Shooting with a Quick Release
By Hal Wissel
Most shots in basketball are open shots (end of fast break, draw-and-kick out, ball passed out of trap, ball rotated versus zone or help defense, cutting off screen, pick-and-pop, long rebound, etc.).
When open face the rim and have your hands and feet ready. Be ready to jump behind the pass. This enables you to catch and shoot in one motion, thereby fostering a quicker release than the step and shoot, which is a two motion shot. Jumping behind the ball is also better than the step and shoot when reacting to a bad pass. Only use the step and shoot when you are closely guarded and the pass is thrown to your outside hand.
Give the passer a good target with your hands up above your shoulders in shooting position and your knees slightly flexed. The passer should aim for your far hand, which will block the ball on the catch. Good passes make good shots.
Having your hands and feet ready allows you lower your knees just before the catch and extend your legs and shooting arm upward on the catch in a quick rhythmical down-and-up motion which fosters a quick release.
It is vital to keep the ball high, with the shooting hand facing the basket. Rhythm and range come from the down-and-up motion of your legs rather than by lowering the ball. Keeping the ball high fosters a quick release and also lessons the chance for error.
Having your hands and feet ready also allows you to adjust to passes that are off target. Jump behind the ball on passes that are slightly off. Good catches make good shots.
When you are not able to catch the ball with hands and feet ready to shoot in rhythm, use a shot fake before your shot. The shot fake gives you time to adjust your hands and feet and establish a shooting rhythm. Only use a step and turn when closely guarded.
Catch the ball with your hands in a relaxed position, giving with the ball as it is caught. Use the block-and-tuck method to catch the ball. Be in shooting position with your shooting hand high facing the basket (behind the ball) and your non-shooting hand slightly under the ball. Do not catch the ball with your hands on the sides of the ball, rotating them into position, because when you are rushed you have a tendency to put sidespin on the ball. Adjusting your shooting hand onto the seams of the ball slows down your release; however it helps some players get the shooting hand set on passes received from the weak-hand side.
Catch and Shoot with a Quick Release