The Jump-Shot

By JULIAN YANG The jump-shot is one of the finer points of basketball techniques. Jump-shots, or ‘jumpers’, as commonly known, are fast in execution and high in the height of release. These two factors make it more effective and potent as weapons for any offense. It is harder to anticipate and block. Players who want to develop an effective jump-shot must understand these basic mechanics: (1) The strength of jump-shots comes from the back and legs, not the arms; (2) The arms are strictly for ensuring a smooth and straight ball-delivery; (3) Jump-shots are made with a combination of body movements, beginning from the ankles, the back and ending at the tips of the fingers. Ball-handling for Jump-shots There is no perfect way for handling the ball for jump-shots. The general posture of handling the ball is to have one hand for delivery and one as positioning. The delivery hand is generally beneath the ball, in line with the master eye of the player for the aiming. The positioning hand is at the side of the ball, holding the ball in place just after the player takes off from the ground, before shooting the ball at its apex. Diagram A shows the conventional way of handling a ball. Diagram A There are other variations to handling of the ball such as that of NBA superstar Ray Allen, where both hands are involved in the delivery and positioning. Whatever style a player adopts should be one that he or she is most comfortable with and is an effective weapon during the game. Full-Body motion ‘Full-body motion’ is where one makes a combination of body motions that constitute a flow from the starting position called a ‘ready’ position, to a full-stretched one called a ‘release position’. The ‘ready’ position is where the player bends his knees as well as bending his back by leaning forward. The ‘release’ position is when the player’s knees and back are fully straightened, with his arms fully extended. Types of Jump-shots Triple threat jump-shot Done very frequently when it comes to one-on-one situations where opponents can be caught off-guard, not expecting the player to shoot but to pass or dribble. Catch-and-shoot Corner-stones of various forms of team plays, where players set up various screens for a set shooter, who upon evading the defender through the screens is able to buy enough time to execute a jump-shot. Turn-around jump-shots Frequently used at the low-post, where taller and bigger players execute this move towards the baseline so as to create space for themselves for an open shot. Fade-away Used when a player chooses to lean backwards away from an opponent and releases a shot. Summary Jump-shooting is an effective weapon. Its quickness, speed, power and height allow a momentary advantage over the opponent, freeing enough time for the shot attempt without being challenged. All players who aspire to become scorers will need to develop a good jump-shot. This will add variety to the player’s skills, making him more unpredictable and thereby harder to defend.

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