Improve Your Post Player's Touch Around The Basket With These 5 Drills
By TJ Jones

Great post players like Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Kevin Love have developed great touch around the basket. They can make a move to the rim with contact and put the ball softly off the backboard for the basket. They also have the ability to score offensive rebounds by tipping the ball with one or two hands. I have a few drills I like to take my post players through to help develop their touch around the basket.


  1. Plageman Tips (Slam Put Backs) – I came up with this drill for a post player I was training to help with his timing and scoring off tips ins. To perform this drill, the coach will stand underneath the basket with a ball while the player stands in front of the rim. The coach will then slam the basketball on the ground and the player must time his jump and tip the ball into the basket. This drill can be performed by the player tipping the basketball in with hands, the right hand only or the left hand only. Go for time, makes, or reps.


  2. 1 Hand Tips – In this drill, the player tips the ball off the backboard with their outside hand (hand furthest away from the basket). Select a number of tips for the player to do and have them score the final tip. For example, if you have your player doing 5 tips they would tip the basketball off the backboard 4 times and score the 5th tip.

    1. Alternate 1 Hand Tips (Part 1) – For this variation of the drill, the player will start with the basketball in their inside hand and tip the ball off the backboard. After a set number of reps they will immediately start tipping the basketball with their outside hand and finish by scoring the final tip. For example, the player will tip the basketball 5 times with both hands scoring the 10th tip. Player will tip the basketball 5 times with their left hand. After the 5th tip they start tipping the basketball with their right hand. On the 10th tip they score the basketball by tipping the basketball into the basket.

    2. Alternate 1 Hand Tips (Part 2) – For this variation of the drill, the player will alternate their hands after each tip. For example, player 1 will perform 10 tips off the backboard scoring the 10th tip. The player will start the basketball in their inside hand and tip the ball off the backboard. The second tip will be with their outside hand, third tip with their inside hand and so on and so on until they get to the 10th tip. On the 10th tip they score it by tipping the ball through the basket.


  3. Tip and Go Get It – In this drill the player will tip the ball off the backboard with their outside hand and then on the second tip he/she will tip the ball to the other side of the rim. Grab the rebound with two hands and finish with a lay up or dunk. Continue the drill from the other side you started from. Perform drill for a set amount of time, reps, or makes.


  4. Over and Back Tips – In this drill the player will tip the basketball off the backboard with their outside hand. On the final tip they will tip the basketball to the other side of the rim. The player must quickly switch to the other side of the rim to continue the drill. Once on the other side, they will continue tipping the basketball with their outside hand. For example, the player will tip the basketball off the backboard with their left hand for 5 tips. On the 5th tip they will tip the ball over the rim to the opposite side of the backboard. The player must quickly switch sides and continue tipping the basketball with their right hand for 5 tips.


  5. 2 Ball Alternating Tips – Once your players have begun to show improvement with 1 ball tips, you can now challenge them with 2 ball tips. During this drill the player will start with 2 basketballs (one in each hand) and alternate between tipping the basketball with their left and right hand.


These are a few drills I have found to help improve post player’s touch around the basket. There are a number of variations that can be added to these drills. There have been times I have the player get the final tip with two hands and score after a pump fake or take a dribble and finish on the other side of the rim.

If you really want to push your players you can add contact to the drill. Make them finish the tip while being fouled. Most importantly make sure the expectations go with their skill level. I wouldn’t start a beginner with alternating 2 ball tips. Start slow and as they progress demand more from them.




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Nancy says:
10/9/2013 at 7:59:58 PM

We started with drill 1, tipping it in off the bounce, and his timing improved the first time.
Can't wait to progress thru the others.

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Brad says:
10/22/2013 at 10:16:31 PM

I especially like this drill for our kids having difficulty understanding positioning under the basket and being able to adjust to various non-typical tips.

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