Becoming a Great Scorer in Basketball: A Complete Guide for Players

8 Keys to Becoming a Great Scorer in Basketball

 

1. Score Within the Offense

  • Set Plays
    • Master your team’s set basketball plays and recognize when and where there are great scoring opportunities for yourself.
    • It could be a play designed specifically for you or for another teammate, but you always need to be ready to take a high percentage shot within your team’s offense.
  • Read the Defense
    • Don’t be a robot when running plays. Understand how the defense is guarding a certain action, and then exploit it.
    • This requires knowing and understanding each play at a high level. If you are always trying to remember the play, you won’t be able to read the defense.

 

2. Play to Your Strengths

  • You are What you Shoot
    • You must value the shots that you shoot. Not every shot is a good shot.
    • Look for high percentage shots to take advantage of.
  • Seek Out YOUR Shot
    • Every scorer has different spots on the floor that they prefer. So get the ball where you want it, and then shoot the shot that you want.
  • Use Your Teammates
    • Don’t try to do it on your own.
    • i.e., If you are great with ball screens, look to use a ball screen with one of your post players to score.
    • Communicate with your teammates and let them know where you want to get the ball.

 

3. Next Play Mentality

  • Short Memory
    • Not every shot is going to go in; that is just how it works. You should never let a miss impact the next shot.
    • Move on to the next play and shoot the next shot with confidence.
  • Confidence
    • You must be mentally tough and have confidence in your abilities.
    • Don’t allow a few misses to deter you from taking the next quality shot that comes your way (as long as it fits the moment in the game).

 

4. Take Advantage of Easy Baskets

  • Transition
    • Sprint the floor and look to get easy baskets before the defense gets set.
    • Sprinting the floor also opens up scoring lanes for other teammates as well.
  • Hard Cuts
    • Read the defense and take advantage of miscommunication or laziness with hard cuts to the basket.
    • Backdoor: if the defender is playing too high in the passing lane, back cut to the basket for an easy finish.
    • Face Cut: if the defender doesn’t jump to the ball after a pass, cut right across their face.
  • Offensive Rebounds
    • Crash the boards hard and look to get easy put backs.
    • If you are more of a guard, be ready to shoot kick out 3 pointers off the offensive rebound.

 

5. Free Throws

  • Aggressiveness
    • Put pressure on the defense and force them to commit fouls.
    • Play under control while being aggressive and don’t pick up out of control fouls or turn the basketball over.
  • Free Points
    • You must be able to capitalize at the free-throw line and take advantage of free points.
  • End of Game Situations
    • Making free throws at a high percentage adds a lot of value in close games when the other team must foul to extend the game.

 

6. Offensive Balance

  • Create for Others
    • You must be willing to set up other teammates to keep the defense from collapsing on you every time you make a move.
    • Being a dual-threat to score and create puts so much more pressure on the defense.
  • Multiple Scoring Moves
    • Be able to score in a variety of different ways.
    • You will have “go-to moves,” but you also need to be able to exploit the defense when they are overplaying you a certain way.
    • Example: A guard that can both shoot at a high level and finish at the basket is a lot harder to guard than a player that is only one-dimensional.

 

7. Develop your Weaknesses

  • Don’t Avoid Your Weakness
    • Purposely set time aside to work on areas of your game that you struggle with.
    • Write out what you need to work on and how you are going to improve in those areas.
  • Constant Development
    • Always be improving your weaknesses and look to turn them into strengths.
    • Work to become a complete player.

 

8. Defense to Offense

  • Stops to Buckets
    • Getting hands in passing lanes, harassing the ball handler, rebounds, etc., can open up transition opportunities and allow you to turn defense to offense.
    • This doesn’t mean gambling outside of team strategy; stay disciplined.
  • Team Defense
    • Buy into team defense and recognize that defense ignites the offense.
    • Don’t be the player known as a scorer but takes it easy on the defensive end and hurts team defense.

