Special Situations: Breaking Zone Presses

Breaking presses are all about great spacing, simple reads, and solid decision-making. In this post, we'll look at our zone Press Breaking concepts; Regular & Stretch.

Breaking full-court pressure is one special situation that all coaches need to be prepared for. There is perhaps no quicker way to lose a game than to allow teams to go on extended runs due to your inability to handle full-court pressure. Outside of preparation breaking presses always boils down to having great spacing, creating simple reads, and making solid decisions when we are inevitably trapped. As we put together our plan for breaking presses we want to have a find a way to allow our players to do these things in the most simple manner possible.

My approach to breaking presses has always been to keep things as similar to our normal transition offense as possible. In a typical 18-20 game season, we will only see 4-6 teams who truly emphasize pressing. Knowing that heavy pressing teams are in the minority I think it makes the most sense to create a press break that is only slightly different than what we do in transition offense every single day. Whether we are facing an entry trap, a half-court trap, 3/4 court pressure, or a full-court man, we will use the same simple concepts that can be applied to them all. In this post, we will take a look at our basic concepts for breaking zone Presses; mainly our Regular Press Break & Stretch concepts.

Other Special Situations Series Posts to Check Out:

Regular Press Break Positioning -

As we mentioned in the introduction the goal of our Press Break Strategy is to keep it consistent with our transition offense. The inbounder, outlet, sideline player, and middle man are all going to be in the same pace as they would be in our normal Transition Offense. Theoretically when we need to call on our Press Break we would prefer to have minimal change,


Regular Press Break -

Inbound & Outlet:

Just as in transition offense we are going to ask our 4 Man to take the ball out of bounds and our 1 Man to be our outlet.

Typically our 4 Man is going to be one of our more athletic wing players, so it also needs to be a player who can become our "Check Down" player vs the Presses.