Development And Success As A Basketball Player Sports Essay

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Having one on one skills are crucial to your development and success as a basketball player. And on the pro level, to accomplish a move and then finish the play is like an equation that must be broken down into parts to practice and ultimately master. For instance, getting open (x) + triple threat move (y) + Side Dribble (z) + floater (c) = 2 points. All parts to a move must be practiced until becoming second nature. Before you can do anything else, you must master the art of getting open to receive the ball. Remember that as a guard getting open on the perimeter, you must always try to catch the ball exactly on one of the five perimeter spots every time. Do not let the defense dictate where you catch the ball. When you practice your moves, when you practice shooting, always make sure it is on one of the 5 spots so that when you get in the game you want to catch the ball on one of those spots and you are now at the exact location of where you practice. Eliminating variables and making constants to very move, shot, and even pass is what will lead to consistency. Too often times, players may get the ball but the defense has pushed them out five feet behind the three point line and this is not ideal for several reasons including not being a threat to score and having harder passing lanes. You always want to receive the ball (in the half court set) where you are able to shoot the ball accurately. You will know your range the more you practice. Another thing to remember is that it should not take more than three seconds to get open, and that is pushing it. At the pro level as opposed to college the shot clock goes from 35 seconds to 24 seconds so for a pro it should never take more than 2 seconds. Point is, you must get open quickly, efficiently, and most importantly in timed rhythm with the passer. Do not start to make your move, or cut, too early. It takes practice and timing with your teammate but to get you started do not make the cut to get open until you see that your teammate is ready to pass it to you, otherwise you will go to make the move and the passer is not ready and the defender catches up to you and denies the pass. (However, there is a way to get out of this dilemma which we will go over later).

Change of speed is also extremely important. Going down as hard as you can and then trying to explode out will not be nearly as effective as if you went down slower and then burst out, this change of speed makes it harder to defend. Also, many players let the defense get them out of rhythm when the defender gets physical, so as an offensive player you better get it into your head right now that you are going to have to make physical contact with the defender. Sometimes when the ball is stolen it looks like a bad pass but often times it is because the player trying to get open does not make contact with the defender and/or hold him off from stealing the ball. Remember not to make contact by using your forearm to push off, but instead use your shoulder by moving your feet into and away from the defender without raising the arm.

This brings me to my next point, which is to give the passer a target (hand farthest away from the basket) to throw to you. You should remember as a side note that your goal when catching the basketball is to always put the ball into triple threat position and face the basket like you mean to score. If you keep the ball up and do not look towards the basket you obviously are not a threat to score and so that will make the defender push up and pressure you more. So, Always face up the basket and look as if you mean business. Also last possible second before it is time to catch the ball remember to come to the ball instead of letting the ball come to you. Almost jump to the ball insuring that it is yours and this helps the pass to not get deflected last second by the defender. Always try to catch the ball with two hands, to insure you do not commit the worst sin in basketball…a turnover. The guys in the NBA have been doing this for years and most of them have massive hands so that is why they catch the ball sometimes with one hand.

We are now going to go over the different ways to get open on

The most basic of all cuts is the "V" cut. It is called the V cut because you literally make a v with your path if watching from an overhead view. Now, with all cuts you need to read the defender and see how he is playing you and where you need to get open on the court. If you are running a play and you must get open on the right wing to receive the ball to hit the big man posting up on the right block, and you are being overplayed…you cannot just simply back door because it is too congested because your path on the backdoor is running right into the big man and his defender. So, you must understand the offense, how the defense is playing with help D and rotation, and how your defender is playing you. Before that you need to know the proper ways and moves to get the ball where you want. With that said, at any point in your movement of the cut, if the defender is holding you, grabbing you, not letting you move, simply pause and then swim move the defender by bringing the arm closest to the defender going over the defender's back in a circular motion while simultaneously bringing that same side's foot over the defender's leg and backdoor. However, if there is no room for that you can get open against anybody anywhere on the floor if you do these cuts right. So, if you are on the right or left wing jog to the elbow (1 to 1.5 seconds) then burst hard off the elbow (like running a suicide) and get almost back to the same should be receiving the ball as you give the passer a target by your third step. Immediately bring the ball into Triple Threat. If you are v cutting from the top of the key, then cutting to the free throw line is a good point of reference to make your cut. Remember to stay balanced, efficient, (no Extra movement, straight line cuts and no rounded cuts) and stay low. If you remember only two things about making cuts remember to make contact with the defender and change your speed. Do not make the initial cut as fast as you can and then back out as fast as you can because that is one speed. Going slower to fast is much better than going fast to faster because going slower to fast will make your fast look much faster. This concept also applies to your approach to off the dribble moves and many other things in basketball!