 

 

More Tips on Becoming a Great Scorer in Basketball

 

Complete Basketball Player

In every basketball player’s game, they are going to have strong areas and weak areas. The goal, though, is to turn as many weak areas as you can into strengths. When Michael Jordan came into the league, his critics claimed that he didn’t have a good enough jump shot, so he worked on it, and today he is known as one of the best pure scorers of all time. That was one of his weaknesses that he turned into a strength.

Don’t be a one-dimensional player. What I mean by this is, don’t be just a catch and shoot player or don’t be just a driver. If you can only do one thing, then you will be easy to guard. As a player early in my career, I was mainly known as a catch and shoot player, but one summer, I made it a point that I was really going to do ball-handling drills and work on finishing at the basket. For the whole summer, I worked on these types of basketball drills. The following season, I saw my points per game average almost double.

It wasn’t because I had turned into this freak ball handler that could get to the hoop and score on anyone I wanted to; it was because I could mix it up. My defender wasn’t able to just run up on me tight and close me out because I could put the ball on the floor and make him pay. Being able to drive the ball made my defender close me out slower, which allowed me to get my shot off and get to the free-throw line more because I was initiating the contact off of the dribble.

I was watching an NBA game a while ago, and I don’t even remember who was playing, but one thing I do remember is what Reggie Miller said as he was announcing the game. He said, “What are you going to do as a player when a good defender takes away your 2 or 3 best scoring moves?” A good defender in basketball will know what you do well and make you play to your weaknesses.

You need to be able to be versatile and score in different ways. Obviously, you will lean on your strengths, but what if your strength is your right hand and your defender is completely taking it away? Are you going to be able to go left and finish at the basket? Mix your game up, and don’t just work on the things you are good at when you get in the gym and do your basketball training.

 

 

Know Your Defender’s Tendencies

People always talk about scouting the offensive player and picking up tips to shut them down. Well, it goes the same way when evaluating your defender. For example, is your defender a shot blocker, or will he stay down and try to wall you up? If a shot blocker is guarding you, then your best friend is a shot fake, but if you are being guarded by a defender that just contests shots, his whole strategy is to try and get you to hesitate and throw your shot off just a little bit and then live with the results.

If a player is quicker but smaller than you, take them in the post or use your mid-range game. On the other hand, if a bigger, stronger player is guarding you, take him out to where he has to move his feet to stay in front of you. As a big man on offense, it is pretty simple to read your defender.

Suppose your man is bigger and stronger than you, face him up and shoot or go around him. If he is smaller than you, put them in the post and back him down to get your hook off. However, this only works if you are a multi-dimensional player and well-rounded in your offensive game.

 

 

Score Within the Offense

As much as it is being a skilled player, you also need to give yourself the advantage over your defender. The best way to do this is within the offense, and by using your teammates to help you get open. You look at a player’s stats and see that he scored 20 points, and you think that is pretty good, but then you look and see that he took 30 shots, and it isn’t as impressive. A great scorer is efficient and uses his teammates to help himself score as well as his teammates.

The other team will know who the great scorers are, and they are going to focus the team defense on them. This is why it is important to use your team and your offensive sets to get your shots. Use down screens, ball screens, attack off of the second penetration or after a reverse, be in the right spot for a kick out, etc.

Big men should be willing to screen because you create a disadvantage for the defense whenever you set a good screen in basketball. This will allow you to pick and pop or pick and roll to create an advantage for yourself to score. Give yourself the advantage by scoring through the offense.

 

 

Know When to Attack

Time and place is another part of being a great scorer. During the game, there are going to be different times that call for different shots. It is okay to shoot a contested off of the dribble shot with the clock running down, and no one else has a better shot. It is not okay to shoot that same shot if you have plenty of time on the clock.

There are just different situations you need to learn as you become a better scorer. For example, at the end of the game, if you know your guy is having a hard time guarding you and your team is in the bonus, don’t shoot an off the dribble three, go to the basket and get a foul, finish, or both.

 

Becoming a Great Scorer in Basketball

 

As a basketball player, you shouldn’t just be work on scoring, and you should not measure your worth to your team by how many points you score. That being said, the way you win a game is to score more points than the other team, and the big-time players are getting paid to score the basketball.

