Hook Shot: A Masterpiece for Post players
DEVELOPING THE CONVENTIONAL ONE-STEP AND JUMP HOOK SHOTS
The hook shot (preview a demonstration) is the most effective shot for a post player in the paint. This shot will allow you to shoot over the defensive player while maintaining good balance, rhythm, and the poise needed for accuracy. When executed correctly, the hook shot is impossible to defend. You can dictate the shooting tempo by varying the sizes of your steps and speed of releasing the basketball. These sequences will make it difficult for the defensive player to time, and successfully defend the hook shot. The side, sliding dribble is the preferred vehicle for getting into right position when not posting up in the blocks to launch the hook shot. This dribbling technique allows you to protect the basketball with your body by dribbling the basketball on the floor between your feet. I have discussed the shooting techniques from a "right-handed" player's perspective. If you are left-handed, simply swap "left for right."
THE CONVENTIONAL ONE-STEP HOOK SHOT
The Hook Shot Stance
Start the shooting technique by assuming a relaxed, solid stance on the left block between the first and third hash-mark. Flex your knees slightly, and keep your feet even and shoulder-width apart. Lead with your inside left foot when getting ready to shoot a right-handed hook shot.
Holding the Basketball
- Maintain a low explosive, side stance with your back almost parallel to the baseline.
- Look at the basket from over your inside shoulder (shoulder closest to the basket).
Hold the basketball slightly above your waist in the shooting pocket. Keep your right arm close to the body with the elbow pointing backward. Place your right-hand on the side and slightly above the basketball. Notice that your left hand is placed under the ball with the forearm almost parallel to the floor. The left elbow points toward the basket. You will command respect from the defensive player because of your triple-threat stance (wide vision); you can shoot, pass or drive to the basket if the lane is open. From this stance, you can also step back and shoot the basketball without adjusting your grip.
Getting into the Hook Shot
- Protect the basketball by holding it away from the defensive player in the shooting pocket.
Get into the hook shot by stepping in the lane with your lead left-foot. The lead step should be large, but sizable to allow you to maintain good balance when getting into hook shot. Keep your back straight, and lead the drive with your lowered, left shoulder. Transfer your body weight to the lead left-foot while turning, and point your toward the basket (spin on the ball of your left foot). Try to maintain the side position, and look at the basket from over your left shoulder. Pointing your toes will allow you to turn smoothly into the hook shot.
Getting off the Hook Shot
- Try to maintain the low and explosive side position when getting into the hook shot.
Jump off the left foot and raise the basketball up and slightly out over your head with the right hand. Raise your right knee simultaneously with the basketball. This will prevent the right leg from trailing the rest of the body, and upsetting your body balance when getting ready to shoot the hook shot. Tuck your left arm, flexed at the elbow, in front of you to maintain good balance and shield the basketball. Let the basketball rest on the base of your slightly spread and cupped fingers. Also, try to maintain the side position throughout the launching sequences to maximize your shooting success.
Position of the Shooting Arm
Position your shooting arm such that if you draw the arm back toward the head, your arm will almost be parallel to your neck-line extended upward. The palm of your shooting hand should face the basket from the side when holding the basketball over your head.
This aerial launching position will allow you to shoot at the center of the basket. Also, placing the basketball up over your strong shoulder (center of gravity), will enable you to maintain good balance when getting ready to release the basketball.
Releasing the Ball
- Remember that your shooting arm unfolds up and out slightly over your head, not out laterally to the side when getting off the hook shot.
- Keep your left arm (flexed at the elbow) in front of you to protect the basketball.
The Shooting Angle
You must be conscious of the angle between your shooting arm and the neckline extended when shooting the hook shot. This shooting angle dependent on your relative distance from the basket. It increases as you move further away from the basket and vice versa . Swing your shooting arm in a circular motion past the head turned toward the basket when releasing the basketball. Release the basketball at the highest point of elevation with the thumb of your shooting hand pointing at the center of the basket. This will allow you to release the basketball with the "finger pads".
A soft wrist snap followed by an extended follow-through terminates the hook shot and guides the basketball to the basket.
Landing after the Shot
- Do not turn your body (shoulders squared-up to the basket) until after you have released the ball.
After releasing the basketball, turn and land in a solid stance facing the basket (shoulders squared up to the basket). Keep your hands up and knees slightly flexed to absorb the landing impact.
TWO-FEET JUMP HOOK SHOT
- Flex your knees slightly, and keep your hands up ready to get back in play.
The two-feet jump hook shot is similar to the just described conventional one-step hook shot, except you will jump off both feet when shooting the basketball. Start the shooting by assuming a solid, side stance on the left block with your knees flexed. Keep your back straight with the inside, left shoulder pointing toward the basket. Also, keep your feet at shoulder-width apart, and hold the basketball in the shooting pocket. Look at the basket from over you inside shoulder when in the power stance.
Get into the jump hook shot by bringing your outside right-foot in slightly to maintain good balance. At the same time, lower the basketball to your hip to build shooting momentum. Protect the basketball by keeping it away from the defensive player in the outside shoot pocket. Jump off both feet and shoot a jump hook shot with your right hand. Since you are jumping off both feet, keep your knees straight to maintain good body balance and coordination. When shooting the hook shot, always tuck your off-arm flexed at the elbow in front of you to protect the basketball.
Try to maintain the side, power position until after you have released the basketball to increase your shooting accuracy. Turn after the shot, and land in a solid stance facing the basket. Keep your hands up ready to get back in play. Flex your knees slightly to maintain good balance and absorb the landing impact.
SUMMARY OF THE HOOK SHOT
- If you turn early (square up to face the basket) before releasing the basketball, you will end up with a less accurate one-handed jump shot.
The hook shot is the most effective shot that every post player must possess to be successful in the paint. When used properly, this shot is impossible to defend. The hook shot will give you maximum advantage over the defensive player, and allow you to use your most valuable asset, height to dominate the paint. However, just like every other skill in basketball, you must commit to spend many hours working to master the hook shot. Practice hard to develop good techniques, rhythm and coordination, and the confidence needed to use the hook shot under pressure.
When shooting the hook shot, force the defensive player to adjust to your pace by varying the sizes of your steps and speed of releasing the basketball. Try to maintain the side position until after you have released the basketball to increase your shooting accuracy. Work hard to make the magnificent hook shot your trademark, and shoot it with confidence.
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