If you find yourself catching the ball near the basket, itís vital to work on different post and finishing moves.
You can do these moves alone or with your teammates. We have some skill drills below.
Even though there are multiple players in the drill, you only need a passer.
In fact, you could do the drill alone by setting the ball on a chair.
If you have more players to work out with, you can also practice competitive situations.
I highly recommend doing this once youíve gained some confidence and youíre comfortable with the moves. It's one thing to be able to do the move without defense in a drill. It's another thing to execute the moves with defenders.
Here are a few examples.
Drill - 1 on 1 Cone Touch
In this drill, you set up a pair of cones near the perimeter.
When the offensive player moves forward, both players sprint to touch the cones.
The passer throws the ball to the offensive player near the basket. Then it's live 1 on 1.
I typically like to start the offensive playerís cone a little closer to the hoop. By doing this, it will simulate a defender trailing the offense like in the video above.
You can also tweak the cone distance, so the defender will arrive at different times.
I donít like the defender to steal the pass in this situation.
Drill - 2 on 2 Cone Touch With Pass Defender
If you have four players, you can also have somebody pressure the ball, so you can work on pass fakes.
Drill - 2 on 2 With Screener
If you have five players, you can add a screener.
This time, the offense and defense will start on the opposite side. And you won't need any cones.
Drill - 3 on 3 Flex Screen
If you have six players, you can play three on three. However, you start every possession with a flex screen.
This is a fun way to practice game-like situations with your teammates.
Play games to three, so itís short and intense. You could play best of three or best of five.
Also, make sure to practice on both sides of the floor for all of the variations and drills.
With a little imagination, you can also replicate many other situations, screens, and cuts for your offense.
Tips For The 7 Finishing Moves Off The Pass
Two Foot Stop (2:22)
The two foot stop is used when you have the defender trailing you. You want to stop near the center of the rim and get wide.
You want to do this to keep the defender on your back. Then you can use the rim to shield your shot from the defender.
Ball Fake (3:15)
Next, you want to add a ball fake counter. This will help in situations when the defender is trailing hard and getting ready to block your shot.
Make sure to use a six-inch ball fake. That way, you can quickly jump in the air once you get the defender up.
Also, use your head and your eyes on the fake. This is critical in getting the defender to leave their feet.
Jump Hook (4:17)
Another great move is the jump hook. Itís a great way to equalize taller, more athletic players in the post area.
Players like Steve Nash used this move with great success.
Jump Hook / Step Through (5:12)
Now if the defense over-commits to the jump hook, you counter with a step through move. Make sure to step in a straight line to the basket.
This will help you get the defender on your hip or your back. And this will make it more difficult for the defense to contest your shot.
You also want to use the mentality that youíre going to finish through the defense. That way, you can finish through contact. And if there is no contact, you are in a strong, balanced position to make the lay up.
High Hands (6:21)
When youíre close to the basket, you want to keep your hands up high. That way, you can shoot as quickly as possible.
To get in shooting position as quickly as possible, you want your feet in the air as the ball is in the air. You also want to meet the pass.
First, you fake with your inside hand and inside foot. This gets the defender out of position for the counter which comes next.
Then you turn (or front pivot) and shoot.
Rondo Counter (8:41)
When you do the Rondo move a couple of times, itís critical to add a counter move. In this case, itís a step through counter.
That way, you can keep the defender off balance and constantly guessing.
As mentioned before, step in a straight line to the basket and finish through the defender.
Donít Practice All Finishing Moves - Practice A Few Good Ones
With these finishing moves, make sure to just practice a few. If you try to practice a bunch of different finishing moves, you won't become very good at any of them.
Pick a couple of finishing moves and pick a couple of counter moves. Also, make sure the counter moves complement the primary finishing move.
For example, you might pair these together.
- Jump Stop - Jump Stop, Ball Fake
- Rondo - Rondo Step Through Counter
- Jump Hook - Jump Hook Step Through
5 Tips For The Cutter To Get Open
Here are some tips when setting up your defender for the cut.
- Fake opposite - Fake high to go low, fake low to go high. By doing this, you can take your defender further out of position. Then you can run them directly into the screener.
- Get your shoulder to the screenerís hip. This leaves little space for the defender and forces them into the screen or forces them to go around the screen.
- Chop steps / stutter feet and get wide - Chopping your feet will help you slow down quickly. And getting wide will help you keep the defender on your back.
- Stop at the rim - You also want to stop at the rim. That way, you can use the rim to shield the defender.
- Meet the pass - Even though you stop at the rim, you still want to meet the pass. That way, the defender canít slide in and steal the ball, especially if you donít have contact with them.
2 Tips To Set Effective Screens
During the drills, you should also practice good habits when setting the screen.
- Hand up / communicate - You want to get your hand up and communicate verbally to the offensive player. That way, they know to use your screen. Often, they may not know or may not see that youíre setting a screen.
Also, use your teammateís name when communicating verbally. This will get their attention more quickly.
- Get wide / protect yourself - You will also want to get wide to make it harder for the defender to get by you. And protect yourself with your hands.
3 Passing Tips To Reduce Turnovers And Improve Scoring
Passing is the other half of the story. If you donít have a good pass, a great cut or a person with great finishing moves wonít matter. You need to be able to get the ball to the player.
- Fake a pass to make a pass - In order to make the pass, you often need to use pass fakes to move the defenderís arms. That way, youíll have a passing lane.
- Flick passes - Rather than winding up to make a pass, itís best to use a quick flip of the wrist. Iíve heard this called a snap pass. This will make your passes less obvious and give the defender less time to deflect the ball.
- Step foot by the defender - At times to get a better passing angle, youíll need to step by the defenderís foot.
How Often Should You Practice This?
While there are certainly many factors including offense, plays, opposition, your strengths, your age level, your skill level, your position, etc., here is a general guideline for using this situation.
Since this typically happens less for guards, you might practice once every 3 to 5 workouts.
If youíre a forward or center, you might practice this every 1 to 3 workouts.