So what is it that makes the elite players so good at scoring the basketball? What is all involved in becoming a great basketball scorer? Obviously, most of them are naturally gifted, hard workers, etc. However, the reason they are such good scorers is versatility. This basketball article for players will break down exactly what this looks like and help you become a better scorer.

 

 

Complete Basketball Player

In every basketball player’s game, they are going to have strong areas and weak areas. The goal, though, is to turn as many weak areas as you can into strengths. When Michael Jordan came into the league, his critics claimed that he didn’t have a good enough jump shot, so he worked on it, and today he is known as one of the best pure scorers of all time. That was one of his weaknesses that he turned into a strength.

Don’t be a one-dimensional player. What I mean by this is, don’t be just a catch and shoot player or don’t be just a driver. If you can only do one thing, then you will be easy to guard. As a player early in my career, I was mainly known as a catch and shoot player, but one summer, I made it a point that I was really going to do ball-handling drills and work on finishing at the basket. For the whole summer, I worked on these types of basketball drills. The following season, I saw my points per game average almost double.

It wasn’t because I had turned into this freak ball handler that could get to the hoop and score on anyone I wanted to; it was because I could mix it up. My defender wasn’t able to just run up on me tight and close me out because I could put the ball on the floor and make him pay. Being able to drive the ball made my defender close me out slower, which allowed me to get my shot off and get to the free-throw line more because I was initiating the contact off of the dribble.

I was watching an NBA game a while ago, and I don’t even remember who was playing, but one thing I do remember is what Reggie Miller said as he was announcing the game. He said, “What are you going to do as a player when a good defender takes away your 2 or 3 best scoring moves?” A good defender in basketball will know what you do well and make you play to your weaknesses.

You need to be able to be versatile and score in different ways. Obviously, you will lean on your strengths, but what if your strength is your right hand and your defender is completely taking it away? Are you going to be able to go left and finish at the basket? Mix your game up, and don’t just work on the things you are good at when you get in the gym and do your basketball training.

 

 

Know Your Defender’s Tendencies

People always talk about scouting the offensive player and picking up tips to shut them down. Well, it goes the same way when evaluating your defender. For example, is your defender a shot blocker, or will he stay down and try to wall you up? If a shot blocker is guarding you, then your best friend is a shot fake, but if you are being guarded by a defender that just contests shots, his whole strategy is to try and get you to hesitate and throw your shot off just a little bit and then live with the results.

If a player is quicker but smaller than you, take them in the post or use your mid-range game. On the other hand, if a bigger, stronger player is guarding you, take him out to where he has to move his feet to stay in front of you. As a big man on offense, it is pretty simple to read your defender.

Suppose your man is bigger and stronger than you, face him up and shoot or go around him. If he is smaller than you, put them in the post and back him down to get your hook off. However, this only works if you are a multi-dimensional player and well-rounded in your offensive game.

 

 

Score Within the Offense

As much as it is being a skilled player, you also need to give yourself the advantage over your defender. The best way to do this is within the offense, and by using your teammates to help you get open. You look at a player’s stats and see that he scored 20 points, and you think that is pretty good, but then you look and see that he took 30 shots, and it isn’t as impressive. A great scorer is efficient and uses his teammates to help himself score as well as his teammates.

The other team will know who the great scorers are, and they are going to focus the team defense on them. This is why it is important to use your team and your offensive sets to get your shots. Use down screens, ball screens, attack off of the second penetration or after a reverse, be in the right spot for a kick out, etc.

Big men should be willing to screen because you create a disadvantage for the defense whenever you set a good screen in basketball. This will allow you to pick and pop or pick and roll to create an advantage for yourself to score. Give yourself the advantage by scoring through the offense.

 

 

Know When to Attack

Time and place is another part of being a great scorer. During the game, there are going to be different times that call for different shots. It is okay to shoot a contested off of the dribble shot with the clock running down, and no one else has a better shot. It is not okay to shoot that same shot if you have plenty of time on the clock.

There are just different situations you need to learn as you become a better scorer. For example, at the end of the game, if you know your guy is having a hard time guarding you and your team is in the bonus, don’t shoot an off the dribble three, go to the basket and get a foul, finish, or both.

