Five Questions About the Shooting Dip

 

“To dip or not to dip? That is the question.”

As Pro Shot travels the highways and byways of North America we see a tremendous amount of coaches who are anti-dip. In other words they believe that you should catch the ball in your shot pocket and shoot from that shot pocket.

Anytime you bring the ball down is called a “dipping motion.” And of course we hear the expression by many coaches regarding shooting, “Less motion is always better.”

Motion obviously is very important in basketball and shooting. Frankenstein would be a terrible shooter. Anything in life needs motion and shooting is no different. So is dipping a negative motion? No.

Stand up and try to jump up and down. Your arms will raise up with your body as you jump. It is how the human body works. Now try to jump with your arms and hands at your chest. Doesn’t feel right. Does it?

When conducting camps we tell the campers to imagine a golfer without a back swing. Wouldn’t be very a very good golfer. Think of a tennis players who has no back swing as well. Would be a terrible player. Imagine a baseball pitcher without a wind-up. Probably would get cut. The dip is the back swing of basketball. It gives a player more power and rhythm which are two very key components to shooting.

In our camps and clinics we often start with the dip. Dipping is a very important component to shooting as it allows the shooter to receive rhythm and power in his or her shot. Is rhythm and power important in shooting? We like to believe so.

When you think about it, power is probably the most important component to accurate shooting. After all, if you are not strong enough to get the ball up to the basket, does anything else really matter?

Players are often told by their coaches to NOT bring the ball down. I have actually heard coaches say to “Never dip the ball.” After great research we have discovered that the best shooters now and of all-time dipped the ball.

It’s not a question of who dips the ball, it’s more of a question of who DOESN’T dip the ball. It is also not a gender thing either. The best women players are dippers. Let’s break down the Dip technique even further.

 

Below are five questions we get asked constantly about the dip.

WHERE DO WE DIP TO? We believe dipping from the waist to the hip is the most ideal area on the body. The dip occurs when a players receives the pass from above his head to generally the waist level. The player dips usually between the waist and thigh.

ISN’T THE DIP SLOWER? It is if you do it slower. We believe it as fast or actually faster than a non- dipping motion.

HOW CAN YOU DIP AND SHOOT WHEN SOMEONE IS GUARDING YOU? You don’t. We are amazed at how often we get asked this question by coaches and players. If a player is on you, you pass the ball. You drive. But you do not shoot in a defender’s face.

WHY DON’T WOMEN/GIRLS DIP? Actually the best women and girls players dip the ball. Maya Moore, Elena Delle Donne, Sue Bird, Candace Parker, Kaleena Masqueda Lewis (NCAA record holder for threes), Diana Taurasi and Katie Smith (WNBA record holder for threes in a career) all dip.

We would estimate 97% of high school girls players do not dip the ball compared to 50% at the boys levels. That’s a staggering number.

So why do so many girls not dip? There are a few reasons for this high number at the girls levels. The first revolves around how coachable girls are. Male basketball players are generally into comfort. If it feels comfortable then they usually stick with that. Girls, on the other hand, are about pleasing the coach. If a coach tells them not to dip, then they will not dip in any situation.

The other reason why so many girls/women do not dip is because of tension. Women carry their tension differently than their male counterparts. Males carry tension often in their low back where women is almost always the neck and shoulders. Women and girls play more upright than male players and they shoot more upright as well.

So can females effectively dip? Of course they can, but sometimes it may take a few days to a few weeks to get comfortable with the dipping motion. Most male players generally take a few minutes to a couple of hours to feel comfortable with the dip.

WHO DOESN’T DIP? We have researched every player in the NBA and have watched video to see who dips and who doesn’t. Here’s what we have discovered.  Ricky Rubio doesn’t dip. Considered one of the worst shooters in NBA history for his position. Manu Ginobli is very inconsistent with his dip, but then again Manu is much better shooting off of the dribble than off of the pass.

The best shooter we have identified as a non-dipper is Kyrie Irving who like Ginobli shoots the majority of his shots off the dribble and also shoots a higher percentage off the dribble as well. Remember that when a player shoots off of the dribble, he or she does not need to dip because the motion is already a dip.

 

If you tell your players not to dip, we hope you do the research on this. It has greatly helped thousands upon thousands of players that we have coached. We get so many players that approach us during the camp and say, “The dip feels so much more comfortable and I feel like I have more power.” To reference a 70’s television commercial, “Try it. You will like it!”

 

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