How to break a half court press (youth basketball)?

by Joe
(New Jersey)

Girls Basketball Picture

Girls Basketball Picture

I have a 3rd grade girls basketball team and I want to find a simple and straight forward way to teach them how to handle a half court press?

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Nov 05, 2010
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Don't Go Back Door
by: Mike L

Grade 3 girls aren't yet able to make a back-door play, which requires the ability to "read" the defender plus the ability to throw a long pass down court (that's why presses are developmentally unfair at beginner levels).

I had a decent Grade 7 girls basketball team last year that couldn't do it. The give-and-go is best against zone, or pick-and-roll against man presses.

Unless and best of all, you've got a great ball handler who can just dribble through the defensive pressure.

Nov 11, 2009
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3rd Grade Press
by: Anonymous

Allow your best ball handler to throw in the basketball to a teammate. When the trap approaches, she fires the ball back to the ball handler cutting straight up the middle... press broken.

Feb 06, 2008
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Wow...a third grade press!
by: Joe Waters - webmaster

Hey Joe,

First off, I'm shocked a 3rd grade basketball league is teaching their players to press.

Players are still developing their offensive ball handling skills - which can be hard enough as it is. When you add the pressure of being pressed...it makes it hard for the players to develop their offensive fundamentals.

Needless to say, I don't agree with pressing at such a young age. However, let me try to help you with your situation.

Without knowing which type of pressing defense your opponents are playing, I would have to say the easiest thing I can recommend is to set ball screens.

Get the basketball to your best ball handler and then have a teammate set a screen for her so she can dribble the basketball down the court.

If you haven't taught screens yet, I would have the girls work on using back door cuts to fake their defender and get open down court for the pass.

These are two simple ways to break the press, if you have a couple of players who can handle the ball good.

Again, without knowing what the defense is doing, it's hard to give you any specifics.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!


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