Pressure defense and how to easily confuse the offense on every possession

This tip will help you reduce scoring and increase turnovers for your opponents.

You can even use it to confuse the offense on almost every possession.

The constant stress results in sloppy turnovers and lack of offensive flow. And usually, this means a spurt of easy points for you.

The tip is actually quite simple.

You give the offense different defensive looks while using the same rules and principles with your defense. For example...

In Coach Haske's Uptempo System, he runs 3 different types of presses: blue, white & gold. And each one looks slightly different.

However, all of the basic principles and rules remain the same in each type of press.

So even though it appears different to the offense, it's actually the same defense for you. You don't have to teach anything new besides starting positions.

Also, due to Haske's rules and principles, even if you start in the same formation every time, each possession can look different. This is a second factor that confuses the defense.

How Coach Haske Gives The Offense A Different Look On Every Possession

Here is the setup for the different types of presses.


Blue Press - This is the main press that is used most often. Blue press means you play behind the offense. You allow the inbound pass to the corner. Once the ball is inbounded, you follow the rules of the press.



White Press - In this press, the defenders step in from the ball and turn their backs to the ball. They must deny all inbound passes. They turn up the pressure and try to create lazy, high lob passes. The defenders in back play a half front but should not give up a deep pass. Once the ball is inbounded, you follow the rules of the press.



Gold Press - In this press the defenders also step in from the ball and turn their backs to the ball. The difference from the white press is that the 4 man is moved off the ball and begins above the top of the key. This can be used against a great point guard. The 4 man will shadow the point guard.

Coach Haske will change up the press to see how the other team reacts to the change and adjust accordingly.


Even if you're not a pressure team, you can still use this principle for your base defense.

This will help you reduce their scoring and increase turnovers by consistently confusing the offense and putting constant stress on them.

Related Resources:

Keith Haske's Uptempo Basketball System - Pressure Defense, Pressure Offense

Defensive Trapping Tips To Increase Turnovers

10 Keys to Running Pressure Defense Effectively

Full Court Pressure - The Stat You Should Focus On (Not Steals)

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Coach T says:
12/13/2017 at 5:22:17 PM

Beginning to inplement this system this season. But I'm battling with the decision of going straight man to man like coach says in the vids or mixing it up with zone(1-3-1) defense as well. I like the philosophy you guys have in reagards to the benefits of playing straight man defense. But after our preseason games it didn't look pretty. Lol!!! Advice please. Thanks

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
12/14/2017 at 8:27:41 AM

Coach - What is the age level of your team?

  1 reply  

Coach T says:
12/14/2017 at 10:25:24 AM

Middle school(6th,7th and 8th)

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
12/14/2017 at 10:50:13 AM

I would most definitely play man to man at that age level. You might win more games with 1-3-1 zone but playing man to man will be MUCH better for the long term development of your players. Read this article:

I can tell you from personal experience, youth kids that play mostly full court press and zones like 1-3-1 when young, they develop terrible habits that are really hard for me to break at high school level!! Those are usually the worst teams for us at high school. Even if we play 1-3-1 zone and press in high school, the players have terrible habits that don't work as their opponents become more skilled and the only way to have great zone defense is with players that are great at man to man defense principles. It all starts with man to man defense. If kids know that then they have a chance to be pretty good at zone defense later on.

  1 person liked this. 1 reply  

Tyrone says:
12/14/2017 at 1:23:09 PM

Awsome coach!!! Thank you for reaching out and calming me nerves. Lol!!! Really appreciate it!!!Happy holidays!!!🤙🏻


Michael Rice says:
10/26/2016 at 4:34:49 PM

We play a similar press, 8th grade girls, as "Gold". The only difference is we match up normally, man to man, with the inbounder''s defender back as a safety.

Looking at "Gold", do you think it would be conceivable to trap with the middle defender (#4 in the diagram), while have #2 defender cover the possible rotation pass back to the inbouding offensive #3?

My thought is, if the trap is executed correctly, the cross court to the offensive #2 should be fairly difficult.

  1 reply  

Jeff Haefner says:
10/27/2016 at 8:00:30 AM

Generally speaking, it's not a good idea to trap in the middle of the court. The exception would be if the offensive player is in a speed dribble (preferably with head down), you can hit with a double team or run and jump to take advantage of a player in a possible out of control situation.

  1 reply  

Michael Rice says:
10/27/2016 at 2:50:43 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I was thinking more along the lines of if the point caught the ball moving toward the sideline, the 4 defender could come over and the 5 could trap from behind. The 2 defender could take away the reversal to the inbounder.

That would probably be a little risky, though. You don't want to give up as many layups as you get off of it.

I do really like playing full deny on the inbounds. If you have a team that can do it, it gives the opposing team a lot of trouble.

After looking at this, I think I may experiment with moving our "safety" up to closer to where the 4 defender is in this set.

THanks again


Rick says:
10/26/2016 at 6:15:36 AM

Is it realistic for my 5 man to be at the elbow guarding a opponents guard and then asking them to force that guard into a speed dribble? Has anyone done it this way or adjusted the personnel but followed the press rules?

  3 replies  

Joe Haefner says:
10/26/2016 at 9:44:01 AM

If you don't have athletic bigs or it doesn't fit your philosophy, you can definitely tweak it.

Coach Haske likes to have them in the current position for offensive rebounding purposes.

I've seen a team put their non-athletic big pressuring the inbounder in the 4 position.

And the other big who was athletic was at the back of the press.


Jeff Haefner says:
10/27/2016 at 8:07:24 AM

From what I understand, the 5 in Coach Haske's system was their more athletic big. The less athletic big was 4 -- he felt putting that person on the ball (on the inbounder) worked the best for them. I know other coaches have tinkered with positions with success. I also know coaches who have done the exact same as Coach Haske with success. One factor, the big is often inside and could get to the inbounder position quicker (since they were closer than the guards).


Steve says:
11/9/2017 at 10:40:41 AM

I got this video last year and put this into play with my high school sophomores. I put my 5 on the ball, big with long arms. I put my guards as the pressers. My 3 and 4's were good at anticipating and watching the passers eyes. They were my interceptors.

Worked very well, fast paced and fun.

Putting it in right now with a new group.


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