Next is the L Cut, which is great if you are on the wings and need to get open on the top of the key or vice versa. Why is it called an L cut you ask?? Exactly.…your path makes the letter L. Instead of making a sharp angled return to the spot where you started, this cut makes a 90 degree angle and so making contact with the defender is important, as well as change of speed. Another trick is to not give away where you are going on the floor by staring at the top of the key, in fact, work on your acting skills as you come to the point in the cut where you need to change directions and cut 90 degrees look the other way of where you intend to cut, or even talk to an invisible teammate on the opposite side of your desired cutting location and say something like, "I got your pick". Take your forearm closest to the basket and use it to bring into the defenders chest before you cut, without pushing off! Already have it up so when you cut it is there and you are not lifting it at the time of your cut. This is important, do no raise your arm in the least, use your feet to bring your forearm into the defender. At this point push off the leg closest to the hoop and just like the V Cut explode to the top of the key in as few strides as possible. Right before the ball gets to your hands (on the last couple steps of your cut) try and turn your hips so that your feet are facing the basket squared up on the catch and all that needs to follow is your upper body once you catch the ball by twisting your hips and ripping the ball immediately to triple threat position! Think of the twisting motion on the approach of the pass as how you approach a cut if you are running line drills sprints like suicides or seventeens. Just as you twist last second in these runs so that you can get a good explosion out of the gates, this is the twist I am referring to when catching the ball and facing up fast. Again, get right into triple threat and face the basket.

Next is the Seal Off and seal off reverse, the seal off reverse… This is not so much an actual cut as an important move you can do in coordination with any cut and you can simply do it within a few feet of space, if you need to receive the ball and have no time to make the cut or if the defender is playing so tough and hard and holding you that you cannot even get going on your cut..simply step in between the defender's legs with your foot closest to the passer. Take that shoulder on the same side and bring it into the defender without raising up that forearm, pivot off that step you did in between the defender's legs and pivot spin with it opening up to the passer. It almost looks like a box out away from the basket. The Seal off then is taking the foot farthest away from the passer, and doing the same thing, take that foot step in between the defenders legs and then keep that forearm on the same side up and flexed parallel to the ground and into the defenders chest. Now, use your butt to box him out of the way of the path of the ball as it is passed to you and give the passer your opposite outstretched arm as the target. Seal off the defender until the last possible second before it is time to catch the ball remember to come to the ball instead of letting the ball come to you. Almost jump to the ball insuring that it is yours and this helps it not get deflected last second by the defender.

Moves out of Triple Threat…

Remember that the floor is broken down into five slices, like a pizza pie, and for a rule of thumb when practicing you want to stay within these slices. It is not that much space and that's because staying in those lines are realistic to because these are the areas you have in game time. When you add the other players on the floor and account for the help defense. You cannot go east and right, you must make your moves attack north and south.

Head Fake one dribble Pullup/cross

When you head fake The ball does not have to go way above your head…bring the ball up from your waist to the top of your head where you would normally shoot it, but no farther and it doesn't even need to come that high you just quickly bring it to your chin at the exact same time as you bring the ball up to head fake with good posture in your back, bend down slightly in your knees as if you are about to sit down on an invisible seat……the key here I to do it in rhythmn The head fake works great when somebody is closing out on you. Once you execute the headfake and the defense shifting or even jumping to block the shot you aren't shooting pull the ball in the holster of your triple threat (on the hip) and explode in a north south direction. Dribble and step with the foot on the same side as the hand you are dribbling with and step out on the ground the same time the ball hits…and as it hits it should be way out in front of you…by the time you release the ball on that first dribble out of the triple threat, your arm should be fully extended. So, that most of the force of that first dribble is coming from the snap of your wrist…you are reaching…now you still have two steps to take….and as long as the last step is a pro hop (where you land on two feet) that counts as one…So now off that dribble you have another big step from the pivot foot into a two step pro hop. This covers a whole lot of ground with just one dribble and gives you a platform on two feet to execute a well balanced pull up jump shot. Remember that that last dribble going into your jump shot must be a hard solid dribble so that it has the momentum to help you get that ball to the peak of your shot before you go up for the jumpshot…This is key…if you go to jump for your jumpshot but still have the ball on its way up to the peak of your shot…then you will not release the shot at the peak of your jump but instead on the way down and so therefore it will be short with a lower trajectory.

The crossover is the same thing except you step over and out like you do with a crossover dribble after putting the ball on the opposite side's hip..

Head Fake, Dribble, step back, hesitation and go

Head fake dribble, step back, crossover and go

Head Fake Jab Step Step Back/Crossover

Jab and go

Once you have done the jab step, the defender has to react if you do it right. If he does not, maybe he has seen a scouting report on you or you did not sell it good enough so its ok to try again, i he does not react off the jab, instead of jabbing and bringing your foot back to the triple threat stance, when you jab. Keep your foot extended and instead of bringing it back to the triple threat stance extend your leg even farther, as a point of reference you want to try and get that step where your foot is at least parallel to the defenders foot if not passed his foot. This way you already have him beat because he cannot react in time to cut you you take your jab and extend it into a longer step you must simultaneously take the ball in coordination with that step and just as your leg and extend the ball out as you explode out of your stance. You must stay balanced and that is why strength and balance and flexibility are important factors in a true basketball player.

