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Jump Shot Drills

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Baseline Dribble Jumper

With the baseline dribble drill, you line up on the wings with the ball. Take two hard dribbles toward the baseline and shoot the ball. Focus on two types of shots, one off the dribble and one off a jump-stop. Shooting off the dribble is tricky without practicing and not everyone can do it. The ball must be dribbled and brought right up into the jump shot. This is an effective play because the defender believes you are going to continue to drive but you go up for the shot instead. Many times the defender is off-balance.

The second type is the most common, which is the jump-stop. This is done when you take your second dribble. You take a mini hop and land on both feet. Go straight up for the shot and you'll have it. If you are a coach, I suggest forming lines on both sides of the key. One side shoots off the dribble and the other side shoots off the jump stop. Make sure you trade sides so that each player can learn how to shoot off either hand. This drill doesn't need to be forced to the baseline as it can be performed wherever, but it leads into our next drill.

Back the Ball off Jumper

I coach players to practice game situations. The reason that I push guards toward the baseline is because it is a common area of shooting and secondly, guards tend to get trapped there. Defenses either force players to the baseline or force them to the help. If the defense is forcing to the baseline then the player tends to get trapped and get in trouble. I coach players to back the ball off when they feel pressure. This is done by immediately taking two hard dribbles back in the same direction that you've already come. Some coaches will tell the guards to perform a spin move to get out of the pressure, but the spin move forces the guard to turn his back and lose vision for a second. That's what this drill is for.

Have the guards take two hard dribbles toward the baseline only to take two hard dribbles back in the same direction. The ball should remain in the proper hand the entire time. Once they get back to their original position have them immediately execute a crossover into a jump shot. The crossover can be between the legs or low and in front of the knees. Whatever it is it needs to be performed quickly. I coach this because defenses tend to relax when a player gives ground and as an offensive player you need to attack when they relax. The shot can be taken off the dribble or off the jump-stop. It should be practiced full speed both ways.

Crease or Seam Jumper

The most common shot against a zone defense is the seam or crease jump shot. This is a shot in between the gaps of the zone. It can also be performed against a man to man defense but is most effective when the defender is trying to play catch up, meaning he is trailing you. Rick (Rip) Hamilton is the king of the crease jumper. He shoots more shots from the elbow at 17 feet than any other player in the NBA and is a wonder to watch.

To practice this drill simply line up on both sides at the wings. Players on the right side will use their left hand and players on the left side will use their right hand. Take one or two dribbles to the area right by the foul line extended. Use a jump-stop or come off a dribble and shoot the jump shot. Against a zone, you'll find that you'll shoot this shot off a jump-stop while against a man you'll shoot it more often off the dribble.

These are all simple easy drills that I've used throughout my life. These can be practiced in a team setting or in an individual setting.

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