 

 

The DNA of an Elite Scorer in Basketball

 

The DNA of an Elite Scorer in Basketball

Russ Willemsen contributed to this portion of the article. 

 

Elite Basketball Scorers

When we think of guys who are elite scorers in basketball, we think of guys that can flat out put the ball in the bucket. This usually consists of scoring from the three-point line, the mid-range game, and finishing at the rim. One area that separates good scorers from elite scorers is the ability to get to the free-throw line.

You can argue that LeBron James is the best player in the NBA. This season he ranked third in points per game, averaging 25.3 ppg. However, this season’s output was actually the second-lowest of his career. Only his rookie campaign of 20.9 ppg was lower. What also sticks out about his production this season is that he had his second-lowest free throw percentage of his career at 71%.

Another area to look at is his free throw attempts per game. He came in at 7.7 attempts per game, which is the fourth-lowest since he’s been in the league. If you go back to his 05-06 season where he averaged 31.4 ppg, you will see that he shot 10.3 free throws per game, which ties a career-high. It is no secret that there is a correlation between scoring increases and free throw attempts.

 

 

Personal Basketball Experience

At South Alabama, we had a sophomore this year that increased his scoring as he got to the FT line more. Through the first 10 games of the year, Ken Williams was averaging 12.5 ppg, attempting 1.8 free throws a contest, shooting an abysmal 31% FG and 32% 3FG. He was not aggressive enough attacking the basket. Something clicked midway thru the season, and in the last 21 games this year, he averaged 17.1 ppg and increased his FTA per game to 4.8 a game.

As his FTA per game increased, so did his scoring. Ken “Juice” Williams finished SunBelt Conference play fourth in scoring at 18.0 ppg, ninth in free throw percentage at 79%, first in 3-point field goals made at 56, and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage at 40%.

 

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Below is a chart of the top 10 scorers in the NBA this season and the NCAA. It shows their points per game, free throws made, free throws attempted, and what percent of their overall scoring comes from the FT line. If you look at the top five scorers in the NBA combined, they average 8.7 FTA per game, while the next five only average 4.8 FTA per game. That is a HUGE discrepancy!

If you look at the percentage of points that come from the FT line, 21.3% by LeBron James is the lowest in the top five. That still ranks higher than 21% by Blake Griffin, who is the highest in the next five. These numbers do not lie! The two outliers in this group are Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Their FT numbers are the lowest in the top 10.

They are also talked about as one of the best shooting duos in NBA history. Not many players shoot the ball with their precision, which is why I consider these two outliers.  If you look down at the NCAA numbers, there is only one player in the top 10 in scoring that has less than 20% of their overall points per game coming from the FT line. This is no coincidence. Guys that get fouled more score more.

 

NAME (NBA)

PPG

FTM

FTA

% OF PPG

1) Russell Westbrook 28.1 8.1 9.8 28.8%
2) James Harden 27.4 8.8 10.2 32.1%
3) LeBron James 25.3 5.4 7.7 21.3%
4) Anthony Davis 24.4 5.5 6.8 22.5%
5) DeMarcus Cousins 24.1 7.9 9.2 32.8%
AVERAGE 25.9 7.1 8.7 27.4%

NAME (NBA)

PPG

FTM

FTA

% OF PPG

6) Steph Curry 23.8 3.9 4.2 16.4%
7) LaMarcus Aldridge 23.4 4.3 5.1 18.4%
8) Blake Griffin 21.9 4.6 6.4 21.0%
9) Kyrie Irving (tie) 21.7 4.2 4.9 19.4%
9) Klay Thompson (tie) 21.7 2.9 3.3 13.4%
AVERAGE 22.5 4.0 4.8 17.8%

NAME (NCAA)

