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Basketball Post-up Dribble

What is a post-up dribble in basketball dribbling?

Post-up dribbling is essentially dribbling in the reverse gear.  It is very different from normal dribbling in that you are not trying to evade or outmaneuver your defender.  Instead, you are trying to use your bodyweight to bump your defender out of position so that you can score an easy basket.

What do I need for post-up dribble in basketball dribbling?

A good sense of rhythm: To effectively bump your opponent out of position, you need to apply the force in a rhythmic, periodic manner

Strong dorsal muscles: You need to have a strong back to apply forces on your defender as well as withstand any repelling force of your defender

Salient legs: You need to repeatedly push your body backward for a powerful post-up dribble.  Strong legs allow you to sustain such a movement

What is the general procedure of performing a post-up dribble?

(Post-up dribbling is a cyclic motion, repetition of a few steps)

  1. Turn your back pointing towards your defender and the hoop*

  2. When you are clinging to your defender, push backward with your legs

  3. In other words, it is a small backward hop bumping into your opponent**

  4. lean back on your defender with your back for space

  5. Repeat step 1 to 4 until you are at a favorable position

*You are positioning your body in a way that will get you to a good shooting spot (i.e. under or right in front of the basketball hoop.)

**A word of caution: you can only bump in with your back, initiating with your shoulder results in a foul.

TIPS: When you are backing up, your opponent s body is usually tilted to one side to repel you.  Attack his weak side.  Extend your legs into the slot to compete for space.

What are the combination series of basketball moves that incorporates post up dribbling

Name of the basketball move: Spin-n-lean

Steps: Drive (with speed) > Fake-spin > Post-up dribble (low) > any post-up basketball moves (see post-up)

Difficulty level: Upper intermediate

How and why is this basketball move useful?: A move built for relatively faster power forward or relatively more powerful small forward.  This move is a combination of speed and power in that you have to make the transition from fake-spin to post-up really smoothly

Name of the basketball move: Jordan's trademark

Steps: Post-up dribble > Pick up the dribble > head and shoulder fake to the right > heel-pivot spin to the left > Fade-away-jumper

Difficulty level: Advanced

Comment: An incarnation of Jordan s classic, invincible basketball move.  It is difficult in that it combines dribbling, power, speed, fakes, pivots, and shooting off-balance into one move.  Very hard to master. Very hard to guard.

When do I use the post-up dribble?

About you defender:

  • He is weaker than you are

  • He is faster than you are

  • He is shorter than you are

  • He is a very good ball-stealer

About the situation:

  • When you catch the ball in the low post and tightly guarded

  • When it is not your shooting day

  • When you catch the ball on the side where you feel comfortable to hook

Pros and cons about post-up dribble



  • Your body shields the ball from your defender, prevents stealing

  • Works well with semi-spin moves with your body turned already

  • Allows the execution of drop-n-pick plays; creates shooting room

  • Maximize the mismatch in power

  • Only slow advancement is possible

  • Increase the difficult of performing normal set shots or jump shots (must turn around beforehand)

  • Energy consumption is huge

  • Runs a larger risk of injury due to increased amount of contact


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