Coaching the Perfect Basketball Shot Fake

Coaching the Perfect Basketball Shot Fake


Teaching the art of the basketball shot fake is a crucial skill for all basketball coaches to have. One of the most popular triple threat basketball moves is the shot fake. While it is one of the most popular moves, it is quite uncommon for the move to be taught properly at the middle and high school levels. That is why I will break down the proper movements and some common mistakes when using the shot fake.


Common Basketball Shot Fake Mistakes

Staying low is highly important in mastering the shot fake in basketball. Staying low while you are stationary, using your shot fake, and while you are on the move from the shot fake is very important for having a successful shot fake. As my mentor, David Thorpe, commonly preaches, “The lower you are, the quicker you are!” If you are ever fortunate enough to watch him teach his students the proper shot fake, you will hear this several times throughout the course of the workout.

Most players do not have a low base or are not in an athletic position while performing this move. Basketball players often raise their hips as they move the ball upwards, causing them to not be in an explosive position where they can utilize their first step quickness to blow past a defender. After using your shot fake, you want your shoulder to be at the defender’s hips as you are blowing past them. The higher level you play at, the more the game is based on speed and quickness, and not staying low while shot faking defeats what we are preaching.


Correcting Common Basketball Shot Fake Mistakes

If your player has a problem staying low while being stationary and using a shot fake, then you want to have them start with a low base and in an athletic position. As they bring the ball upwards, put your hands on their shoulders, and put light pressure, forcing them to stay low. As they move the ball upwards towards their forehead, teach them to never raise their hips out of athletic position.

If your player has a problem staying low while moving off the dribble out of the shot fake, there are two simple ways to correct it as you are going through different basketball drills that will focus on the shot fake:

    1. After selling the shot fake, have the player use the hand that is not dribbling the basketball to touch the floor with their fingers as they make their first dribble towards the rim.
    2. Stand in front of the player with your arms out wide, slightly below shoulder level. After selling the shot fake, have the player go under your arms, keeping their shoulder at your hip level.


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3 Responses

  1. Love it. We teach our players to stay low and be “an athlete” all the time. Teaching them to lift the defender without lifting themselves can be difficult. Keep up the good work.

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