Square Up

You've heard it on TV broadcasts over and over again: get "squared-up" with the basket every chance you get when in possession of the ball on offense. What does this mean and why is it important? Getting "squared-up" means that you are facing the hoop, and can see both the defense and all your teammates.

This is the position you want to be in when in possession, rather than letting your defensive opponent turn you away from the basket, or make you turn one direction or the other. The obvious exception to this is if you are posting-up low near the hoop and need to keep your defender on your back or hip.

Why do you hear "get squared-up" over and over? Because "squaring-up" gives you at least four options: By facing the hoop and your opponents and teammates you can see everybody and the basket, allowing you to: drive right; drive left; get off a jump shot; or execute a pass to a teammate.

Having all these options make you much harder to defend than allowing a defender to limit your options by turning you one way or the other or forcing you to turn your back. Some players will turn even with little defensive pressure just out of habit.

Whenever you are practicing from now on, practice "squaring-up" very quickly every time you receive a pass. Also practice good positioning when expecting to receive a pass or coming off a screen, so you can receive every pass already "squared-up". Rather than letting the defender limit your options, this will quickly force the defender to drop- step back in order to defend all four of your options.

Practice a quick square-up all the time, and make yourself very hard to defend. Good luck.

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