Jab and go And Cross

If the defender is to cut you off and that means he completely gets in front of you because you made the move too far away…you can use the crossover to create space or get to the basket…it will be using his speed against him as he quickly moves to stop you so crossover and you will have a jumpshot or a drive to the whole.

Jab and go and behind the back

If he cuts you off but not completely and is riding you more on the side but making it hard for you to make a direct drive to the basket, take the foot farthest away to the defender and use it to stop the momentum of your drive forward and use it to push back as you take the ball in the hand on that foots same side and bring the ball directly back from where you started behind your back and now you can shoot if you have spacing and balance, or you can crossover and go back the same direction if the defender has reacted quickly, or go the opposite way and attack the hoop.


Post Plays:

Post play is very physical…You always want to make contact with the defender and feel where he is…Because t is the post job as much as the passer to tell where he wants it…He knows this by keeping a feel on where the defender is in relation to himself and the basket and the passer. Secondly, he needs to come to the passer with his feet and arms. Landing on two feet on the catch is critical because it is gives the post player a better option of which foot to use as a pivot. The Post player must also remember to attack the basket on the side that he got the pass. If the passer gives the defender on the left side of his body, then he should look to score on that side because it means the defender is on the opposite side. And if the defender somehow manages to swing back around..they will have momentum built up not going in their favor so that the post player can then use a move where he reverses direction and that is almost impossible for a defender to defend. Use their speed and direction against them.

The post player has 3 seconds to read the defense, search for an uncoming Double Team, see the rotation and spacing of the entire defense and decide whether or not to kick it back out to the teammate on the wing, or if he is ready to go one on one. The post players must know his arsenal of moves. But the baby hook shot and good clean crisp moves and fakes are critical to a good offensive post player.

Post Situations:

How to read the defense: Defender is playing in a three quarters stance..and the post is on the low block on the same side of the ball located on the wing.


Step Over:

Moves off the dribble

Remember that moves executed off the dribble always start with the set up dribble. The set up dribble is the last dribble before the move is executed. You have moves off the dribble and then you have moves combined as combo moves off the dribble. And you have certain times or situations on the floor when you use a certain group of moves and then other time at a different location where you execute other types of moves.

So, first thing you should do as a player is look at all your moves as weapons..and you can combine these weapons in combination with each other…These weabons totaled are your arsenal..


Around the back

Behind the back


Spin move

Thru the Legs

Moves out of triple Threat:

Rip through


Over Head rip Through

Jab step

Head fake

Crossover step

Stop and Go

In and out


Thru the legs crossover

Thru the legs around the back

Hesitation crossover

In and out crossover

Hesitation dribble then crossover(stop and go crossover

Crossover spin move

Double Cross

Double behind the back

Dribble Drills to prepare you to execute these moves below:

It will be frustrating at first bu the human mind is very powerful and it is all about muscle memory, do it every day (it doesn't take long) and it will get so much better and easier just within the first week…


Crossover Pounds

Benhind the Back Pounds

Thru leg Pounds


Two Ball Drills

Points to keep in mind…change of speed…slow to fast.

Power dribble for your setup dribble

Use the setup dribble as a point of reference before executing the move.

Head up

Back straight

Knees bent but not too much, like 90 degrees or below

The crossover dribble…when you go to do your setup dribble remember to keep in mind that you need to almost hop into a balanced two foot landing (prohop). Do not stutter step or land on one foot and then the other because this gives away to the defender which side you are going. When you land solid with aligned two feet at the same time (slightly farther than shoulder width with your dribble still alive, he cant guess which way you are going to go. This way you can go straight off the setup dribble or crossover. Now, you need to land on two feet and take a hard dribble at the same time as you land.. almost instantly lean and bring the ball out far wide (elbow almost straight) and a little above knew level. From here you explode bringing the ball from one side to the other off a low hard bounce…As soon as the ball hits the ground you want to take the foot that the ball is coming from and take it over and out meaning over as in crossing over your own leg and out so that it is past the defenders own leg.

NEXT: Side Dribble


The Screen:

Screen Plays are one of the most important offensive plays in all of basketball. Here are some points that are very important in performing a great screen, or pick. Although it is important for the person setting the screen to find the defender of the teammate he is setting the screen for, he wants to get close but not sacrificing a strong, wide sturdy, stance. Often times they will get caught for moving screens or if they do not get in a good enough position they allow the defender to adjust and get through or move above or below the screen without much effort. However, as much as it is the screeners responsibility to head hunt the defender needed to get picked and get in a strong stance, at the end of the day, the success of the screen is the person getting screened responsibilities to finalize the screen by taking his defender at an angle where he can come off the screen efficiently and it is his responsibility to come off the screen so tight that his shoulders actually touch with the screeners.