Basketball Moves - How Isaac Newton Helps You Make More Lay Ups And Draw More Fouls

Did you know that Isaac Newton and his laws of motion can make you a better basketball player?

In the video clip below, Don Kelbick explains how this thing called inertia and the laws of motion can help you...

  • Make a higher percentage of your shots.
  • Draw more fouls against the defense.
  • And put you in better offensive rebounding position even if you do miss the shot.

And when the defense adjusts, it will create more open shots for your teammates.

Check out the clip below from the Attack and Counter Skill Development Video.

As Don Kelbick mentions in the video, when you attack the basket, you want to "STEP in a STRAIGHT LINE to the FRONT OF THE RIM".

You do this because...

1) You will make more shots.

The inertia is taking you towards the basket. As Don Kelbick explains, inertia is when a body in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

This is better than moving to the side because it shortens the distance of your shot. And when you are moving straight to the basket, it makes it easier to shoot in a straight line.

If you're moving to the side, you are more likely to have more shots miss short due to the increased distance and inertia going away from the basket.

This is why if some of your players always finish short around the basket, it may be a footwork problem; not a strength or power problem.

Also when you step to the right or the left, you will have more shots that miss to the right or the left due to the lateral movement.

2) You will make more shots with contact.

It will be easier to finish through contact because your momentum is taking you to the basket. It is harder for the defense to move you off your straight line path.

And if the defense pushes you hard enough to take you off your straight line path...

3) You will get more foul calls!

When you make your move straight to the basket, the defense is more likely to be slightly to your left or right.

And if excessive contact occurs, this is one of the easiest calls for referees to make.


Here comes another physics lesson from Isaac Newton...

When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.

In other words, any significant contact will make an abrupt change in the direction you are moving. This makes it easy for the referee to see the foul.

Actually, they don't even have to see the initial contact. They know that the human body doesn't typically move that way, unless force is exerted against it.

However, if you are moving to the side instead, these obvious fouls become a lot less obvious.

Let's pretend that you fade to the left and the defense is on your right side. The exact same situation as the video above.

If the defense makes contact, it just takes you in the same direction you are already going... to your left. Even significant contact will be harder to see.

There isn't an abrupt change to the direction of your body. This leads to less foul calls because it's harder for the referee to judge.

So no matter if you're in the post or even on the perimeter... remember those magic words...


It will help you make more shots and draw more fouls.

That's a pretty good reason to stay awake during physics class.

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


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Pat says:
1/15/2016 at 6:14:06 PM

Great stuff and a great drill. In Bill Russell's autobiography, he talks about basketball being a game of planes - it's all very bound by geometry and I think Don is referring to that here. Don't make "round" moves...go in a straight line - go in and up, rather than around and off.


Dean says:
1/15/2016 at 11:08:57 AM

What about using the backboard if your going to the front of the rim?


jose alfaro says:
1/15/2016 at 9:56:55 AM

very nice video.


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