PPG

FTM

FTA

% OF PPG

1) Tyler Harvey 22.9 4.7 5.6 20.5%
2) Zikiteran Woodley 22.6 4.7 5.8 20.8%
3) Denzel Livingston 22.0 7.0 8.7 31.8%
4) Tyler Haws 21.9 6.0 6.9 27.3%
5) Damion Lee 21.4 6.4 7.2 29.9%
6) Saah Nimley 21.2 6.0 7.3 28.3%
7) Amere May 21.0 4.0 4.9 19.0%
8) D.J. Newbill 20.7 4.6 6.1 22.2%
9) Chavaughn Lewis 20.6 5.1 7.7 24.8%
10) Corey Hawkins 20.4 4.6 5.6 22.5%

 

 

Added Benefits of Shooting Free Throws

Getting to the free-throw line does a lot to increase scoring. If you shoot a high percentage from the FT line, getting fouled and seeing the ball go through the net on your FTs can give you confidence as a shooter. This can become the catalyst for a big scoring outbreak. This can also help a scorer get into a rhythm.

So much of scoring is being in the flow, and getting fouled can assist that. It also helps your team’s offense out. The more you get fouled, the quicker your team gets in the bonus and double bonus. It can also help get one of the other team’s players in foul trouble. Lastly, it gives your team an aggressive mindset. It puts your team in attack mode.

 

 

Your Basketball DNA

DNA is the core of who someone is. Great scorers have the mindset of being aggressive and getting to the free-throw line. There will always be fluctuations in shooting percentages, but the fundamental key to becoming an elite scorer is getting to the free-throw line. As your FTA increase, so will your scoring!

 

 

Separating Shot Takers from Shot Makers in Basketball

 

Separating Shot Takers from Shot Makers in Basketball

Frank Davis contributed to this portion of the article. 

 

The term “shooter” is often used in today’s basketball world. Anyone is capable of shooting the basketball, and if you take enough shots, you are bound to eventually make a few.

Which brings me to my point that the elite shooters are easily separated in what they do. This basketball article focuses on two specific areas that will train players to be more efficient and make defenses pay for giving them open shooting opportunities.

 

 

The Importance of Footwork as a Shooter

As a basketball player, I was one of those kids that refused to think there was such a thing as a bad shot. I believe you need this mindset to an extent, but statistically, my numbers were not satisfactory early in my career. It was not until I met Kevin Cantwell, former Georgia Tech basketball assistant, and at the time, a big part of Suwanee Sports Academy, that I began to learn about shot selection and technique.

He had worked with some of the most elite basketball shooters in the country, and I was fortunate to work with him at a young age. He stressed the importance of footwork and giving yourself every opportunity to take shots with as little opposition as possible.

Being able to shoot the basketball effectively with your inside pivot foot is something many kids cannot do. It takes unnecessary time off your jump shot and is literally the difference between taking a contested or uncontested attempt.

I would focus on attacking the catch from all angles of the court without ever actually shooting the ball, just the repetition of squaring up to the basket and getting to the final stages of my jumper as quickly as possible. Attack the catch and elevate, attack the catch and elevate every day until it was a habit for me, and I could shoot using this form.

 

Value Your Hands as Shooter

The second area I want to cover with shot makers is the hands. Shooting the basketball starts from the ground up with footwork and lower body control finished by the hands. My favorite shooting quote of all time comes from Former Tennessee Tech Head Coach Mike Sutton: “Shooters must have hungry hands!”

This meaning that you needed to show a target and have your hands prepared to finish the job. Let them eat! This is another technique that provides a quicker release and a higher efficiency rate.

 

 

Separating Shot Takers from Shot Makers in Basketball Conclusion

Shooting the basketball is something I am very passionate about, and I could continue this basketball article for days about my experiences with other coaches such as Randy Dunn, Web Daniel, Seth Vining, Joe Dix, and Russ Willemsen, who have contributed to my development.

I wanted to focus on the two areas that I feel are overlooked in today’s game. The development of footwork and preparation of the hands are just two of the many pieces in the art of shooting.

The phrases “Attacking the Catch” and “Hungry Hands” can be used to remind kids about the techniques that helped me as a shooter and that I have embraced as a coach now.

Challenge your players to use these terms and repeat the desired action. Remember that quality repetition will yield results.

 

 

 

Quad Threat in Basketball

 

Quad Threat in Basketball

Stephen Cox contributed to this portion of the article. 

