Regular:(Right handed lay-up) The regular lay-up is one of the most basic shots used in basketball. This shot is generally used when there is no defense around or when driving to the basket. To do a lay-up, dribble toward the basket from the right side of the court. When the player is two steps from the hoop the player should pick-up the ball and as the right foot hits the ground. The player should move the ball to the right side of the body away from the defense toward their shoulder. (For a left handed lay-up everything should be done opposite) keeping eye contact with a spot six inches above, and slightly right of the basket.
The player should then plant firmly with the left foot, and propel sharply upward brining the right knee up toward the chest, carrying the ball still in two hands with the right hand behind the ball and the left hand to the side of the ball. The player should continue to keep the ball to the right side keeping their body between the ball and a defender.
At the top of the jump, with both arms above the head, the eyes should still be focused on a spot above the rim, just to the right of the basket. Allow the left hand to fall away. The right arm, wrist, and fingers should all extend and the player should gently push the ball up towards the spot they are focused on.
Power lay-up: The power lay-up is done when player expects contact or needs to finish strongly. This is when a player plants both feet, rather than jumping off of one, and finishes with a two hand finish (more similar to a shot but from up close). Keeping two hands on the ball and jumping off of two feet keeps the player in control and in a stronger, more balanced position.
Inside hand lay-up: The inside hand lay-up is a great move to use when there is a defender right near you, or trailing closely to you as you drive to the basket. This finish throws the defender off if they attempt to block the shot as most shot blockers anticipate a normal layup. Doing an inside hand layup is actually quite simple, it is done by completing a regular right-handed lay-up on the left side (and vice versa). So, as you approach dribbling up on the left side you will jump off your left foot and finish with your right hand.
Reverse lay-ups: Reverse lay-ups are good for finishing in traffic or for throwing off a good shot blocker. The reverse lay-up uses the rim to shield the defense away from being able to block the shot, and are done by finishing on the opposite side of the hoop from where you jump. A basic reverse lay-up from the left side would be done by approaching the hoop similar to how you would for a regular lay-up. However, you will take one extra step and get a little closer to the hoop prior to jumping. You will then jump off of your left foot (similar to how you would) for an inside hand lay-up, however you will jump toward the other side of the rim and you will lay the ball up with your right hand off the right side of the backboard. There are 4 basic combinations of reverses: From the left side – jump off the left foot and finish with right hand or jump off the right foot finish with left hand, From the right side – jump off the right foot and finish with left hand or jump off the left foot and finish with the right hand. In order to effectively do these reverses you should understand how to correctly put spin on the ball. Reverses don’t all have to fit in these 4 buckets however; they can also be done off of two feet or as a post move inside. As with all things in basketball, be creative in how you use it.
Other variations: see advanced finishing section for some advanced lay-ups like Steve Nash’s scoop lay-up…
Jump Shot: The jump shot is the basic shot that is used most frequently, the details of a jump shot are explained comprehensively in the shooting guide
Free throw or foul shot: The free throw should be among the easiest shots in basketball. The principles that apply in the shooting guide to jump shots applies fully to the foul shot, with a few slight differences.
– There is no defense so there is no need to rush the shot.
– Typically a player does not jump on a foul shot, they simply extend to the balls of their feet, but do not jump
– Players have 10 seconds to shoot their foul shots, they should use this time to perform a consistent pre-shot routine (two dribbles, three dribbles, etc…). The pre-shot routine does not matter, what does matter is that you do the same thing consistently.
My personal routine on a foul shot as always been to wipe my hand on my shorts, take three slow dribbles, spin the ball in my hands, find the seams of the ball, then bring the ball up to just below eye level (so I can see my hand, the ball and the rim). I take one slow deep breath and picture the ball going in. After all this I take my shot confidently, knowing that it will go in.
Floater: A floater is a terrific shot that can be used in many different ways in a variety of different situations. This shot is typically used by guards attempting to shoot in traffic or over a taller defender(s). It can be shot off the run, off the dribble, or off of a catch. It can be banked in or swished. The floater is shot by a gently pushing the ball up in the air with a higher than normal arc. Different from a jump shot, this is even shot without back spin as it is “pushed” up in the air more than it is propelled by a flick of the wrist toward the basket. There is no set way to shoot a floater so the best way is to watch some videos of players shooting floaters, and then practicing them on your own.
Fadeaway: (Advanced) The fadeaway (aka fall-away or turnaround) is an advanced shot that should not be added to a player’s arsenal until they are a skilled jump shooter. The fadeaway creates space between a shooter and the defender, enabling the shooter to get off a shot more cleanly or over a taller defender. The fadeaway requires much more coordination and strength than a normal jump shot, that is why you should not attempt until you have mastered the jump shot. To do a fadeaway you generally begin with your back to the basket (for this example we will assume this shot is done from the left block (if you are facing the basket), by a right handed shooter, who is fading toward the baseline). A fadeaway can be done from anywhere on the court and can be done going in either direction. It can also be shot from a catching post-up situation, or off the dribble. Assuming the ball is caught in the post with both feet planted firmly and the defender on your back. Keeping the ball extended away from the defense and toward the baseline do a front pivot with your right foot as the pivot foot, this will take you towards the baseline. The left foot should pivot around just less 180 degrees so you square up to the hoop with your right foot slightly in front of your left. As you square to the basket, find the hoop/rim with your eyes, and jump up and backwards away from the hoop, staying square to the basket and keeping your balance. Release the shot just before the top of your jump with the same strict fundamentals as a jump shot. This should all be one fluid motion and should not be overly difficult or feel overly awkward. If you are unable to shoot this shot without difficulty, that means you are probably not ready to master it, and you should hit the weight room and start shooting more jump shots until it feels more normal.
To shoot the fadeaway in the other direction simply catch with both feet planted, pivot on your left foot toward the middle of the court so the right leg swings around
Jump Hook: A jump hook can be used by both guards and big men. This is a great way to get a shot off against a taller defender or in traffic. Typically this will be used when within 5 to 10 feet of the hoop. For this example we will do a right handed jump hook (to do a left handed jump hook, follow the same instructions but in the opposite direction). To initiate the jump hook turn your left shoulder towards the defender so your body is sideways to both the defender and the basket. Jump straight up in the air with your right arm extended upwards, at the top of the jump you will use your wrist to power the shot towards the hoop. This is similar to the final step of shooting a jump shot as the ball should come off your middle and index fingers and impart backspin on the ball (this shot should also come off of your fingertips and finger pads). This should be all one fluid motion and can be done off the dribble or off of a catch. While traditionally done by big men, this can also be very effectively utilized by guards.
Other hook shots: There are various other hook shots such as the skyhook and baby hook, which can be extremely effective. These are basically variations of the jump hook. The sky hook has a longer sweeping release and the baby hook with a shorter quicker release.