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“What ‘Posting Up’ Really Means”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on February 22, 2007

Ruth Riley, USA Basketball, posts up versus Team Cuba
Ruth Riley (USA Basketball/images)

You are big or at least bigger than the person guarding you. Mismatch! One of your teammates, the one that likes to tell everyone what to do, starts barking, “Post up, Post up”. You think, okay, I haven’t touched the ball in the last fifteen possessions, can’t hurt to try. So, you run down to the block and look and look and look for the ball to be passed in. No ball. Nothing. What’s up with that? Your teammate, who it turns out came off the bench for a team that went to the Sweet Sixteen in the mid-80s, is not impressed with your “post up”; obviously just being “in the post” does not qualify.

During the next break in action, here’s what your teammate will tell you to do: make contact with your back against your defender. Lean right into him/her so that you can manipulate and react to any movement the defender may make. Almost like boxing out for a rebound. So, you run down to the post, to an area above the block, around the first marker. Still running forward, you run INTO the defense (arms across your chest). You then turn while continuing to push into the defender, but this time with your back and backside. (The bigger the backside, the better the post up!) You bend at the ankles, knees, hips and waist, anywhere you can bend, bend. This provides stability and strength so when the defender pushes back, you won’t give up the position you’ve established. Next, turned, you make eye contact with your Sweet Sixteen coach-on-the-floor and you get your “arm bars” up: elbows out to the side at shoulder height, hands up at ninety degrees. You spread out making yourself big. Bigger and bigger yet. And you start yelling “BALL, BALL!!!” Now, everyone in the gym knows you are really POSTING UP!

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