As with any fake, to be effective a shot fake needs to be realistic. Otherwise, it is unlikely to get a response from the defender. Key teaching points are:

  • Bring the ball above the eyes (and continue to look at the target underneath the ball). Some players will also lift their head and upper body, which can help to get a response from the defender;
  • Keep the shooting hand underneath the ball, as if shooting. If the player simply lifts the ball above their head with hands on the side (for example) it may not cause the defender to react;
  • The movement of the ball up should be quick – at the pace that would be used when shooting. However the player should not immediately bring it down because if the movement is too quick, it will not give the defender time to react to the shot;
  • Both feet should stay on the floor (and it is imperative that the pivot foot stays on the floor otherwise the player is likely to travel) and with knees flexed. The offensive player needs to be ready to move explosively if the defender does react;
  • After raising the ball, the player should bring it down to their hip, so that they can dribble or shoot depending upon the reaction of the defender.

If the defender reacts to the fake, the offensive player must be ready to dribble while taking a step. The ball should hit the floor (on the dribble) at the same time as the foot they step with hits the floor.

If the defender moves past the offensive player or lunges forward, the offensive player may wish to move sideways. This is particularly important, for example, if the player wants to shoot a 3point and accordingly does not want to move forward.

If the defender jumps or lifts, the offensive player may wish to step past them – attacking the defender’s hips. If the offensive player moves directly behind the defender it is almost impossible for them to turn around to block the shot.

If the offensive player moves sideways the defender may be able to recover position.