 

Quad threat is a basketball technique we stress quite frequently at Thomas University. Also known as “triple threat,” this technique is the cornerstone skill of our player-development program. Quad threat is a simple basketball function that has stimulated our growth of players and helped minimize turnovers in live-action. Shoot, pass, dribble, and pivot are the four basketball skills that every team at any level uses every day in practice, individual workouts, and games.

Quad threat, or “triple threat” to most, is a learned behavior and a skill that needs to be emphasized more at all levels. We will take a look at each component of quad threat in basketball and discuss the movements and actions out of quad threat that can be accomplished.

Everybody loves to hear the old cliché, “you can’t score if you don’t shoot.” There is actually some truth to that statement; however, that phrase focuses on the result, not the process. First and foremost, a basketball player cannot do anything on the court without being in an athletic position: knees bent, feet just outside of shoulder-width apart, on balance, chest facing the action, mind alert, back straight, and hands ready to catch.

The closest athletic stance in another sport we like to emphasize is like a short stop in baseball, a linebacker in football, and a tennis or a volleyball player about to receive a serve. Those are all similar athletic positions in their respective sport in which basketball players can relate to. In this athletic stance, quad threat can be accomplished, and a player can jump, step, jab, and move forward, backward, sideways, sprint, jog, run, and dive.

 

 

Shooting the Basketball

There are a million different specific techniques used to shoot a basketball. Every player has his or her own way of being comfortable when shooting a basketball. Now, there is an occasional post player or guard who has never been taught, and who we may start from the beginning with the basketball camp terminologies of “90 degrees,” “shot pocket,” and my personal favorite, “reach in the cookie jar.” Balance is arguably one of the most important aspects of shooting the basketball.

For example, getting the basketball player’s feet aligned to an athletic stance, so they have the momentum to not fade or lean different directions for a properly balanced release, and follow-through is an essential aspect. We teach three different kinds of footwork to have when catching the basketball to shoot:

  1. Inside foot pivot – Anytime a player is moving toward the basketball inside the 3 point line to catch and square up. The foot closest to the basket is the inside foot (pivot foot), and on the catch, he is to turn his hips, face the basket, and be ready to shoot the basketball.
  2. Ball in the air, feet in the air – Anytime a player is moving away from the basketball, we teach him to take a slight hop in the air to have both feet in the air and have both feet down on the floor on the catch for a quick fluid release.
  3. Spot shot – Anytime a player is wide open and knows he will shoot the basketball on the catch. We teach the player to have 1 foot down on the floor with his hands ready to catch, and while the basketball is on its way, he should bring the other foot to the floor, so when the ball touches his hands, he can go into his shooting motion for a quick fluid release.

The beauty of this game is that no shot, play, or instance in a game is exactly the same every time. Coaches need to teach players multiple ways to shoot the basketball from all different areas on the floor. For example, the Mikan Drill should not only be used for post players but guards as well.

To guards, coaches sometimes say “get to the basket” or “finish strong.” We all need to do a better job of teaching them what exactly that means. For instance, shooting off of one foot or using both feet is a completely different shot. Roy Williams, the head men’s basketball coach at UNC, said at a basketball coaching clinic: “Getting movement of players and the basketball from place to place on the court is coaching. Once the basketball is shot, that’s recruiting.”

 

 

Passing the Basketball

A post entry pass against pressure is a lost art in our game. I have seen too many times where a guard just flings the basketball into the post, my players included, and it gets tipped or is a bad pass where the post player can’t make a move and has to adjust because the pass was so bad.

As offered, quad threat focuses on the process of teaching players to become more skilled in their efforts to make a simple catchable pass into the post or just simply passing it to a wide-open shooter. A pass is a team effort. On a pass, the basketball has to be thrown at a speed against pressure where the defender guarding the ball doesn’t touch it and creates a turnover.

Additionally, the catcher must be available to create a sort of separation from his defender so he can catch the basketball without fumbling it. If the passer starts the process of passing in quad threat and the catcher ends the process in quad threat, I would most certainly like the chances of that pass being completed. As a basketball coach, have you ever told a player, “bad job!” for getting into quad threat?

