Most youth basketball players have hopes to be the next LeBron James or Diana Taurasi and to play at the highest level. Unfortunately most players never grow to be 6'8 or naturally become an unstoppable athletic force. It's extremely important that players continue to develop skills and learn how to play the game without relying strictly on athleticism. This can be done through effective youth basketball drills and training with a purpose.
Floaters are typically associated with points guards slashing the lane looking to get their shot over the taller defender. The game is always evolving and we now see power forwards and centers floating the ball to the hoop. Even powerful big guys down low aren't always able force their way to the hoop. With defenders being tall and athletic at the guard positions, it's sometimes necessary for bigs to get a quick shot off over the top of a defender. Every basketball player can develop a floater and at some point in their career it will be utilized. These three floater options will increase your chances to score and also pick apart an opposing defense. Anyone can master these floaters through diligent training with relavant. basketball drills.
1. JUMP STOP TWO FOOT FLOATER
The jump stop floater is usually the most explosive out of the three and is usually the most controllable. Jump stopping allows a player to gather themselves before taking off and releasing the basketball at its peak point. The benefits of a two foot floater are the ability to pump fake, make an easy pass, and also absorb more contact when attacking the rim. The jump stop floater usually has the longest shot release time because you must gather yourself before going up. When using this floater it's important to stay low so you can explode into the shot. It's also important to shoot over your opposite shoulder, so that if a defender tries to block you, you can take the contact and avoid getting your shot blocked. If there is no defender in range then most players square their shoulders to the rim and push the ball forward. I recommend using this floater when the defense is already set in the lane and there may be a need to kick the ball out, use a pump fake, or avoid a charge.
2. RUNNING ONE FOOT FLOATER
The running floater is essentially an in-between shot and lay-up alternative. Often times players get themselves to deep into the paint and have no shot or passing lane. The running floater gives you the chance to shoot on the move and get your shot off before the defender can get to you. Defensive players often tend to step in and try to take charges on this floater, but as long as you time your shot and stay in control of your body, you should be fine. The running floater can be utilized heading straight to the rim, coming from the wing and also driving from the baseline. Typically a player isn't going full speed ahead when shooting this floater. You want to jump into the floater like you are shooting a lay-up and then shoot the ball at your peak with a gentle flick of the wrist. It's best to have your shoulders almost square to the rim like a regular shot. Using a higher arc on this floater can improve the percentage of it going in, but make sure to work on a comfortable trajectory.
3. EURO-STEP FLOATER
The euro step floater is the most difficult of the three options. It's the most difficult because it takes incredible balance, leg strength and coordination to successfully utilize this skill. You can see collegiate players every once in a while use this move and you'll find it mostly used at the professional level. Guys like LeBron James use this floater to avoid charges when attacking the rim, and also to fall away from defenders. It takes a ton of practice to master this floater but it can be very valuable to have in your skill box. When using this floater in game-like situations you must be under control and be able to switch directions front to back, and side to side on a drop of a dime. Typically NBA players attack the rim, side step their defender then fade back or to the side off of one foot. The ball is released at your peak over the top of the defenders outreached arm.
Having the ability to use these three floaters in game situations will give you options when attacking the rim, especially if there is a shot blocker or tall defender present in the paint. I suggest practicing different scenarios and getting multiple reps in before using in game situations. Adding these three floaters to your game will increase your ability to score on the move and also help you become a more versatile player.