Upfake Shooting Drill

Drill Purpose (All Ages)

This drill is very similar to the Elbow Shooting drill, except it adds a shot fake and dribble before the shot. It provides practice in establishing a balanced, fluid, and consistent shot motion while moving into a shot in both directions. In particular, it focuses on effective footwork.


upfake_shooting1 (1K)
  1. Ideally, have four players at a basket for this drill.

  2. Start the drill with a player in the shooting line just above the top of the key, a rebounder positioned near the basket on the off-side of the right-side shooting elbow, and two players in the passing line at the right wing, free throw line extended and outside the three-point line. The ball will be in a passer's hands to begin with.

upfake_shooting2 (1K)
  1. The shooter will do a jab step to the left and then cut to the right elbow.

  2. The passer will deliver a pass so that the shooter can step right into the shot motion using the left foot as the pivot foot.

  3. Instead of shooting, the player does an upfake and then takes one or two dribbles to the right before shooting the jumper. Again, the shooter should use the left foot as the pivot foot when moving into the shot motion.
upfake_shooting3 (1K)
  1. The rebounder throws the ball to the passing line, the initial shooter becomes the new rebounder, the initial rebounder joins the passing line, and the initial passer becomes the next shooter.

  2. Repeat the process from the opposite elbow, adjusting the rebounder position and passing-line position. Make sure that players use the right foot for the pivot foot when shooting from the left elbow.

  3. Continue the drill until all players have shot ten shots from both elbows.

Points of Emphasis

Continually tell your players...

  • Passes should be thrown to the shot pocket so that shooters don't waste energy repositioning the ball.
  • Shooters should catch the ball just as they arrive at the elbow. In other words, they should be on the move.
  • The left foot is the pivot foot when moving right, and vice versa.
  • The upfake needs to be convincing.
  • Players should cover ground with the dribble.
  • The shooter should land in the same spot, or slightly in front of the spot, from which they started the shot.
  • Dribble with the left hand when moving left, and vice versa.

Motivation / Teaching Tips
  • Have players keep a daily record of how many shots they make from each side.
  • Emphasize to shooters the importance of presenting target hands to passers.
  • Encourage players to operate at game speed.
  • Mix up the groups daily so that players get practice throwing to different teammates.
Do you have any questions or suggestions for this drill? Let us know by leaving your comments...


Most Likes First   Oldest First   Newest First

coach dishman says:
10/17/2013 at 9:54:13 PM

i coach a jv basketball team, we are very small no height. this drill is a good drill for a small team. it teaches every kid how to play each position. One suggestion i have is if the shot is missed have the rebounder finish the play. teach them as if they were in a game. Also teach the rebounder not to dribble when he/she gets the rebound. Make them go straight back up with it. Very useful drill for a young team.

coach dishman


Ken says:
7/13/2012 at 8:15:56 AM

Coach G -

Now, this is only my opinion, I will give you a scenario... relating it to baseball. When a runner is going to steal second base, he crosses over with his left foot to cover more ground quicker - along with the fact that he can push off with the opposite foot.

I taught the crossover step because I believe that (like you said) you can put your body between the defender and the ball hopefully beating them to the basket or creating the shot you want. I for one think that IF you just step out with the lead foot, it is easier for the defender to cover you.

Suggestion - why don't you try this with two of your better players... a good offensive player and your best defender. See which way works best for you.

IF you are going to teach something you have to really believe in it, otherwise your players will not buy into what you are selling. JMO


Coach G says:
7/12/2012 at 10:56:59 PM

Question - after the upfake the player should dribble to their right. Should they lead that dribble by pulling the left foot through first or simply follow the right foot? I've heard it taught both ways - the left coming through helps position the body between defense and ball and going with the right first can cover more ground and can open the body for a quicker shot. The defender's reaction (in a game) would probably dictate how players truly respond but just looking for opinions and preferences. Thanks.


gerwen says:
4/22/2009 at 5:19:41 AM

thanks dude its nice!!!!!!!!
i have learn something new for me like a beginner its nice


jsmiley says:
12/7/2008 at 9:17:14 PM

I am glad yahoo's search engine brought me to your site. It has everything a beginning coach would need. One item I'd like to pick on; please install some sort of spell check. Some of the spellings on the pages are terrible.


Nelson says:
9/15/2008 at 4:30:41 AM

basketball dats whats it all about


Eric says:
6/5/2008 at 11:22:30 PM

Simple but nice drill


Holly Lipford says:
3/13/2008 at 7:46:22 PM

Hay to all yobasketball players out there. New players go for the upfake and then dribble around them or pass if can. Once u got around them shoot it. Take the chance if it dont go in all u got tot say is u tried. These steps are hot or good. See ya'll later or talk to ya'll later Peace


hossein from iran shiraz says:
12/19/2007 at 3:50:56 AM

very good


Rofelio says:
12/2/2007 at 1:47:57 AM

I'm in the military currently stationed in Amman, Jordan coaching 11-14 y/o boys...awesome! The drills have provided so many variations to keep the boys excited about basketball. They’ve grown so much week-by-week. Please keep posting... Coaching adults and high school kids with similar backgrounds were challenging enough. Your site has assisted me in overcoming so many coaching obstacles (the diagrams huge visual aid). What language barrier...basketball is universal.

Coach Ro


Show More

Leave a Comment
Email (not published)
Eighteen minus four is equal to?  (Prevents Spam)
 Load New Question
Leave this Blank
    Check this box to receive an email notification when someone else comments on this page.