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Crossover Dribble and Shot
Crossover Dribble and Shot

The cross-over dribble has become a staple for all great perimeter scorers. These great scorers make it look easy, but see how much goes into this important shot.

Shot Off a Screen
Shot Off a Screen

The screen when set effectively will always create some problems in a defense. This will allow a brief opportunity to take an open shot. See how we do it in this video.

Pull Up Jump Shot
Pull Up Jump Shot

Often the best shot a basketball player will get is before the opposing team's defense can set up. Watch this video to see everything that goes into this shot.

Shooting the Runner
Shooting the Runner

The runner in the lane can be a great way for a smaller player to attack the basket. See how it's done in this video.

One Dribble Control Drill
One Dribble Control Drill

When taking a shot off the dribble that final dribble into the shot pocket will be the most important. Watch in this video an excellent drill to work on this.

Coach Rake

Side-step Move for the Jump Shot

The side-step move for the jump shot is great for creating space to get your shot off. By getting your defender a little on his heals you can set him up to go in multiple directions, making your one-on-one jump shot hard to block.  See how easy it is to put this move into your repertoire.


A Simple Side-Step will give You Just enough Space

This is a move I have watched Paul Pierce do against my favorite team numerous times. The way you’ll pull off this move is to look like you’re driving to the basket initially. For this move I’m only using one or two dribbles. You’re going to push with your inside foot off to the side and rise up for jump shot. This move works best if you’re pushing in the direction of your shooting hand.

The reason being is because your defender will be on your weak side and by a just pushing off to the side a little bit you’re creating more than enough room to get off a shot. This is also forcing the defender to make a hard contest of the shot, and the only way they would be able to block it would be to foul you.

It’s also a good idea to keep your dribble alive as long as you can because you can use the side step as a distraction to get your defender out of position to drive by him for an easier shot. Paul Pierce uses this best in the mid-range and when you’re practicing it, make sure you’re exploding off your inside foot to get as much separation as possible.

Step-back for the Basketball Jump Shot

Using the step-back is one more way to free yourself in basketball to get your jump shot off. As with all the best moves in basketball the step-back for the basketball jump shot allows footwork to get you free rather than using the dribble. Check out how it’s done.



The Step-back Is not a Fall-away Jump Shot

The step back is a move that everybody should know how to do properly. A step back is not to be mistaken with the fade away. To properly do a step back you want to look like you’re driving to the basket so the defender will guard you low with his hands toward the ground. After you convince them that you’re driving on them you want to take your inside foot and push backwards. Drop back a couple of feet, rise up for the jump shot, straight up and straight down.

If you do this properly the defender will have no chance to contest your shot, but first you have to sell that defender on the fact that you’re going to drive. The step back also sets up other things as well. If you do a step back the defender will try to come out and contest your shot which leaves them off balance, and you can keep your dribble alive and take it by them. Just remember that the farther out you go the more difficult a step back is.

You have to make sure that you’re low on the dribble while on the step back and low going into the shot to get enough power to get the shot to the basket without forcing it. So make sure that you take these shots well within your range. Also, this is a shot that demands a lot of practice.

Reverse Pivot for the Basketball Jump Shot

This video shows how to free yourself from a defender who is playing overly-aggressive defense on the outside. The reverse pivot for the basketball jump shot is not used by a lot of players, but can be a valuable tool. It is an example of what Coach Justin teaches: use footwork to make a play rather than relying on the dribble.

The Reverse Pivot can Free You from Defensive Pressure

The reverse pivot move is something I’ve done since I was a very young player. Most people that turn their backs to the defender do so when they are crowded and they’re scared that the defender will take the ball. I use this to my advantage by letting the defender think I’m turning to avoid the pressure when they crowd me. When they get out of defensive position and try to steal the ball I will use a reverse pivot to seal them off. From there I explode for either jump shot or to the basket.

This move works especially well when you are up against aggressive defenders. These guys will try to body you up to make you turn the ball over or get scared and make a bad decision. Use this move to show them that they have made the bad decision. Even when you’re double-team it’s no reason to panic, because often they will leave the back door opened for the reverse pivot (watch how I did it in the video). Just remember to check out that no defender is in the area your reversing to.

A reverse pivot can also be used as a safety if you get stopped on a drive. Let’s say I’m driving with my right hand to the basket and I see help side come over. I use a reverse pivot away from my defender to get the ball back out and set up another play. This is just one more example of how footwork can get you open instead of just relying on speed.

Jump-Stop for Shooting the Basketball

This video shows another footwork move to quickly get in balance when taking a jump shot that is called the jump-stop for shooting the basketball.  The video clip also shows the up-fake and counter move that will make this much more difficult to defend.  It is all part of the package of moves that can get a player open consistently, provided they know the right footwork.


