Shooting off the dribble is a vital part of an offensive player’s arsenal. If you are a point guard, shooting guard, or small forward, a large amount of your shot attempts are going to come off the dribble. One-on-one capability is of prime importance in today’s game. Being able to create space between you and your defender is integral to your success as a player, and this drill will help with that development.
How to do the Drill:
Begin at the top of the key. Take two dribbles at a forty-five degree angle to your right; make sure you plant on your inside foot when setting up to shoot. Shoot the ball. Do this ten times on each side. Take thirty second breaks between sets. Do three sets to start, and the more comfortable you get with the drill (and the better shape you get into), increase the amount of sets.
Keys to Success:
Though the drill may seem overly simple, doing the mechanics correctly at a high speed takes time. It is important not to get sloppy with either your footwork or your dribbling in this drill. It is imperative that your dribbles to do not take you horizontally across the floor; always make sure that your dribbles take you towards the basket, even if in a diagonal fashion.
The worst thing you can do as a player is to move without making any headway towards the basket. It is a waste of both your dribble and your energy. Also, if you move horizontally, it is easy for the defender to stay with you. Therefore, make sure you dribble towards the basket and force him to retreat, which will not only provide you with space to shoot the ball but also get you a higher percentage shot. Most importantly, MAKE SURE NOT TO DRIFT IN THE AIR WHEN YOU’RE SHOOTING THE BALL. Maintaining your balance, even while in the air, is very important; if you’re drifting or falling away when you’re shooting, you significantly decrease your chances of hitting the shot. Try to jump almost straight up.
Watch the way pros use their final dribble to give them more lift on their jump shot; they pound that last dribble into the floor, bending their legs severely, therefore, using their leg strength to their best advantage. Also, watch how they do not fade or drift when they shoot; but remain straight in the air, landing in the same place that they had taken off from.