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How to Choose "Your" Finishing Moves? How Many Should You Work On?

- By

This is an excerpt from our Next Level Finishing Moves Video and eBook.

Trying to master 20 different moves would take a considerable time investment and is not recommended!

So what should you work on and how do you choose your moves?

To start, we recommend players practice all the moves a little bit - so you're familiar with them and get an idea of what works for you.

Then you can split the finishing moves into foundational moves and specialty moves.

You should learn all of the foundational moves. Basically, you need to be able to jump off either foot, both feet, and finish with either hand from any angle and distance approaching the basket.

This will help you cover many situations in which you need to shoot a lay up.

So here are our foundational moves to practice:

  • Rip to the Ear
  • Scoring off of Two Feet
  • Same Foot - Same Hand Finish

From there, you need to choose a few (ex: 1 to 3) "go to" or "specialty" finishing moves that you polish and perfect.

You want to get REALLY good at just a few moves that you feel comfortable with, fit your game, and that will work against a variety of situations.

To help you choose your "go to" or "specialty" moves, you should pick at least ONE move from each of these sections. That would be a minimum of 3 moves.

Trailing Defender

  • Inside Hand Finish
  • Opposite Side of the Rim Finish
  • Rondo Series
  • Stretch Layup
  • Reverse Finish - (Regular, Half Reverse, or Straight Line Reverse)
  • Runner
  • Veer and change speeds (veer in front of the defender, slow down & make contact, then accelerate.)

Defender Even on Side/Hip

  • Stretch Layup
  • Veer
  • Jump Hook
  • Push Floater
  • Floater
  • Rondo
  • Double Clutch
  • Spin Move
  • High Hands
  • Football

Beating the Help Side Defender

  • High Off the Glass
  • Stretch Layup
  • Pro Hop
  • Reverse Use the Rim
  • Inside Hand Finish
  • Opposite Side of the Rim Finish
  • Push Floater
  • Floater
  • Euro Step
  • Double Clutch
  • Runner
  • High Hands
  • Football

As an example, if you’re a smaller finesse player, you might pick these 3 as your “go to” moves:

  • Straight Line Reverse
  • Runner
  • High Off Glass
  • Euro (an optional 4th move)

Or if you’re a strong power player, you might pick these 3 as your “go to” moves:

  • Football Finish
  • Pro Hop
  • Jump Hook
  • Push Floater (optional 4th move)

Some of the foundational moves can help you with these situations, but if you need an additional move, here are some to pick from.

Consider Complementary Moves

Keep in mind that some moves complement each other and can pair together nicely. Here are some complementary moves:

  • Rip it to the Ear -> Finishing High Off the Glass
  • Inside Hand Finish -> Rondo -> Rondo Counter
  • Opposite Side Finish -> Euro Step
  • Euro Step -> Same Foot, Same Hand Finish
  • Pro Hop -> Jump Hook
  • Football -> Rip it to the Ear
  • Opposite Side Finish -> Inside Hand

What Comes Natural To You?

You should also consider what comes natural to you…

When coaching players, we often introduce 10-12 moves to players.  Practice them a little.  Then put players in game situations and see what comes naturally to them.

Once you determine what is natural and effective, you can decide what moves you want to master.  If nothing comes natural, pick what you believe in (go with your gut).   Then practice the moves over and over and over.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...

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Behnam says:
8/11/2017 at 7:29:39 AM

thank you for your excellent article. It was a question I always had


David says:
8/11/2017 at 4:18:17 PM

Hey, thanks a lot for this article, it was truly needed. Please could you do a tutorial video, showing each move , that would be awesome


Mike B. says:
8/14/2017 at 7:19:00 PM

This is a great piece. Thank you.


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