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‘Trap Passing’ Forces Quick Decisions

Passers are trapped by a pair of defenders — attacking and pivoting through the pressure are the keys to making a successful pass to a partner

Traps are a part of the game. If your team or a specific player shows they can’t handle pressure, expect to see more of it. Practice against traps and pressure every day.

Two offensive and two defensive players are at a basket. One offensive player has a ball.

On the whistle, both defenders close out and trap the ball handler [1]. Without dribbling, the ball handler must find a way to get a clean pass to the partner. The partner snatches the ball out of the air and immediately gets it into a secure position as both defenders close out and trap [2]. The new ball handler faces the same task of not being allowed to dribble but pass to the partner while facing a double team [3]. Go back and forth like this for a specified amount of time, number of completed passes or number of turnovers forced by the defense.

The player with the ball attacks one trapper by pivoting through the pressure — no dribbling, no stepping to the side and no holding the ball over the head. This changes the level of the trappers and takes away the defense’s 2-on-1 advantage.


Michael Austin

About Michael Austin

I’ve dedicated my professional career to advancing the education of basketball on a local, regional and national level, but my love of the game took off on the outdoor courts of my hometown in Massachusetts. From youth hoops to the highest level of collegiate basketball, I’ve witnessed and reported on it all, and I’m ready to take this knowledge to provide you with the best coaching publication available – Basketball Coach Weekly.
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