Power forwards can play various roles on a basketball team. Some power forwards are primarily rebounders and defenders. Others contribute low post scoring. An occasional multitalented power forward also shoots from the perimeter and may even do her share of the ball handling. Regardless of your power forward’s role, there are plenty of drills that can help improve her game.
Post Play Drill
Power forwards must typically rebound on both ends of the court. When a big player such as a power forward grabs an offensive rebound, however, she should look for the opportunity to attack the hoop immediately. To practice boxing out on both ends, defending in the low post and scoring a put-back on the offensive side, place your three power forwards, or your tallest three players, around the basket. Shoot the ball -- try not to put it through the hoop -- and have the trio battle for the rebound. Whoever gains possession immediately puts the ball back up and tries to score, taking no more than a single dribble, while the other two defend the shot.
Solo Rebounding Drill
The most dedicated basketball players are known as “gym rats” because they’re in the gym working on their game after everyone else has left. A solo workout is usually a good time to practice shooting, but a power forward can also practice her low post skills. Take a basketball and stand on the block, then flip the ball off the backboard so it bounces toward the far side of the hoop. Follow the ball and catch it at the highest point of your jump. Come down in a strong position with your knees flexed, elbows out and the ball about shoulder-high. Face the baseline, which will help shield the ball from defenders in a game. From this position, practice a move to the hoop and take a shot. Do the drill from both sides of the basket. If you can get someone to remain with you, have the other person guard you after you grab the rebound.
Basketball was once dominated by shorter, quicker players. George Mikan, a 6-foot 10-inch college and pro star, began changing that dynamic in the 1940s and 1950s. To improve Mikan’s agility his college coach, Ray Meyer, developed the drill now known as the “Mikan Drill.” Stand next to the basket, then lay the ball off the backboard and through the hoop. Catch the ball as it falls through the net as you quickly step to the other side of the rim and lay the ball in again. Continue laying the ball in, alternating sides of the hoop, for at least 30 seconds. Keep the ball above your shoulders at all times and perform your layups as quickly as possible.
The power forward typically guards another low post player, so she should have plenty of shot-blocking opportunities. To practice blocking shots, and recovering her position quickly, position two offensive players in the low post on both sides of the lane, then set your power forward in the middle. Pass to one of the offensive players, who takes the ball directly to the hoop. The power forward tries to block the shot, then quickly moves back into position as you pass a ball to the second offensive player, who also takes the ball strongly to the basket.
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