I find television programs and books about World War II fascinating. If I have a chance to sit back and channel surf for a little, I will almost always stop on a program discussing some aspect of the subject if it’s on. One night, I was sitting on my couch, watching the movie Patton (great movie by the way). The scene where he and his men were waiting on better weather to provide relief to the soldiers that were pinned down in Bastogne, otherwise known as the “Battle of the Bulge”. Like most of you, I am always looking for ways to better illustrate to my guys what it is exactly that I am looking for and this scene sparked one of those ideas. Patton knew that air support was important for the mission to be successful but due to inclement weather, none was available. He also knew on the ground, with his tanks and ground troops, was where the majority of the battle would be won.
Our post players had begin to slip back to bad habits of trying to seal with their upper body almost exclusively instead of moving their feet and continually fight for position with the lower half of the body. This would lead to their defender being able to easily get into better position and either keep the ball out or be able to get a hand on an entry pass. After thinking about it, I realized that the same thing that was true in this scene of the movie was true in post play. Although, air support (upper body) is critical to the success of an operation, the ground forces (lower body) is what wins the battle.
The lower body is paramount in one’s ability to seal and create angles to the basket before catching the ball. We want to be low and wide while sitting in our stance. Like in football, we say “low man in the post wins”. While sealing, we use the push step to move around on the floor. By doing this, we are able to keep a low and wide stance, keeping our feet outside of the width of our shoulders, while still being able to move quickly. Being able to master this is critical in order to move on to the next part of the lower body fight in the post.
The upper body or air support should be used to prevent the defenders hands from interfering with the entry pass and to be able to cleanly catch the ball. In order to do this effectively, the post player must be upright and not bent over at the waist. He/She should also have their elbows bent at a 90-degree angle with both thumbs pointed to their ears. By doing this, they can either wave off or chop down on an opponent’s hand in the passing lane. This is certainly an important part of the process of creating an angle to score before the catch and catching the ball cleanly, but the real action should take place from the below the waist. Like in the movie Patton, on the ground was where the main battle took place but the air support was an important part of its success.
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