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Baseline Drives: Attacking from the Wings

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    Sports Tips

Baseline Drives: Attacking from the Wings

Attacking from the wings with a vicious baseline drive can be a game-changer. It puts defenders on their heels, creates high-percentage scoring opportunities, and can draw fouls. In this post, we’ll break down key techniques to help you become a maestro of the baseline drive. We will explore footwork, the strategic use of the backboard, and efficient methods for finishing through contact.

The Importance of Footwork

When it comes to driving baseline, the foundation lies in impeccable footwork. Here's a breakdown of effective footwork techniques:

Triple Threat Stance

  • Balanced Base: Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, providing stability and quickness.
  • Knees Bent: Stay low to be explosive off the dribble.
  • Ball Protection: Keep the ball close yet ready to move.

Jab Step & Explosive First Step

  • Jab Step: Use a quick jab step to get the defender off balance or to create space.
  • Explosive First Step: Drive the lead foot towards the baseline with explosive energy, keeping the dribble low and tight.

Body Control

  • Stay Low: Maintain a low center of gravity to be more agile.
  • Shoulder Lean: Lean your shoulder slightly towards the defender to shield the ball while driving.

Using the Backboard

The backboard is your best ally on a baseline drive. Understanding how to effectively use it can turn challenging angles into easy buckets.

Aim for the Sweet Spot

  • High Off the Glass: Aim for the high spot on the backboard depending on your angle of approach. Anywhere between the top corner and center of the square is ideal.

Bank Shot Technique

  • Soft Touch: Use a soft touch to direct the ball gently off the glass.
  • Angle of Approach: Change the angle of your drive to increase your chances of a higher-percentage bank shot.

Reverse Layups

  • Shield the Defender: Use the rim to shield the ball from shot blockers.
  • Spin and Timing: Use a reverse spin with the correct timing for a smooth, high-arcing finish off the backboard.

Finishing Through Contact

Driving baseline frequently means finishing through contact. Here’s how to convert under pressure:

Embrace the Contact

  • Strong Core: Strengthen your core to absorb body contact.
  • Expect the Hit: Anticipate contact to maintain your balance and control.

Use Both Hands

  • Ambidextrous Finishing: Practice finishing with both hands to keep defenders guessing.
  • Unexpected Angle: Use off-hand shots to bypass defenders.

Draw the Foul

  • Initiate Contact: Sometimes initiating slight contact forces the defender to react and commit a foul.
  • Sell the Call: Use your body language and shout to draw the referee’s attention.

Putting It All Together

To illustrate the integration of these techniques, consider the following sequence:

1. Starting StanceAssume a balanced Triple Threat stanceReady to attack or counterattack
2. Jab StepQuick jab to make the defender retreat or shift weightCreate space or get defender off balance
3. Explosive DrivePush off explosively towards the baselineGain the necessary step on your defender
4. Backboard UsageAim high off the glass or go for a reverseConvert tricky angles into easy shots
5. Finish Through ContactUse strong core and ambidextrous finishingMaintain control and draw potential fouls

Implement these techniques in your practice routines. Remember, consistency in training will turn these moves into second nature come game day. Happy driving!