The 1-2-1-1 zone press pressures the inbounds passer, and attempts to trap the first pass receiver. You can call either " one fist " or " two fist " options from the bench to change your strategy a little, and confuse the opponent. With one-fist and two-fist, always try to deny a center inbounds pass ... force (allow) the pass to the corner.
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For better or for worse, the 2-2-1 press is very effective in youth basketball because it takes advantage of most players lack of strength to pass over the top of the press. The 2-2-1 floods the front court with 4 players and forces the offense to beat the press with smart cuts and passing (which is hard for most youth players to do).
Set up the 2-2-1 zone press like this (see Diagram A). Have two players set at both ends of the free throw line. Two other defenders should be positioned just inside the half-court line, and the fifth player plays "prevent". The inbounds pass is not contested or guarded. Do not allow a pass in the middle of the floor.
"80" is an aggressive 3/4 court press with trapping in the back-court. "70" is a "safe" press with just mild pressure designed to control the tempo and burn some clock. "76" looks like "70" with mild pressure, but then an aggressive trap is made once the ball is across the half-court line, in the corners.
Zone Press. There are many variations of a full-court zone press that teams can run depending on the team's personnel and how the coach wants to play. Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses, but all of them can be run effectively by the right team.
The secret of the 1-3-1 zone press is the double-team. Teach your players not to get overanxious. The players who make the double-team seldom steal the ball. They should concentrate on an aggressive double-team without fouling and close off any escape outlet the ball-handler may have. Don't grab or slap at the ball.
We’ve decided to go the easy route and have devised our “ridiculously simple press breaks.” They are effective against zone defenses and are easy enough to install into any offense that even entry-level and youth coaches can use them. DIAGRAM 1: Press Break 1 (A). 5 passes to 2 or 1 (2 in this case) and steps inbounds. If 2 or 1 aren’t open 3 breaks to the top of the key for the pass. 4 breaks to the basket.
With a zone press, the defensive players guard an area on the court. This makes it easier for the defense to clog certain areas of the court and apply the double team. Zone pressure can come in almost any formation but the most common formations you'll see are:
This is a crucial part of attacking man or zone presses that like to trap. Any time there is a trap, you want (1) sideline, (2) middle, and (3) reverse options. Some coaches like the fifth player to be diagonal, while others prefer him or her to be deep. Regardless, these first three options are essential.