What is a leaner
Also known as a leaning jump shot. It is a basketball shooting technique in which you combine a forward jump towards the basketball hoop with a set shot while drawing contact from your defender
What does it take to make a good leaner
Similar to making a good jump shot, the key to making a good lean begins with strengthening your wrist. There are tools that increase your wrist power. A strong wrist allows you to better control the ball when shooting in the air. For leaners, it is also important to boost your vertical jump but it is not as vital as in jump shots and fade-aways. Instead, improving your hangtime is also paramount to making a decent leaner because the more hangtime you have, the more time you have to recover from the contact you made with your defender, which is inevitable. Here comes the most important part: Solid, powerful arms and shoulders and excellent upper body balance. They are critical to shooting a good leaning jump shot because leaners are design to initiate contact with the defender and limits the defender's movement with the contact. Strength training using 80% of your 1-RM focusing on training your upper body will help.
When do I use a leaner
A leaner is best used when 3 conditions are satisfied:
Your upper body is stronger than your opponent
You defender is right in front of you in a slightly awkward defense position
You are in the paint or near the basketball hoop area
Leaners come in handy when you dribble or receive a pass in somewhere close to the hoop but you feel uncomfortable shooting. You can jump forward towards the basket to increase the chance of scoring on the shooting attempt. Leaners can be also used when you are able to perform a drop-step while posting up and turn into a position in which you are face-to-face with your defender under the basketball hoop.
When you are in the position of doing a leaning jump shot, Do not hesitate, jump right at your opponent with force and shoot with your wrist.
Pros-n-cons about doing a leaner
General step-by-step guide to shooting a leaner
(Reverse everything if you are left-handed)
Post up at the low post or near the paint
Heel pivot with you left feet
spin to the left until you can see the defender is right in front of you
(if space allows, you may just start from the following step without posting up)
Elevate upward and forward while holding the ball tightly
Hold the ball high above your head for the extra height advantage
Initiate contact with your chest on your way up
Recover from the collision ASAP
Square up with the hoop when you have reached the highest point.
Snap your wrist to propel the ball towards the rim.
The leaning jump shot is a very powerful weapon of the post players that has a strong upper and a tall stature. The other more advanced, air-borne basketball shooting skills is more universal in that it allows players of different types a size to use. It is the fade-away, the mirror image of a leaning jump shot.
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