 

 

Dribbling the Basketball

Quad threat in basketball teaches a player how to begin the process of dribbling. As is known, the whole purpose of dribbling the basketball is to get to different places on the court to get a shot attempt. Sean Miller, the head coach of the men’s basketball program at Arizona, has a great basketball drill on YouTube that teaches point guards to create a space between the ball handler and the player guarding the basketball against unbelievable pressure.

This space allows the ball handler a second or two to gather himself and make a play. He calls this space “the gap.” An offensive player handling the basketball wants space from the defender to gain momentum to get from spot to spot on the court. Once that guard has created “the gap” between himself and the defender, it is a pressure release to get into an offense.

Video: Sean Miller Basketball Drill

On the catch, quad threat begins the process that allows that offensive player to get to different places on the court in an athletic stance against an unwavering defender.

At the college basketball level, and perhaps all levels, good point guards are determined by their get-by ability, which is an offensive player getting by their defender in the full or half-court. Some players that are fast or quick can get-by players, but also, some players that are strong and powerful get-by players. Quad threat begins the process of getting by, and dribbling ends the ability to move past a defender to put himself in a position to make a play.

 

 

Pivoting with the Basketball

Pivoting is the most under-coached and under-valued skill in basketball. It is a skill that is not taught enough, and the good players always exhibit the best and the timeliest of pivots. Accomplishing such skill starts out of quad threat. Forward and reverse pivoting are equally important.

For example, a basketball player may pivot forward into pressure to make the defender back up to create space to shoot, pass or dribble. Or, a player may reverse pivot away from the defender to take the space available with the dribble. Jab stepping is a form of pivoting, and it complicates a defender on where a player may be going.

A great basketball drill we use is called “Georgetown.” John Thompson originated this drill, and it is great for all levels to improve skill.

 

Georgetown

  1. Start with a player’s toes on the baseline facing the court in quad threat. It is best to start on “the T,” where the baseline meets the lane line.
  2. On a coach’s command, the player will start pivoting forward on their left foot in an aggressive, fast, but controlled manner.
  3. On another coach’s command, the player will dribble (in a straight line) as fast as he/she can to the nearest free throw line and end the dribbling with a BIG jump stop.
  4. After the jump stop, the player will pivot forward on their left foot in an aggressive, fast, but controlled manner.
  5. On a coach’s command, the player dribbles (in a straight line) as fast as he/she can to half court and ends the dribbling with a BIG jump stop.
  6. Repeat the same simulation to the other free throw line and opposite baseline.
  7. To come back down the floor, the player switches the pivot foot, still going forward.
  8. Then, use the same simulation of all locations on the floor using the reverse pivot.
  9. Georgetown is completed when the player(s) have gone 4 lengths of the floor pivoting forward and reverse with both feet.

 

 

Quad Threat in Basketball Conclusion

Shoot, pass, dribble, and pivot are the four cornerstones of the most embraced basketball skill by coaches: Quad Threat. This is a skill that needs to be utilized more at all levels to improve player development. It can be deemed as “boring” and not flamboyant, but it is our jobs as basketball coaches to improve our players’ skill level and to make it fun and useful in our respective programs.

 

Becoming a Great Scorer in Basketball Conclusion

When you hear the word “scorer” in basketball, you sometimes think of it negatively because there are so many volume shooters out there that we label as scorers. Being a great scorer, though, means being able to score the basketball efficiently; it is done with one purpose in mind, and that is to help the team win.

Great scorers shoot the basketball with accountability. They know that it is their role to shoot a lot of shots and score points for their team. However, they don’t just shoot any shot that they want or feel like. It is about the team, and they show that by choosing to shoot high percentage shots.

Scorers are usually naturally gifted, but GREAT scorers are also some of the hardest workers as well. If you look at players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, etc., you will quickly see that they are also some of the hardest workers. If you want to develop into a great scorer, it starts in the gym with hours and hours of hard work. This allows you to shoot the ball with confidence and take the big shots at the end of the game.

 

 

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