Basketball Post Moves:
The Baby Hook
The baby hook shot looks like one of the tougher basketball post moves to execute - every time I teach it, my freshman post players say they can't do it. But, with a little practice, it is actually a pretty simple move using your strong hand. And with a lot more practice, it becomes a very effective move using both your strong and weak hands. It is a great post move for improving basketball post play.
A very difficult basketball shot to defend against when it is performed properly, being able to use the baby hook in addition to the drop step will make any post player very effective in the key. In fact, players should be taught the drop step first, as it can be used the entry into the baby hook.
The Fundamentals of this Basketball Post Move
To explain this basketball post move easier, we'll assume the post player is posting on the left side of the court - i.e., his left foot to the baseline.
- The post player sets up low on the block, his back to the basket. His defensive man should be pushed up against the post player, trying to deny the pass in from the wing, overplaying the baseline side
- The post player needs to drop his weight to maintain his balance - he'll likely be backing up against his defensive player anyway - with his knees bent, back straight and feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. One arm is raised and extended, giving the ball carrier on the wing a target
- The baby hook will be on the top side - i.e., not the baseline side - so the hand raised as target needs to be the hand away from the baseline (the right hand in this example)
From here there are two ways to perform this move:
- When the post player receives the pass, he can immediately pivot into the key, away from the baseline, to take the shot.
- In this instance, there is no step in this basketball post move - the post player simply pivots on the top side foot that is already planted (the right foot in this example). If he steps and then tries to pivot and take the shot, he'll be called for a travel. So the post player needs to have both feet planted solidly as the pass is coming, with the top side foot extended a little farther back into the key
- The other possibility is that the player performs a drop step into the key first (the same direction as the pivot above), and then pivots to perform a little jump hook.
Several things happen at once in this shot:
- When the post player pivots, he needs to extend his body up, making himself as tall as possible. To do this, he lifts his left knee high as his body is turning, and extends his body as high as he can, all in one fluid movement
- As his body is turning, the post player brings the ball up (still in both hands) so that when he finally shoots, the ball is extended as high above him as possible
- The post player must be sure to keep both hands on the ball until the last moment - always protect the ball, especially in a crowded key where lots of hands will be swiping for the ball
- The post player's pivot should take him about 90 degrees around, so that he finishes the pivot with his shoulders perpendicular to the hoop. This will mean that the entire breadth of his body will be between the ball and the defensive player when he shoots - and the defensive player will need to go through him (committing a foul) in order to block the shot, unless the defensive player is a truly exceptional leaper.
- The post player releases the ball at the height of the move, using his wrist to snap the ball, giving it backspin and arc.
- This is a soft shot, a finesse shot - the post player is only a few feet from the basket - and the arc on the shot along with the snap of the wrist will give the ball a nice roll on the rim as well as help it sail over any defensive player's outstretched arm
- In our example, the shooting hand will be the left hand. The right hand, then, is used to protect the ball as it is being released - remember that the ball is held firmly in both hands as the post player raises it, so at the very end, at the height of the move when the ball is being released, the right hand will drop away from the ball and should stay high, outstretched in front of the player to guard against the defensive man's reach for the ball.
The video below is a pretty good demonstration of this basketball post move - in this example, the move begins with a drop step into the key, and then flows into a jump hook.
Once you have introduced this basketball post move to your inside players, be sure to check out the practice drills for the baby hook - these are drills you can introduce after teaching your players how the basketball shot is performed.
The baby hook is a good basketball post move to know - it may not be the easiest to master, but it is a very difficult shot to defend against. Even smaller post players will find this a good move against larger defensive men, as the distance created by being shoulder width apart means the ball is released farther away from the defense, and by the time it reaches the space above the defensive man's head, the arc on the shot will have taken it quite high - generally higher than the defensive man is able to jump.
Post players who are able to consistently make the baby hook and another basketball move, the drop step, will find themselves on the scoreboard every game.
View more Basketball Post Moves here
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