Having learned the basic jump shot, you need to be able to execute it immediately, after receiving a pass while cutting or after ending a drive.
The most effective way to do this is to use a front stop — a move that causes you to stop quickly, even when you are moving fast, and lets you square up to the basket, when necessary.
Movement pattern of the front stop
In order to stop quickly when moving at high speed, you need to able to "slam on the brakes." Doing this involves selecting the foot you want to establish as your pivot, or "brake foot."
As your brake foot comes forward, push off the other foot and quickly extend, with a "lunging action," the brake foot just beyond the distance of your longest walking stride.
During this lunging action, keep the heel of the lunge foot just slightly above the court, until the heel contacts the court. As the heel contacts the court, the upper body (hips and shoulders) moves forward. As the lunging foot passes the brake foot, bring it up to complete the jumping stance for the jump shot.
Shooting after ending a dribble
Check out this example of shooting after a dribble!.Exercise 1:
Follow these steps to practice the movement pattern of the front stop.
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Your feet can be square or one foot can be slightly ahead of the other. The knees are flexed (slightly bent). Your body weight is equally distributed over both feet. Your hips should be directly over both feet, with your shoulders directly over your hips. Your head is erect.
Step 2: If you are right-handed, establish your left foot as the pivot foot (vice-versa for lefties). Take a normal step forward with your right foot and bring your left foot forward, executing the movement pattern of the front stop, described above. After several repetitions, repeat the exercise, establishing your right foot as the pivot foot.
Moving directly to the basket: To execute a front stop when moving directly toward the basket, you can choose either foot as the pivot foot.
Moving at an angle to the basket: Very often, you will be moving at an angle to the basket. The front stop enables you to stop and square up to the basket in one move.
To do this, as you execute the front-stop movement pattern, rotate the brake foot directly toward the basket. As it makes contact with the floor, the rest of your body will follow; and, as the lunging foot comes in contact with the floor, you will be in your jumping stance, square to the basket.
When moving at an angle to the basket, always use the foot closest to the basket as the pivot (brake) foot.
Follow these steps to practice stopping and squaring up to the basket.
Step 1: Square up to a target, such as the basket or wall. Then, if you are right handed, turn 90 degrees to the right.
Step 2: Using the left foot, which is closest to the wall or basket you originally faced, as the brake foot, execute the front-stop movement pattern described above. As you complete the front stop, you should be square to the target which you selected and ready to execute the basic jump shot.
Step 3: After several repetitions, turn 90 degrees to the left from the target. Using your right foot as the brake foot, repeat Step 2.
Establishing your pivot foot
When you end a cut: To establish your brake foot as the pivot foot, you must catch the ball as the brake foot contacts the court or immediately after.
When you end a drive: To establish your brake foot as the pivot foot, you must end your dribble as the brake foot contacts the court or immediately after.
Beware of traveling: Should you catch the ball or end your dribble while the brake foot is in the air, the referees will likely signal a traveling violation, particularly if the rear foot (the push off foot) is still on the court.
In this situation, bringing the rear foot up to establish a jumping stance is a traveling violation. (Refer to my tip, Establishing a pivot foot)
Here's a drill to practice shooting after receiving a pass.
Within comfortable shooting distance, stand directly in front of the basket. Using that distance as the radius of an arc whose center is the basket, move along that arc from baseline to baseline.
Have another player pass you the ball. When moving along the arc, always use the foot closest to the basket as the brake foot when you catch the ball. For example, when moving to the left, use your right foot and use your left, when moving to the right.
The exercise starts when you start to move along the arc. As soon as you move, the person with the ball passes to you. After you shoot, do not move until the person has control of the ball (gets the ball when you miss or score) and is ready to pass.
If you are alone, you can still do the same exercise. Toss the ball to the right or left of your location on the arc, catch it in the air or let it bounce before you catch it.
Here's an exercise to practice shooting after ending a drive.
Stand directly in front of the basket near the center line of the court. Execute a drive to either the left or right side of the restraining circle of the key.
If to the right, dribble with your right hand. Your left foot will be the brake foot. If you are driving to the left, dribble with your left hand, and your right foot will be the break foot.
As you approach your shooting range, execute a front stop and shoot.
You can do the same exercise from a forward (wing) position, first on one half and then on the other half of the court. When driving baseline from the right side of the court, use your right hand to dribble and your left foot as the brake foot. When driving the middle, use your left hand and your right foot.