A floater is one of the best and most effective shots for getting your shot over taller defenders.
It is also one of the best shots off a pick and roll and when you are driving to the basket.
While the floater has become a modern staple of today's NBA and basketball as a whole it is still a shot many players have a hard time mastering and perfecting.
In this article, I will be going over a few simple tricks and tips you can use to shoot the floater at a higher percentage, while also making you feel more comfortable shooting these shots in a competitive game.
1. Knowing When To Take The Floater
The floater is a shot that should not be taken all the time. The floater in most cases is something you should shoot when your momentum is going toward the basket and you do not have enough room to take a pull-up jump shot.
Examples of when to take a floater
Pick and Rolls- A pick and roll is a great time to take a floater because this is a situation where your momentum is moving forward and your defender is likely trailing you on the play.
Trae Young is an excellent example of someone who uses the floater very effectively in the pick and roll situation.
2. Understanding Momentum
One of the hardest parts about shooting the floater is trying to get a touch on the basketball while your body is moving towards the hoop.
One way of perfecting this is by putting a little less force on the ball while your body is moving toward the hoop. This is so your body's momentum can carry the ball instead of your arm doing all of the work.
Another thing you can do is trying to use the backboard in these types of situations. This is because using the backboard will give you a little more leeway if you do overshoot your floater.
2. Developing Touch
No doubt the floater might be arguably one of the toughest shots in basketball due to the amount of touch it requires from a player.
A great way to develop touch around the rim is by getting a proper arch on the basketball. This will allow you to put more of that energy into the height of the ball instead of the distance so you do not overshoot your shot.
One easy technique you can use with your ach is by making sure to extend your elbow up and above your head. By extending your elbow you can then change the angle at which you shoot which should allow for more arch on your shot.
3. Have A Target
This is a simple tip I give to any player that I work with regardless of if it is a 3 point shot or a layup.
Having a target is not just about looking or aiming at the basket. One thing a lot of great shooters do is focus on one point on the rim. This could be the front of the rim or certain metals attached to the basket you are playing on.
Having a specific point you're re aiming at can help you get out of your own head and allow your instincts and body to take over without having any other thoughts messing up the rhythm of your shot.
4. Practice Under Different Circumstances
One of the biggest mistakes I see athletes making when they are practicing this shot is either going too slow or practicing the same type of shot over and over.
You must understand the floater is a type of shot that will vary widely in games. For example, sometimes you are going to be going very fast and having to shoot over taller defenders. Other times you are going to be at a slower pace and might have to get less arch on your shot.
If you want to be able to shoot under any type of circumstances then your practice needs to reflect this.
5. Know Which Floater Is Best For You
Many players when thinking about this type of shot tend to think about the typical 1 foot leaning floater you see from guys like Trae Young Or Luka Donic.
And while this floater is a great option for many players I do not want you to feel obligated to shoot this way if it is not comfortable for you.
Remember a floater is a style of shot just like any other type of shot in basketball you do not always have to have the exact same variant.
So my best advice is to practice and see what your body naturally likes to do and then get as many reps with that as possible. As long as it allows you to get off your shot quickly and effectively over opposing defenders.
6. Square Up
This is a tip I give to many players who struggle with their percentages and consistency.
Remember I cannot stress this enough just because a type of shot might seem different than a regular jump shot does not mean basic fundamentals go out the window.
To square up effectively on almost all shots you still need to have your shooting shoulder aligned to the rim.
Many players and coaches call this the turn. The turn can be very tough on a floater simply because most players are going to be driving straight to the basket on their drives.
To counteract this try turning your shooting shoulder and squaring up right before you are about to take your shot.
Frequently Asked Question
Question: Should you flick your wrist when shooting a floater?
Answer: While I believe every player should do what they feel comfortable with. On a floater, I find it is very hard for players to get the most amount of control and touch when they flick their wrist due to the amount of forwarding momentum they are experiencing.
But this does not apply to all floaters. For example on a two-foot floater where a player is stopping or slowing down, flicking your wrist can help you gain more control and allow you to get the proper rotation.
Question: How do you know whether to take a floater or drive in for a layup.
Answer: A great way this is by seeing if your defender in front of you is in a better defensive position, or if they are much bigger and more athletic than you.
I am not saying you should not look to attack just because your defender is bigger or more athletic. But what I am saying is that you should always know yourself and figure out in your head what is a higher percentage option for you at that time.
The floater is one of the most practical and easiest ways to score in today's basketball.
This is why almost all players of any level and height should look to develop this important shot.
I hope this article helped give you some useful tips and tricks to perfect and master the floater.
As always thank you for reading and keep hooping my friends.