why the “Twin Tower” experiments (Houston’s Sampson & Olajuon, NY’s Ewing & Cartright) didn’t work out too well.

Next, you say you have a good shooter. The effect of shooters with good post players is profound. If you use him wisely, he will open up many and varied options. Good shooters strip post help. If the shooter and the post player are on the same side, the shooter’s man cannot drop down to help in the post. If the shooter is on the other side, your players will be able to penetrate due to the fact that the shooter’s man cannot help. If his man does help, it will open penetrate and kick opportunities.

Lastly, an old concept but a very effective one. This is what most offenses are based on. The offense, with 5 players, is divided into a 3 man game on one side, and a 2 man game on the other side. Screen-downs with shooters and posts are very effective. Ball screens with kick opportunities are also very effective. You need to have someone to handle the ball though.

Keep your shooter moving, as much as possible. Use your post players to screen for him so the post defender has to make adjustments and that will open the post.

As I said, try and to keep it simple and experiment. Most of all, let the players do what they are good at in areas in which they can be successful.

I don’t know if this helps but hopefully it will at least be a start. Let me know if I can help you any further.


4 thoughts on “Offensive Tips For Coaches With Shooters & Post Players”

  1. Question, I coach in a parks and rec. league the rules state that every player must play 1 quarter of each half.Trying to create substituion patterns is very difficult.Would it make sence to split the team into 2 squads and rotate complete squads when all are present. Some of the kids do not always show up. Skill levels are varied all across the board. This is my first year coaching hoop so I will take all the help I can get. Thanks in advance…

  2. It is best to teach post players dribbling skills where they can dribble from the center court line, or even from end to end, all the way to the hoop for a lay-up using the board, not dunk. Against man-to-man defense with two post players, can open up a lot of scoring opportunities.

  3. Hey Mike,

    Considering that you are in a parks & rec league, I would try to do equal playing time for the most part. Actually, I would advise to do equal playing time for all youth teams. You never know who is going to develop into a great athlete and who is not. Try to get every player to start at least one game. Every kid deserves a chance to start.

    Anyways, one thing I’ve done in the past is devise a numbering scheme. If you have 8 players, you number them 1 through 8. You assign a number to player and tell them to remember that number, because that’s how they are going to get playing time.

    When, the game starts, you put numbers 1-5 into the game. If you play 4 quarters, you can substitute at the midway point of each quarter and at the beginning of every quarter. So, if you have 6 minutes quarters, you would substitute at 3 minutes of every quarter. At the first substitution, you would tell 6, 7, and 8 to go in for 1, 2, and 3.

    Here is an easy way to track who needs to come out:

    Write down the number of the last player that came out.

    So, if 4, 5, & 6 came out. 6 would be the last player. You take the last number which would be 7. That player and the next two players in sequential order come out. In this example, 7, 8, 1 and would be the next rotation to come out of the game. 1 comes out next, because there are no players numbered after 8.

    If it’s possible, you want to have a good post player and a good guard on the court at all times. For this example, you may want to have your good guards numbered 1 & 5. Your good post players numbered 2 & 6.

    If you do not use a numbering scheme, chart out your players’ playing time before the game. You may want to have an unbiased assistant substitute players during the game, so you can focus on what the players are doing out there. If you do not have an assistant, you can also do it yourself.

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