The #1 Finishing Move ALL Players Should Learn First

You are driving to the basket with a clear lane. This layup will easily put two points on the board for your team and add to your point total. All of a sudden a defender collapses and tries to swipe the ball and prevent you from scoring. 

What should you do?

It’s simple. You use the move all basketball players SHOULD use to protect the ball when going up for a layup; You RIP the ball to your EAR!

Many players attack the basket and swing the ball down low before finishing the layup. This allows the defenders to swipe at the ball. While they may foul you, there is also the chance they can knock the ball off of your leg with the ball going out of bounds.

How do you prevent that all from happening? You RIP the BALL to your EAR!

What Does Rip the Ball to my Ear mean?

When you are going to the basket for a layup and you take your last dribble, you want to rip the ball up violently and quickly up to the ear that is furthest away from the basket. This protects the ball from the defender. If the defender wants YOUR ball, he/she will have to go through you to get it. 

They go through you trying to get the ball or trying to block your shot. What happens?  They are going to FOUL you. Because you ripped the ball up to your ear, you will have the chance to make the layup AND get your AND-ONE. 

What are the Steps to Rip the Ball to my Ear?

After you take your last dribble towards the basket, grab the ball strongly with both hands and quickly bring it to your ear. Your legs should bend low, so you will be able to explode to the basket when you are finishing. After you explode to the basket, make sure you finish high off of the glass.

Finishing off the glass will also help protect the ball. It will be harder for the defender to block the ball because it is too high for them to reach.  

What Rip to Ear Drills Should I Use to Help my Game?

  1.  Elbow Drill – 1 Foot Layup
    1. Start at the elbow.
    2. Take one dribble and rip the ball to your ear as you finish the layup. Make sure you bend your legs, so you can explode higher to the basket. 
    3. Finish high off of the glass. 
  2. Wing Drives – 1 Foot Layup
    1. Place a cone a few feet from the elbow. 
    2. Take a dribble toward the cone. 
    3. When you get to the cone, execute a dribble through the legs. 
    4. Use one dribble as you attack the rim. 
    5. Rip the ball to your ear, and explode to the basket. 
    6. Finish high off of the glass. 
  3.  Elbow Drill – 2 Foot Layup
    1. Go back to the elbow.
    2. Take two dribbles as you attack the basket. 
    3. After your last dribble, come to a jump stop ripping the ball up to your ear. 
    4. Explode off of BOTH feet. Explode off of the balls of your feet. 
    5. Finish high off of the glass.
  4. Wing Drives – 2 Foot Layup
    1. Place a cone a few feet from the elbow. 
    1. Take a dribble toward the cone. 
    2. When you get to the cone, execute a dribble through the legs. 
    3. After your last dribble, come to a jump stop ripping the ball up to your ear. 
    4. Explode off of BOTH feet. Explode off of the balls of your feet. 
    5. Finish high off of the glass. 

By going off of both feet, you will have more balance, explosion, and a more controlled finish at the basket.  

When you are using the jump stop, be quick. Don’t use a big jump stop. Why would you want to give a defender you have just blown by time to catch up to you by using a big and slow jump stop? 

You Have the Drills But How Often Should You Use Them?

Use this routine 3-5 times a week. By executing these drills consistently, your layup finish will be strong and tough to defend.

  • 10-20 reps from each elbow
  • 10-20 reps from each wing
  • 10-20 reps from varying locations and distances from the basket
  • 10-20 reps with a defender contesting

These reps are important. Attack the basket hard. Rip the ball to your ear violently and quickly. Explode to the basket and SCORE. Complete all drills as if you are in the game. Then when it comes to game time, you will be prepared. You will be ready. 

The best way to get your scoring confidence up in a game is by making an easy basket up close. You want to attack the basket early and often if you can. By using ripping the ball to your ear, you will greatly increase your chance of making those shots. 

Don’t let that defender take the ball away from you when you are just a moment away from scoring. RIP that BALL to your EAR before that defender tries to “rip” that ball away from you. 

3 Finishing Moves You Should Master

What other finishing moves should you work on? You should start by mastering these 3 Critical Finishing Moves with this 15 Minute Workout.

If you have any questions or need any help, don’t hesitate to leave your comments or reach out to us.

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