Published on

Handling Double Teams: Maintaining Composure and Finding Options

  • avatar
    Sports Tips

Handling Double Teams: Maintaining Composure and Finding Options

When you’re controlling the post like a boss, double teams are inevitable. Defenders do it to neutralize your threat, but if you master handling these situations, you turn the pressure back on them. Here's how to maintain composure and make smart decisions when facing double teams.

Recognizing Double Teams Early

Stay Awake, Stay Alert

The key to outsmarting a double team starts with your awareness. Keep your head on a swivel, and don't get caught napping.

  • Scanning: Constantly scan the court. Look out for tell-tale signs of a double team. Is the weak-side defender creeping closer? Are two or more defenders making eye contact or signaling?
  • Communication: Listen to your teammates. Effective communication is crucial. They can alert you to incoming pressure you might not see.

Advanced Scanning Table

IndicatorWhat to Look ForResponse
Weak-Side InformingDefender looking towards you and taking initial steps toward the keyPrepare to pass to a weak-side teammate or re-position
Eye Contact & SignalsDefenders exchanging glances or hand signalsTighten handle and scan for open teammates
Defender’s FeetFeet pointing towards your positioning; aggressive close-inPivot to a counter move or initiate a post pass

Maintaining Composure

Control the Tempo

Panic is your enemy. Double teams thrive on your mistakes.

  • High Basketball IQ: Trust your skills and your instincts. Remain calculated with every move.
  • Core Strength: Keep a strong, solid stance. Use your core and legs to hold your ground.
  • Use Fakes: Employ head, shoulder, and ball fakes to disrupt the rhythm of the defenders.

Key Composure Drills

  • Resistance Training: Practice against simulated double teams using resistance bands.
  • Mirror Drills: Use mirrors to work on reactive fakes without actual defenders.
  • Mental Visualization: Spend time mentally rehearsing double-team scenarios and your responses.

Finding Options

Smart Passing

Effective post play isn’t just scoring – it’s playmaking.

  • Quick Decision Making: Execute swift, precise passes out of the post to open teammates.
  • Working Angles: Use bounce passes to cut through defenders' legs or overhead passes when defenders' arms are down.
Passing OptionsWhen to UseExample
Weak-Side SwingEarly in the double team, especially from the weak sideLook to switch to a waiting shooter or slasher
Inside-OutWhen defenders fully commit to the double team near the basketFind a guard open outside the three-point line
High-Low PassingWhen a tall defender guards you tightlyFind a cutting big man or a wide-wing player

Creating Space

  • Dribbling Out: Use reverse pivots or dribble your way out of double teams, repositioning yourself while maintaining possession.
  • Sealing & Spacing: Use your body to ‘seal’ one defender while carving out space for a pass with off-ball movement.

Decision-Making Flowchart

    Recognize        → Evaluate positioning of defenders
     Decide           → Is an immediate pass viable?
      ⬇︎        ↘︎             ↘︎
   Pass         No → Execute advanced move or reposition  →  Assess pass opportunities


Handling double teams proficiently is a blend of mental sharpness, physical preparedness, and strategic execution. By recognizing them early, maintaining composure, and finding the best options, you can turn double teams into double trouble...for your opponents.

Remember: Stay alert, stay poised, and always play smart. Got any other tips or drills that have worked for you? Share them below, and let’s keep elevating our game!

For more deeper dives into basketball strategies, check out our other articles and subscribe for weekly insights and tips!