Shooting the Runner

Shooting the Runner
By Hal Wissel

The runner, or extended layup shot, is used away from the basket when a quick shot is needed off a cut or drive. The runner is shot the same way as the layup except the takeoff position is farther from the basket. This shot is often used when you have driven or cut by your defender and are being picked up by a taller opponent who is looking to block your shot. The runner enables you to get the shot off quicker than a jump shot, and it is therefore less likely to be blocked by a shot blocker.  Control your speed after a cut or dribble. The step before your takeoff should be short so you can quickly dip your takeoff knee in order to change forward momentum to upward momentum. Pick the ball up with your shooting hand on top of the ball in front of your shooting side knee. Lift your shooting side knee and the ball straight up. Avoid swiveling the ball to the side, which can cause the ball to be stolen or can put sidespin on the shot. Shoot the ball with a soft touch over the reach of a shot blocker. Keep your balance hand on the ball until the release for protection. Land in balance. Follow through by keeping your arm up and fully extended at the elbow and keeping your index finger pointing straight at the target over the front of the rim. When you shoot the ball outside the lane, be ready to get back on defense. When you shoot the ball inside the lane, be ready to rebound the ball. 

Drive Middle from Wing for Runner

The drill is performed by shooting a runner off a drive middle from the wing on each side. First drive from the offensive left wing to the middle and shoot a runner, and then drive from the offensive right wing to the middle and shoot a runner. Start on the offensive left side with your back to the basket and toss the ball so it bounces at the left wing at the imaginary foul line extended. Catch the ball with two hands and make a one-two stop with the inside foot landing first. Pivot to the middle and see the rim. Make an aggressive shot fake and drive step with your outside foot. Imagine that your defender’s inside hand (the hand closest to the middle) is up. Keeping your weight on your pivot foot, create space away from your defender by pushing your dribble out with your outside hand (the hand away from the defender).  Protect the ball with your inside hand and your body. When dribbling, always keep your eyes on your target just over the front of the rim. Use at least two dribbles. Control your speed on the approach and take a short step with your inside foot before you take your last dribble. Dip your inside (takeoff) knee in order to change sideward momentum to upward momentum. Pick the ball up with your shooting (outside) hand on top and your non-shooting hand under the ball in front of your shooting-side knee. Lift your shooting-side knee and the ball straight up. Avoid swiveling the ball to the side, which can cause the ball to be stolen or can put sidespin on the shot. Shoot the ball with a soft touch over the reach of a shot blocker. Keep your balance hand on the ball until the release for protection. Follow through by keeping your arm up and fully extended at the elbow, with your index finger pointing straight over the front of the rim. Jump and land in the same spot as your takeoff; this will prevent you from charging into a help defender or floating into a shot blocker’s reach. When you shoot the ball outside the lane, be ready to get back on defense. When you shoot the ball inside the lane, be ready to rebound the ball.  Next, start on the offensive right side with your back to the basket and toss the ball so it bounces at the right wing at the imaginary foul line extended and perform the same drill. When driving to the middle with your right hand, shoot a right-handed runner. When driving to the middle with your left hand, shoot a left-handed runner.

Error: Your shot misses long or to the side because you float forward or sideward.

Correction: Make the step before your takeoff short so you can quickly dip your takeoff knee and change forward or sideward momentum to upward momentum.

Error: The ball circles out of the basket because you picked the ball up with your hands on the side of ball, causing sidespin, or you swiveled the ball to the side, which leads to sidespin. Swiveling the ball can also cause the ball to be stolen by a trailing defender. 

Correction: Pick the ball up with your shooting hand on top of the ball so your shooting hand will face the rim and raise the ball straight up to shoot, leading to backspin. 

Drive Baseline from Wing for Runner 

Creating a runner when driving from the wing to the baseline is the same as creating a runner off a drive to the middle except you be driving to the baseline. When driving to the baseline with your right hand, shoot a right-handed runner. When driving to the baseline with your left hand, shoot a left-handed runner.

Shooting the Runner

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