Quick release off the catch
Whether to Hop into your shot or Step is a much debated concept among the basketball community. We essentially tell our kids to practice both. We do recommend different footwork for different situations. However we put an emphasis on understanding basic concepts that allow players to shoot the ball at a much faster rate. People often say one is faster than the other and I would agree but it is more dependent on the situation in which they take place. What we have found is too often coaches are focused on a philosophy rather shot efficiency. Lets look at a couple aspects of the shot that can increase shot speed and accuracy by eliminating wasted motion whether a player steps or hops into their shot.
- Catch with a wrinkled wrist. To often players catch with a flat wrist, which causes extra motion in their shot thus, slowing it down and making them less consistent. If a player does not get enough wrinkle in the wrist it can lead to poor rotation or a lower release point which disrupts projection or arc. OtterBasketball teaches players at a young age through checkpoint progression the importance of a wrinkled wrist early in their shot to hip optimal release point.
- Understand hip placement. Whether players hop or step we often see them drop the ball rather than their hips. This type of inefficiency is ok for a player that is more athletic than his opponents but becomes an issue when playing players more athletic than their self. OtterBasketball has long been known for helping the undersized player achieve success vs. higher-level athletes by eliminating these common mistakes at their foundational level.
The Step and the hop when lined up side by side edge each other out in different situations.
The stationary shot kick out from the paint.
In this situation we like the step not because it is much faster but because of the rhythm component. Both shots hit the pocket as the foot hits the floor if performed correctly. However the step would have the edge if a player hopped rather than dropped.
Spot up shot on a 45% angle (ex. top of key to wing)
This situation to me is philosophical. I like the hip swing but think the hop if done as a drop is quicker. When tested we found that the pass to the left wing for a right handed shooter was just as fast but not as fast for the but not as fast to the right wing. In this situation I would probably work a little of both so they both feel comfortable.
Across the rim and down hill run
Running across the rim and down hill again we like the inside square stepping into your shot. Our feeling on this is it is faster for the normal player while allowing the player to balance out with heel to toe action if hips sink correctly and they stay in alignment.
Uphill catch and shoot
This could be a drop or a step. Anytime we are still on a angle I prefer the step but do allow players that feel more comfortable with the hop to use it in this situation. Depending on how sharp the angle is on the uphill run dictates which catch in shoot is faster and easier to perform.
Relocation shooting on kick out or drive and kick
We like our players to keep their hips on the rim whenever relocating if possible. Example dribble penetration if the guard is moving with the dribble we like them to slide laterally across the rim. Usually in this situation most players when it has been practiced extensively (example OtterBasketball A-Z shooting) feel more comfortable and are faster on the drop.
When players are executing a flare shot we like our players to focus on keeping their hips back and to hop across the rim with the pass. In certain situations players may have to step to the ball if a bad pass dictates. The drop across the rim is faster and should be rehearsed off the flare cut.
Back to the basket
This is a tough shot and is worked on daily in our A-Z shooting program. If a player needs to get the shot off quickly the hop is much faster in this situation. If a player is very athletic or is playing low level competition or bad defense he or she may banana loop the shot.