Basketball Training For Guards Vs. Post Players

There are so many different basketball training drills online and I would say that 90% of them are for guards, but what about the post players?  Or should post players do the same drills that guards do so they can develop their guard skills?  These are very common and valid questions that alot of players have.

In this article I will go ahead and breakdown my personal basketball training philosophies and by the end of this you will understand exactly how you should plan your workouts and where the differences lie between training a guard vs. a post player.

My Basketball Training Philosophy

I am just going to touch quickly on this because I have an entire article already written about this that can be read here, but I do want to give you and overview so that you can understand where I’m coming from.  I believe that your skill set on the basketball court is THE most important thing.  Skills can kill and everything else comes second.  Shooting is like brushing your teeth.  It’s something that EVERY player needs to do everyday no matter what position.  Why?  Because this is a skill that I truly believe improves with repetition.  For some players it improves ALOT with repetition and with others it takes a little more than just reps, but either way you will see at least some improvement with practice.

When working to improve your ball handling there are two things that every ball handling drill you do should focus on improving and that is:

  1. Dribbling faster and more powerfully
  2. Adding new moves to your tool set

Here is an example of a ball handling drill that works to make your dribble faster and more powerful:

Here is an example of a ball handling drill that works to add more moves to your game:

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I know there are many trainers out there that use alot of different kinds of basketball training equipment such as tennis balls, and cones, and I too use that stuff with my advanced players, but that is not the basis or foundation of my workouts  or philosophies.  I still like to work on game situations.  I take those game situations and I tweak them to make them more challenging then they would be in the game by either making the player jump from further out, or add some difficult footwork.  This makes this same situation in the game easier for the player to handle and allows them to approach that move or whatever with full confidence.

To sum all that up, I use this formula whenever I am designing a new drill:

Quality x Quantity = Improvement

Quality = How game specific and challenging a drill is

Quantity = The number of repetitions you can get in a certain amount of time

Ok, now lets get into the whole debate of basketball training for guards vs. post players…

Basketball Training For Guards

No two players are alike, so you can’t train them that way even if they play the same position.  I really break that philosophy down and what I mean by that here, so check it out if you have time.  But if I was to summarize what basketball training for guards should look like, here it is:

15- 20 minutes

  • Advanced stationary ball handling
  • Ball handling drills that utilize 2-3 dribble moves

40-45 minutes

  • Spot up shooting midrange, threes, deep threes
  • Shooting running off screens
  • Shooting off the dribble
  • Creating your own shot drills

20-30 minutes

  • Finishing
  • Situational drills per position

So with this 90 minute workout the guard has an opportunity to work on all aspects of his or her game and although alot of this stuff is for guards only, some will overlap for post players because they too are playing the same game, just in a different way.

Basketball Training For Post Players

Now the big debate begins.  Should post players work on their guard skills so they can transition to play the guard position at a higher level?  I won’t get too into the topic because I would like to write an entire article on this discussion at a later date, but let me give my quick opinion.

Many players are tall in middle school so they play down low but end up never growing.  So when they’re seniors in high school they are too short to play in the post, but haven’t developed any guard skills either to allow them to play on the outside.  Therefore, these players end up on the bench or not on the team at all.

The truth is that even if those certain players never had to play inside when they were young and were always deemed as guards they still would not be the kind of guard that has crazy handles and a three point jumper, etc.  At the same time, you definitely need to be able to make the transition to the guard position if you don’t grow to save your basketball career and make the team later on.  I hope I’m not confusing you and if I am let me try and clarify.

If you are a post player you need to work on post play.  At the same time you can work on developing your guard game in a way that can compliment your post game.  Therefore, if you end up having to play guard at a later date due to your size you have a solid guard skill set you can build on which will make the transition easier.

So with that said let me break down how basketball training for post players should look like:

15-20 minutes

  • 2 ball stationary pound dribbling
  • Full court basic crossovers
  • Full court drill working on dribbling against defender

70-80 minutes

  • Spot up shooting from midrange and three point line
  • Low post moves
  • High post moves
  • Shooting out of setting screen
  • Wing moves out of triple threat
  • Pull up jump shots

Here is a great shooting drill for post players that I make all my post players do:

10 minutes

  • Finishing against contact

With this type of basketball training I will be able to slowly develop a post player to be able to catch the ball on the perimeter and still score the basketball by using the moves we worked on in the wing moves and pull up jump shots.  Also, by doing ball handling drills that force the big man to bring the ball up against a defender will help him to be confident in doing so in a game so that he can grab a rebound and go coast to coast if needed.  Although there are some things similar to what the guard workout looked like, it is much more different than it is similar.  The main focus of the workout for the post player is to improve his ability to make plays down low or with his back to the basket.

Conclusion

No matter if you are a post player or a guard there are two things that always must be a part of every workout and they are ball handling and shooting.  Especially, spot up shooting because like I said this is a big part of the game and can always be improved and sharpened.  Also, post players need to work on the basic aspects of being a guard so that they can be effective when they are out of position and need to make a play.

Basketball training for guards differs from post players in that guards need to practice taking shots running off screens and post players need to practice scoring the ball out of setting screens as that is usually the roles these positions take in actual games.  Post players need to practice scoring the ball with their back to the basket and guards need to practice scoring the ball by creating their own shots.

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