The defense is playing you close. You know you are a good shooter, but you can’t create space to get your shot off. You are starting to get a little frustrated. Well, no more! After reading this article, you will not be saying you can’t get your shot off because the defense is playing too tight.
Below are three drills that will help you create more shots out of a triple threat position. Doing these simple drills will help you develop a quick release for when the defense is playing too tight. It will also give you the ability to create more shots in various positions within the triple threat.
Let’s remove shooting restrictions, so you can improve your scoring average. Use the following moves to become a scoring machine.
Move #1 Jab and Read: Low Ball
- At the free-throw line or closer to the basket, start off in your shooting stance or athletic position. This is also called your triple threat position.
- Start with your dominant foot forward with the ball on the opposite side of your body. Keep the ball low behind your knee. You keep the ball there to protect it from the defender who is playing tight defense.
- Take a jab step with your dominant foot, so that it is in line with the basket.
- While taking the jab step, bring the ball forward as well.
- The defender will now have to make a decision. Will the defender commit to playing the drive or stay to play a shot?
- Based on the defender’s decision, you will either drive or pull back for a shot.
- Because this drill is about creating space for a shot, you will pretend the defender has decided to play the drive.
- You will step back and take another jab step aligning your foot to the basket, keeping your legs low. Bring the ball up and go right into your shot. Make sure you hold your follow through on the shot.
- Follow your shot and repeat the move several times.
While completing this drill, keep your eyes up scanning the court. Your stance does not have to be perfect, but you should always be mindful of the positioning of your feet. You want to put yourself in the best position possible to shoot the shot.
- Now complete the move on the other side of your body.
- Your dominant foot still starts forward. The ball should be on the same side of the body held low behind the knees to keep the ball away from the defender.
- Take a jab step with your non-dominant foot and bring the ball across your body down low.
- Pivot back quickly with your non-dominant foot. Your non-dominant foot should now be behind your dominant foot. This will allow you to shoot a shot with the correct form.
- Shoot the ball, hold your follow-through, and follow your shot.
Make sure you are selling the fake. If the jab step is not taken with purpose, the defender will not commit to playing the drive. If they do not play the drive, space will not be created to get off your shot.
You should always think to shoot first. You need to be a threat to pull the defender out. If you are thinking pass or drive, all the defense will do is lay off you. They will play the passing lane. This will leave you open, and you may not have the confidence to knock down that wide-open shot.
Move #2 Jab and Read: High Ball
- At the free-throw line or closer to the basket, start off in your shooting stance or athletic position.
- Start with your dominant foot forward with the ball on the opposite side of your body. Now, hold the ball high behind your ear. You keep the ball there to protect it from the defender who plays tight defense with low hands.
- Take a jab step with your dominant foot. Bring the ball across your face into a set position.
- Step back into your starting position.
- Take a second jab step bringing the ball across your face into a set position and go right into your shot. Hold your follow-through and follow your shot.
Being in a triple threat position, you could go right into your shot if the first jab step creates enough space. You can practice taking multiple jab steps to become more comfortable selling the drive.
Move #3 Drop Step Jab
- Start at the free-throw line or closer and align your right shoulder with the basket.
- Place your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart with your knees bent. If you forget these two components, your moves will be slower than expected and not have much balance when there is contact from the defender. Staying low will allow you to engage your core when changing directions from your drop step jab into your forward pivoting.
- Perform a quick drop step jab with your left foot. Stay on the balls of your feet will cause less friction on the ground allowing you to pivot quickly from your drop step jab into your forward pivot.
- Complete a full forward pivot toward the basket with your left foot into your shooting stance ready to shoot. To ensure this is a successful move, keep the ball close and tight at chest level. Not only will this help with balance and protecting the ball, but it will also help to ensure you get the ball to your shooting pocket, or shooting position, for a quick release.
By performing the drop step jab, you have the opportunity to create space. This makes the defender think you are going to attack your backside. It is key to understand that if the backside is open, you should take it. The purpose of this drill we are to pretend the backside is not open.
Drills and Workout Plan
- Jab Low Drill: 10x to the right and 10x to the left
- Jab High Drill: 10x to the right and 10x to the left
- Drop Step Jab: 10x to the right and 10x to the left
- Shoot 10 Free Throws
- Repeat the entire sequence.
Complete this workout 2-4 times a week.