Handling Pressure and Traps: 1v2 Zone Press Drill

By Nate Sanderson

Here is a great new drill for handling pressure and beating traps!

This drill also puts a unique spin and variation for starting the traditional 1v2 pressure ball handling drill...

Drill Purpose:

Typically when players are trapped in an actual game they will pass the ball to an open teammate.

However, the purpose of the drill is to improve our individual ball-handling against pressure. Specifically, this drill simulates a defensive rotation common to many half-court trapping defenses.


  • The dribbler receives a pass from the middle of the floor.

  • The first defender begins on the passer then retreats to converge with the second defender to double-team the dribbler as one would experience against a half court trap.

  • In the video, the offense plays until they reach the volleyball line or there is a turnover.

    You can also have the offense play live to score.

In this drill, the offense will have an initial advantage and space in the middle of the floor between the defenders. Their ability to split the trap before it can be set is one of the quickest ways to defeat a full court press if you have players who are capable of doing so with the dribble.

Additional Constraints

  • Move the dribbler slightly ahead of the passer to create a greater advantage for the offense.

  • Adjust the starting point of the second defender to change the spacing and timing of the trap.

  • Direct the chase defender (x2) to deflect the dribble from behind rather than trapping.

Drill Tips:

Question for Improving Vision - Another common question you can ask is, "Where is the space?" Similar to the game of soccer, you want to see the space between defenders. Basketball is a game of space and time - players must be able to recognize open space on the court when they have the ball in their hands.

A Note About Fouling - While we want our defenders to be aggressive, we often tell our players, "If it's a foul in a game, it's a foul in this game." Each day you do this drill, it's important to communicate your expectations regarding how much physical contact should be allowed. You can adjust the amount of physical contact allowed based on your objective.

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


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John Tobin says:
1/18/2020 at 11:31:45 AM

Great job coach !! I have a rotation drill and a modification to Coach Wooden’s 11 man drill. I got coach’s permission before he passed. I’m still trying for basketball heaven.


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