Press Break Offense Guide
Time to read 14 min
Written by: Chris Hungerford
Time to read 14 min
A big test for any team is the ability to break a full-court or half-court press. There are a number of presses a defense can throw at you, but the key to breaking every single one of them comes down to the execution of fundamentals and making game-time decisions.
Your team must have a solid set of fundamentals such as passing, catching, and dribbling. If your team can do these actions well then you’re already a step ahead of the defense. The other area you need to focus on is developing your team to make game-time decisions such as knowing when to use pass fakes and taking care of the ball to not commit silly turnovers.
In this article, we’re going to dive into Press Break Offenses. We’ll discuss the keys to a winning press break along with some points of how a press break can fail. This article will show you a universal Press Break but will also have plenty of Press Break tips, Press Break plays, and Press Break drills for you to use for your team.
By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know exactly what your team needs to work on to develop a successful Press Break.
Every team can benefit from having a Press Break Offense ready to go when your opponent switches things up on the defensive end. Preparing your press-breaking game plan is an important part of the game, but one of the least practiced. A Press Break Offense is built for a smart, patient team that can work together and utilize passing the ball to find the gaps in the pressing defense.
I highly recommend a Press Break Offense for a team who knows what offensive tactics to use and execute the game plan accordingly for their team. If each player can understand what to do in the press break then there’s going to be an opportunity to score on every offensive trip down the court.
A team successful with a Press Break Offense needs fundamentally sound players, especially when it comes to passing, catching, and dribbling the ball Players who know how to use skip passes and ball fakes are going to do well in this offense. If your team also has players who can take care of the ball and read the defense to stay a step ahead then you will be able to beat any press defense.
Coach Chris shows you how to beat a full court press every time by talking about the concept of breaking the press. Every press break will end up looking like this if done correctly. Doesn't matter if it's a half court trap or a full court press. The alignment Coach Chris talks about is how you break it.
Does your team have a go-to Press Break Offense? If you don’t already have a press break strategy then consider using Coach Will Rey’s press breaker. It’s a universal system that can be used to attack any press.
In Rey’s DVD, Universal System of Attacking Presses, he teaches you a system that uses three near outlets, one deep threat, and a trailer.
Essentially, his universal attack is designed to allow the ball handler to make only one quick decision: Am I being double-teamed (trapped!) or Am I being guarded by a single defender? Based on this decision, a press attack is initiated.
This Press Offense is a great option because it’s very easy to learn because players only have 2 reads: if there is a trap, you do this and if there’s no trap coming, you do that.
Let’s break it down…
Player Positions - this press starts in a 1-3-1 format
Basic Actions and Reads
No Trap Situation
Check out the 1-4 Press Break to destroy a man to man press!
In this video, Coach Chris breaks down the 1-4 Basketball Press Break so that you can stop getting trapped on the inbounds pass. If you are facing a Diamond or 1-2-1-1 Press Defense where you get trapped in the corners or have a hard time getting the ball inbounds the 1-4 Across Press Break is a great press break to use.
UCLA - Wooden Press Break
X Press Break
Cuba Press Break
Being a strong press break team comes from developing and preparing your players for these types of pressure situations.
You spend time developing their fundamentals such as passing, pivoting, and using ball fakes.
Equally, you spend time solely preparing for pressure by putting your team against press defense and different pressure situations.
Drill #1: 1-on-1
This type of situation works on patience, decision-making, teamwork, and game understanding.
Just because you put players in a press break formation doesn’t mean they will be able to do it. You need to spend time in practice working with them passing under pressure and traps.
The best drill to use to prepare for Press Defense is a full-court pressure progression.
Starting with your players playing 1-on-1 (Drill #1) and working up to 5-on-5 (Drill #2).
Switch it up by using more defenders than normal or taking away dribbles.
In Drill #2, you'll see the players going 2 on 3 which means 2 offense players against 3 defense players and they are not allowed to dribble.
By doing this you make your team really work to beat the press defense.
Drill #2: 3-on-2
Pressing and traps can happen in the half-court as well. It’s always a good idea to have your team prepared for this type of defensive attack.
Here is a solid Half-Court Press Break courtesy of Coach Rey. Check it out!
If your opponent traps in the half court…trap occurs on the ball handler with the trapper coming from the wing
If your opponent traps in the half court...trap occurs on the first pass to wing with the trapper coming from the top
If your team can execute these basic actions in a half-court trap situation then you should be able to bust the defense with these passing options!
Any press break starts with being able to inbound the basketball. For a successful press break, you want to have a better-than-average inbounds passer to get the ball inbounds.
It’s not always as easy as it seems trying to get the ball inbounds against a pressure defense. Your inbounder needs to be a strong decision-maker with great technique. If your team has this type of inbounder then you’ll be able to limit unnecessary mistakes that could cost your team.
Here are some passing tips for the Inbound Passer:
The Universal Press Break Offense has the potential to be unstoppable for your team against any press defense. We have given you the foundation to implement this into your game plan, but there’s always more to learn.
The best learning tool on the market is the instructional DVD, Universal System of Attacking Presses, from Coach Will Rey. He uses on-court demonstrations to teach his system and thoroughly covers all aspects and key factors of handling pressure.
No matter what type of press you face by renting our basketball press break DVDs you'll learn the best way to break it and easily score vs. the press. You'll get to the point where you hope teams press you so you can score easy baskets.
Rent from our selection of basketball press break videos from top coaches today by going to HoopsKing.com.
To break the press you must control the tempo and not let the defense force you into set traps on the sidelines. You must be able to make quick decisions and practice patience when breaking the press. You also must know the rules and whether you can run the baseline. To learn the in-depth keys to having your team break the press click here.
Drills that help break the press are those that practice fundamentals of pass-fakes, pivots, and passing. Drills that involve game-like situations and pressure situations will help your team keep composure & gain confidence. Watch these open practice videos for exclusive access to breaking the press drills HERE.
The first rule to breaking a press with traps is to keep the ball in the middle and to pass the ball rather than dribbling too much. Keep team composure and patience, scanning the court for diagonal cuts and any trapping situation to stay clear of. For more in-depth access to breaking the press click here to watch some of the best coaches teach the press break offense.
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