The Jump-Stop can be a Valuable Offensive Tool

The jump stop is one of the best ways to get the shot quickly, but it’s also an excellent weapon because it also gives you other options depending on what the defense does. As the ball is coming to you want to catch it at the same time that you’re landing on the floor in a jump stop. Be sure you have your feet pointed toward the basket, so all you have to do is catch the ball, rise up and take the shot.

If you’re being well-guarded when you use a jump stop you can use either foot as your pivot foot. This allows you to go in any direction, allowing yourself more options such as driving to the basket or passing to a teammate. And in terms of shooting it is by far the quickest way to get off your jump shot. This makes it extremely useful for getting shots up over defenders more quickly before they can close out on you.

When you’re practicing this you want to make sure that you’re not jumping to your highest point. The jump stop, also called the hop, is simply a quick little move to get your feet lined up to the basket, and then everything else with your shot stays exactly the same.

One-Two Step into the Jump Shot

To get into the proper shooting position footwork is vital.  There are different ways to get yourself into perfect shooting form, but it must be done quickly and foot position has to be perfect.  This video demonstrates the one-two step into the jump shot that all basketball shooters must do without ever thinking about it.



Setting Up the Jump Shot with the One-Two Step

The one-two step is the basic footwork you need when you’re running toward the ball off a screen or stepping into a shot in transition. This is footwork that every shooter needs to perfect, and it has numerous uses. The basic principles are you always want to step with the foot that is closest to the basket. For example if I was running from the right wing towards the middle my right foot would be the closest to the basket.

As I show in the above video, take one step with the right first then followed by the left. Next I square my shoulders to the basket and shoot. If I were coming from the other side things would just be the complete opposite. First I would step with my left followed by my right, square my shoulders and shoot. It’s very important practice going both ways so you don’t have any weakness in being able to get your shot off. When opponents know you can go only one way or the other they will force you to go to your weakest side in games, and all good teams quickly know how to exploit your weaknesses.

Not only do you want to practice coming from either direction, but you also want to work coming from different angles rather than straight on from the wing. You just never know in game situations where your shots are going to come from, but you always want to be completely confident in your footwork so you never even have to think about it.

Taking the Jump Shot from Start to Finish

This video will put the entire jump shot from start to finish, from correct foot position to the release of the shot.  Every part of the jumper is important, but until you are able to take the jump shot from start to finish without any breakdowns, you’re shot will probably be inconsistent.



The Jump Shot in its Entirety

So now that we have all of the basic components of the shot down, now it’s time to put the jump shot from start to finish all together. First you start with the feet. Both feet must be pointed straight toward the basket. Next you want your knees bent in a comfortable position where you are using all of your leg muscles to power the shot toward the basket. Next make sure that the ball is in the shot pocket with your shooting hand behind the ball as that is what will trigger it, and the guide hand along the side.

You want your eyes right on the rim for the entire shot. If you take your eyes off the rim to follow the ball flight you will look up too soon and that will cause you to miss. You want to keep all your focus on the rim the entire time. Next you will elevate and as you raise up everything must go at the same time in perfect coordination. Then right before you get to the top of your jump you want to release the ball, holding your follow through until the ball is at the rim.

But the most important part of the jump shot is your confidence. You have to believe the ball is going to go in every single time you shoot it. And when you miss you have to believe that the next one is going in.

Proper Follow-through in the Jump Shot

The follow-through after the ball is shot is one of the most important thing that goes into consistently accurate shooting.  The reason is where the follow-through hand goes, the ball will usually follow.  Check out this video to see how to keep your trigger hand in the proper follow-through in the jump shot position.



Maintaining Your Follow-Through will Enable Greater Consistency

The follow-through in the jump shot means that when you release the ball that you want your hand and arm going directly towards the basket. The follow through is important because it tells you exactly where your direction is when you shot the basketball. The first thing to check is where the ball went as it hit the basket. Did it go off to the right or the left? Whenever you miss a shot right or left that means that there is something mechanically wrong with your shot.

Check out your hand position to see that your hand is straight to the center of the basket. The hand is what will be the trigger that going to control the direction the basketball is going. You also want to make sure your shooting arm is fully extended, because if it’s not it’s likely that your shot will end up going short. By fully extending your arm you are putting all your momentum into the shot will and that will give it the best chance going in.

So whenever your shot is completed take a look at how everything has lined up. Your shooting arm should be extended with your right hand, as I pointed out in the video, as if it were in the cookie jar. The feet should be planted and the weight balanced evenly on each foot, while never falling over or losing equilibrium. Everything should be directed not only at the basket, but at the center of the basket, as that is your true target.

Hand Position for Shooting a Basketball

Hand placement when shooting a basketball  is a major factor in consistently shooting a jump shot.  The shooting hand is the trigger that launches the basketball on its path to the basket, and if that is off by just a little it will affect the flight of the ball.  Watch this short video to find what the correct hand position for shooting a basketball is.  You may be surprised at these little tips.




