Why it is Impossible to Stop the Sky Hook Shot
Many experts have offered their theories of why the sky hook shot is difficult to defend, however, none of them have really studied the shot exhaustively to offer meaningful explanation . I read and listened to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reasons on Youtube why the shot is difficult to defense without much conviction. Here is Kareem version of why it is almost impossible to stop the sky hook shot:
"When you shoot it, you force people to wait for you to go up," he said, "And if they wait until I started to shoot it then they'd have to judge the distance and time it, and it's gone before they can catch up to it. That's, for me, the beauty of it. You're in control because of when you're gonna release it and where. The defense has to see that and calculate everything before they get an opportunity to block it." Ok, I think I get it!
Timing is very important when shooting the hook shot, however, experts don't really know where the timing originates from. For starters, the sky hook shot works best if one use the dribble to set-up the defensive player, then shoot the shot in the opposite direction. That take two dribbles in one direction, then reversing and shoot the hook shot with the opposite hand. Here is Chick Hearn describing of Kareem on offense in the block:
"They give it to Kareem. He'll swing left, shoot right. He swings left, shoots right … the 12-foot skyhook is good!"
After the two dribbles in one direction, the player reverse-back and shoots the hook shot with the opposite hand. It works best if one uses his offhand to set up the defensive player, then shoot the hook shot with his strong hand. If you watch today's game, most post players dribble with their strong hands and shoot with the weak hands, thus limiting their success. The most important aspect of the hook shot timing comes of the reverse step is the hop-step with the off-foot. This off-step is similar to the first step when going for a lay-up shot. This hop-step sets up the necessary rhythm need to succeed with the hook shot. In it, also lies the most important aspect of the hook shot timing burster.
A defensive player times and try to match the offensive player's rhythm and pace in order to block or contest the shot. He does this by matching your first (hop-step) step to the basket. When coming off the reverse-spin, an offensive player will take the first hop-step. Depending on the side of the hop-step, the defensive player will match it to equalize his pace and rhythm. The offensive player can take a larger or smaller second step before shooting the hook shot to throw off the defensive player's timing. The second timing burster is a quick or delayed release of the basketball depending on the defensive player's position. When the offensive player combines these two aspects of the hook shot, it becomes almost impossible for the defensive player to time and successfully contest the hook shot. One always hears about how difficult it is to block a sky hook shot, however, nobody has yet to come up with a valid reason. Now, here you have it.
From the block, the defensive is crouched down low with his legs spread trying to muscle the offensive player. This position reminds me of the giraffe at a water hole with its legs fully spread Oh know! When the lion comes off the near-by bush, the giraffe is toast because it cannot move quickly enough to evade the lion. The same position applies to the defensive player when the offensive player shoots the sky hook without the dribble. He catches the defensive player in a low crouch position where he is defenseless Surprise!
Joe Odhiambo has studied individual post offense, and he totally understands what it takes to be a good post player. He has more knowledge (what really works) on post offense than just about any coach in the business today. To experience what Joe is talking about, see some of his post offense posting on Youtube under Molangaaliru Individual Postoffense.com I would like you to particular see my practice on how to shoot the sky hook at Sky Hook Shot.
If you can find anybody with a better understanding of the sky hook shot, email me and I will personally come to your site and conduct a free clinic on individual post offense.