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Basketball Coach Newsletter Issue #62

The Building Blocks of Full-Court Pressure: 1-on-1 Breakdown

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - Leave a Comment

Full-court pressure begins with tenacious 1-on-1 defense. Follow along as University of Georgia head women’s coach Andy Landers breaks down the first building block of his highly-effective full-court press. Coach Landers initially walks through a 1-on-1 pressure drill before players demonstrate at half-speed and game-speed. 

Three Levels of Full-Court Pressure

According to Coach Landers, full-court pressure is all about putting pressure on the ball and creating space everywhere else. It features three levels: The backcourt (where we pick you up and start the press), the half-line area (called the “ready” area – where we play you different than say in the other area of the court), and then half-court defense.

1-on-1 Pressure Drill

This opening drill is something Coach Landers has always used with his teams during the first practices few of the season. Players will buddy up with someone with similar speed and size. Start by getting an offensive person with the ball and then a defensive person ready to guard that person.

Defensively, it’s essential that you keep your nose on the basketball up until mid-court. Also, keep in mind the sidelines of the court. You NEVER want to get beat down the lines. Far too often in a 1-on-1 situation defenders will open when the ball goes by and end up getting beat on the baseline or sideline. When pressing, you can’t afford for this to happen.

Offensively, take the ball all the way to the sideline. When there, the defender should get one foot inbounds and one foot out of bounds. In other words, play through the lines. From there, the defender can slide or turn and sprint, as long as they get their nose back on the basketball.

Coaching Point: It’s key to teach players to sprint until they get their nose out in front of the ball on a change of direction by the offense.

Drill at Half-Speed and Full-Speed

When building the foundation of a tremendous full-court pressure team, everything begins with how defenders approach 1-on-1 situations. Watch as players run through the 1-on-1 pressure drill at half-speed while focusing on keeping their nose on the ball and foot outside the lines. Eventually, players run through the drill at game-speed with commentary by Coach Landers.

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Andy Landers: Building a Tenacious Full-Court Pressure Defense.” To check out more videos featuring pressure defense, click here

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