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How to get to the hoop: the secrets to scoring on the dribble

I recently received an email from a coach with this question: Can you tell me what my guards should do before and during the drive and how they should end up at the rim? As I prepared to answer the question, I understood what this trainer really wanted to know. Like any other skill in basketball, there are a number of skills that precede the final result. Let’s take a look at the secrets to shooting at the hoop. In this article we will analyze what happens before and during the drive to the rim.

There are many elements to consider as you look at this ability. There is an art to scoring with the dribble, as opposed to the coach telling his players to just “get to the hoop.”


1. The first thing is to clear your defender. Of course, there are a multitude of ways to do this. 2. Knowing that you are on a clear or open side also influences the thinking of the players. SEE that the shot to the basket is possible.


1. Once by the defender, the ball handler should quickly survey the ground. Good teams will not let you pass and get to the edge. They will have established aid levels. By survey, I mean visually checking the floor for a path to the basket OR passing opportunities.

2. I have always taught the Stride Stop as a way for the dribbler to be in control but at the same time be strong on the ball. This is where many children get lost. They are convinced that they are driving him to the rim, eliminating any possibility of assists. A lot of players, right now, jump into the air to make a play. The stride stop is a controlled jump stop and pivot at the deepest point of penetration. It allows control, balance, good decision-making, shot possibility and pass opportunity.

3. If there is a clear path to the hoop, the ball should be brought to the hoop by the strongest method possible. Some players can take it hard with one foot. Others need to jump, stop, then go up and finish.

ending at the edge

1. Strength is the key. Protect the ball while going up with the ball. Use the term, “take the defender with you.” In other words, the key is not to let defenders contact to STOP your drive to the rim.

2. Concentration is crucial. Most players focus on impending contact rather than the rim. When this occurs, the contact becomes the focus, not making the shot.

3. The use of a blocking dummy and simulated defenders is good because it simulates contact at the rim.

4. Terms I have used over the years:

has. Finish at the hoop, which means they must shoot the ball as close to the hoop as possible. It makes sense that the less the ball has to travel, the better chance you have of making it.

b. Play THROUGH contact.

Counter Take the defender with you.

d. Expect Contact – How many times have you seen a player get fouled or hit hard and act like they HAD NO IDEA there was going to be contact around the basket? This is a mindset you can help your players develop. I use the term, “Take contact.”

A key in all this is the ability of the players to make DECISIONS, why? Because passing the defender is not a license to get to the basket. It just means they beat the first line of defense. A layup or power shot is possible, but so is a pass or jump shot (the midrange game). This gives players three options after beating a defender, not just one.

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