One of the most productive ways to score in basketball is learning how to drive the basketball to the hoop. Driving in basketball is simply dribbling the basketball towards the hoop in order to score. Most often, driving the basketball ends with a lay-up, floater or a dunk, all of which are high percent shots. The positions who rely heavily on driving to the basket are usually guards and forwards because of their quickness. What makes it such a high percentage shot is not only the fact that you're close to the hoop, but there's an opportunity to get fouled and shoot at the free throw line.
It's important to work on specific skills in order to drive efficiently and effectively to the basket. Here are ten important steps to drive the basketball to the hoop and score.
To drive a basketball to the hoop, you will need:
- Work on your ball skills. Dribbling is an essential part of driving to the hoop. In order to get to the hoop, you need to be under control and be able to dribble the basketball without hesitation. Make sure you practice dribbling with both hands.
- Practice your footwork. It's important to not only have quick feet when driving to the hoop but to jump off the correct foot when finishing the drive.
- Train your eyes to stay at eye level. If you're looking at the ground while dribbling, you won't be able to see the floor, including your defenders and open lanes to the basket.
- Develop an outside shot. If you can't shoot the basketball, you'll have a difficult time driving to the hoop. Keeping the defender on their heels will allow you to make moves to the basket easier. Without the ability to shoot, the defender will sag off and stop you from gaining momentum towards the hoop.
- Work on simple moves. Using misdirection will move your defender and allow you to burst towards the hoop. The crossover is one of the most effective moves in order to drive to the hoop.
- Dribble the ball with your strong hand and bounce it to your other hand and then quickly back to your strong hand and explode towards the hoop. This is a crossover move. A crossover move can be used to explode past your defender and open up a lane to the hoop.
- Take an angle towards the hoop that will allow you to lay the ball up with your strong hand, jumping off your opposite leg. If you're right handed, you'll want to jump off your left foot and release the ball on the right side of the hoop. If you're lefty, do the opposite.
- Jump towards the hoop strongly in order to absorb any contact from your defenders. Falling away from the basket won't allow you to go up strong.
- Release the basketball at the highest point of your jump. This will reduce the risk of your shot being blocked.
- Use the backboard to bank the ball into the hoop. Laying the ball off the backboard will lead to the highest percentage lay-up you will make.
An effective scorer will need to be able to drive the basketball to the hoop to not only score but to create separation between defenders and allow teammates to get open shots. Practice these ten steps regularly in order to increase your ability to drive to the hoop during competition.
Tips: Practice driving to the hoop in a scrimmage situation to improve your driving skills. Simply practicing without any defense is helpful, but game situations will improve your ability to drive to the hoop immensely.
Become comfortable using both your left and right hand when driving the ball to the hoop. Being able to finish with both hands will increase your scoring chances.