Why Hand Position on the Basketball is Vital

All great shooters have virtually the same hand position on the ball even if their form may be slightly different. You want your shooting hand behind the basketball with your index finger on and the center of the ball. You also want to make sure your fingers are spread out on the ball in order to cover as much area as you possibly can. This will allow you to have more control of the basketball in general. You have a grip that is not too tight on the ball, and this will allow you to release it as freely as possible. Your shooting motion should be fluid and relaxed.

You want your guide hand on the side of the basketball and be sure that it’s just holding the ball in place. Its only function in the shot is just to keep the ball from falling off your shooting hand, but should not have any influence on the release of basketball. You want to make sure your grip is comfortable.

Another thing you want to make sure you’re doing is taking your wrist back as far as it will go, as this will allow you to propel the ball forward as you shoot. You do this to get backspin on the shot which will allow you to get that friendly roll on the rim which is called the shooter’s touch. When you are done shooting you want to make sure that your guide hand and all fingers are pointed toward the sky and that your shooting fingers are pointed toward the rim, and never right or left of the target.

A Lesson in Jump Shot Form Shooting

Almost all young basketball players when practicing shooting will grab a basketball and immediately start jacking up shots.  The basketball actually can get in the way of developing great basketball shooting form.  This video will describe how jump shot form shooting can give you better form much quicker without the use of a basketball.  And you can learn to practice it anywhere, anytime.



How Form Shooting can make your Shot Better

Form shooting is one of the most important aspects of shooting because it makes your shooting fundamentals as close to perfect as they can be. When it becomes automatic using perfect form it will become comfortable, and with that form you will be able to shoot the basketball over and over again consistently. Any shooting form that is fundamentally perfect is most important part of shooting a basketball. You want to take out all of those little imperfections that keep the ball from going straight every time, and the best way to do that is by shooting without a basketball.

By looking at your form in the mirror will allow you to get your timing down consistently. Then when you finally pick up the basketball you will begin by starting close to the basket so you learn how to shoot without the pressure of making longer shots. You will also the gaining experience in shooting the basketball without the need for a basket or a ball.

Some people may say, “Well if I don’t have a good place to practice form shooting”.  And the nice thing about it is you can practice it anywhere. You might want avoid working on your form shooting in math class (unless your coach is also the math teacher) but anywhere else is fair game. After a while you will start to do form shooting just out of habit. Watch some of the NBA players before they shoot free throws and you will see some of them do form shooting. It’s a universal drill to help you improve your overall shooting ability.

Proper Foot Position in the Jump Shot

You can’t expect to consistently hit your jumpers if you don’t start with the right foot position in the jump shot.  Watch the video below to see what you should always do, plus things that are optional to do depending on what feels comfortable.   It is a very important aspect of great jump shooting because it provides your foundation.  Like any structure, it wouldn’t last long without a strong foundation, and likewise that’s where the basketball jump shot must be built.




Why Is Foot Position So Important?

Foot position is important because when you are looking to shoot a basketball you want make sure that everything is lined up perfectly on the basket. One of the keys to perfect form for your jump shot is for everything to the aligned perfectly, and this starts with your feet. Then when you are facing the basket everything else should follow suit. It’s also good for both feet to be separated slightly. This will help you to go up straight into your jump shot. One of the basics of shooting is you want your dominant foot slightly in front of your other foot. Your dominant foot will always be on the same side as your shooting hand.

To start with we should always move very close to the basket. You start off with easy shots to determine just how close you want your feet together and just how much forward you want your dominant foot to be. All of this will be determined by how comfortable your foot position is for you, and you can find this out best when you’re close to the basket. After that I would recommend doing short jump shots from the free-throw line or little closer so you can learn to go straight up and straight down without having the greater pressure of shooting from a longer distance. After that I would work on coming to the ball and other things that I teach in my videos.

Europe vs USA Basketball
Europe vs USA Basketball

In this eBook Europe vs America- Differences in how a Basketball Game is Played, Coach Justin Rake describes some of these differences, and then demonstrates with videos how teams like the San Antonio Spurs are making this part of their attack.

Basketball Shooting off the Dribble
Basketball Shooting off the Dribble

All great scorers have to be able to shoot off the dribble. Here's how.

Moving Without the Basketball
Moving Without the Basketball

Before every shooter gets to pull the trigger on his deadly shot he has to get open. This book demonstrates how.

Basketball Advanced Shooting
Basketball Advanced Shooting

Basketball Advanced Shooting builds off the previous book of Basketball Shooting Fundamentals to demonstrate ways to create space for the shot.

Basketball Shooting Fundamentals
Basketball Shooting Fundamentals

This book discusses basics for a picture-perfect jump shot. These basic concepts are supported visually with links to videos.

What Young Basketball Players Need to Know
What Young Basketball Players Need to Know

This book is a primer for young basketball players and their parents on what they need to do to become successful in the game of basketball.