Basketball Drill: Running The Full Court Trap
A how-to on running the full court trap. Based on purpose and fundamental principles. A description of each positions main job in making the trap successful.
The purpose of a full court trap is to trap the offensive player with the ball. This, in turn, causes either a direct steal or forcing the opposing player to throw a bad pass. This type of defense, although can work extremely effectively, has to be done correctly, or things can backfire. Leaving the entire other end of the floor open to the team with only one or two defenders can be costly if the team can break through the trap. Thus, in order for the trap to work, everyone must know their precise roles and be able to run the play smoothly and effectively.
Positions and Roles:
Each player on the court is going to have a specific place to be based on where the offense sends the ball. Knowing your role is the most crucial aspect of making the full court trap effective.
(1) This player should most likely be your small forward. He is going to be positioned in the middle of the court when the ball is being brought inbounds by the offense. His role is to trap on the middle side of the offender with the ball. He has to work with one of his wing players to trap. No matter what the circumstance, this player will be involved in the actual trap.
(2)We will call this player the other one involved in the trap. If the ball goes to the right side of the court, this would be the right wing. If on the left, this player is the left wing. This would generally be a point guard. Someone fast and very effective on the steal. His job is to also trap on ball side with the other middle guy on his team.
(3) This player is to run towards the middle of the court after the trap has been set. He has to anticipate where the trapped offensive man is going to attempt to pass the ball. Therefore, he has to watch carefully the eyes of the man with the ball and watch where the other offensive players may be.
(4)(5) These last two are generally your largest players on the team. They are not extremely quick and fast, so they are not goin to be trying to steal it that far down court. They, rather, will be waiting for either a long pass, which they will have to attempt to anticipate, or they will be waiting for the offense if they happen to break through the trap. They have an extremely important job as well. The must contain the offense for enough time for the others defenders to get back on defensive and set up whatever type of defense they are setting for that particular play.
It is very important to run this type of drill in practice many times before attempting it in any sort of game situation. If any one of the players gets out of place, the opposing team can easily use it to their advantage. The trap used up a lot of energy and is very intense. It should only be used by teams with a lot of quick players who can get back on defense after the trap is broken. An effective trap doesn't necessarily mean that they get the ball back every time. Most likely, the team isn't going to get the ball off the trap extremely often. But, it is very intimidating, makes the offense work extremely hard, and can even those few added possessions off the steals can help win a game.