Avoid Getting Trapped

How to Avoid Getting Trapped With the Ball

To be good on offense, you have to start thinking like the defense. To avoid getting trapped, first identify where you are most likely to get trapped and start practicing on staying OUT of those areas. Defenses love to trap in a corner. Or for that matter, anywhere they can use a sideline as an extra defender. The most common places are the corners in the backcourt (where the defense can use the baseline and the sideline to act as two more defenders), just over the mid-court line towards the sideline (where they can use the sideline and the mid-court line to act like defenders), and in the corner of the front-court (where they can use the baseline and the sideline to act as defenders). So rule #1 is to stay out of those areas, and if by chance you find yourself in one of those areas, do not EVER stop or pick up your dribble. Your dribble may be your only weapon.

If you are in the backcourt, try and move forward using the dribble to aggressively advance the ball up the court. Don’t spend time going side to side and don’t turn your back to the defense. By aggressively advancing the ball forward, you will force the trap to also move up the floor which gives you more options and more room to pass if your dribble gets stopped.

As you come up the court and cross over the mid-court line, don’t stop. Keep moving forward, well past the mid-court line. If you don’t, you’ll become a prime target for a half-court trap. You can’t go backwards because of the “over and back” rule. So, you’ll be pushed against the sideline and you’ll be too far from your teammates to make a smart and easy pass. Instead, train yourself to get at least 10 feet deep into the front-court whenever you cross the mid-court line.

When in the front-court, don’t drive the baseline unless you see an opening to the basket. The reason is because as you move up in competition, more teams will try to force the ball to the baseline because it provides them with a convenient trapping opportunity, especially with small guards. With all the big players in the lane, guards will have a difficult time trying to throw the ball out of a trap on the baseline.

Lastly, and most importantly, make sure and practice so you are comfortable dribbling under pressure. When trapping, defenses want you to pick up the ball and turn your back. If you do that, you will make the defense’s job much easier. Keep your dribble alive and attack the defense. If you can get the defense to back up, breaking the trap will be much easier. One of the most effective dribbles against a trap is the power-back or retreat dribble. By dribbling 2-3 quick shuffle steps backwards, you will create space between you and the defender which gives you some room for other options. For instance, if you can get the trappers to follow you, you can explode forward through the trap and they will be very hesitant to trap you again.

Start working on your ball handling today by downloading my free ten minute ball handling workout. Just click the link and have instant access to the workout as well as a work out chart that will help you keep track of your progression.

- Coach Jase

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This entry was posted on December 20th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

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