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How To Shoot A Pull Up Jumper In Basketball

The pull up jumper is one of the best shots in basketball, because it allows you to virtually get your shot off at anytime or place on the court. But this can be a very difficult shot and requires a lot of practice and repetition in order to be able to shoot this shot effectively in game scenarios.

In this article I will be breaking down the things, you will need to do in order to master the pull up jump shot.

1. Having A Two Motion Shot

So a two motion shot is a shot where you release at the top of your jump. This is what would be called the more traditional jump shot.

For more information on a two motion shot check links below.

One reason to use a two motion shot for pull up jumpers, is because it allows you to get on balance easier for your shot.

A reason it helps get you on balance is because a pull up jumper is usually going to happen in the midrange or off of some type of explosive move where your defender thinks you are going to drive to the basket.

So in order to be on balance after an explosive move your going to need more time to align your shot. Which is why a two motion shot works so well for a pull up jumpers. Simply because it allows you to have more time because your in the air longer.

I am not saying you exactly need a two motion shot for all pull ups, but if you want the traditional pull up, we see from guys like MIcheal Jordan or Chris Paul, then having a two motion shot will make things much easier and effortless, when going for a pull up jump shot.

Shooting a Two Motion Shot also helps with balance because as a two motion shooter you are better able to stop on a dime and rise up for your shot. Where a one motion shooter it is going to be very difficult to stop on a dime since your going to have almost too much power in your shot.

This is a reason why the best mid range shooters and pull up shooters have two motion shots where one motion shooters like Steph Curry Or Trae Young rarely take pull up jumpers, but instead opt to more floaters and higher arcing layup attempts in the paint.

So this is a great opportunity if you do find more comfort with two motion shooting, some of the hardest parts of two motion shooting like strength and jumping ability get neutralized in a pull up situation, since you will have more space, and enough momentum to easily get your shot off and sink more pull up jumpers like Micheal Jordan, or Chris Paul.

Here is a few clips of Micheal Jordans pull up to give you a better Idea on how to shoot a two motion pull up jump shot.

Tips And Drills For A Two Motions Pull Up Jump Shot.

1. Strength- This is very important when talking about a pull up jumper especially for two motion shooters. I will not be giving out workout advice in this article. But whatever you do make sure to incorporate some type of strength training at least 3 days a week preferably a whole body workout. Unless your are really experienced and want to workout more than that and need to see quicker results.

Check out Link Below For Recommended Workout Split For Basketball Players

2. Force absorption- Now I think this is a very underrated part of basketball that coaches and trainers do not pay enough attention too. But frankly in a pull up jumper situation, you need to be able to absorb force effectively so you can be more balanced on your shot. This will not only help you on your shooting but in every area of basketball as well.

I found this great video that accurately describes the importance of deceleration and how you can implement this into your game.

3. Getting used To Shooting this way- Now Players especially younger players always tell me how weird it is to shoot this way at first, and how they cannot seem to be able to get used to this type of shooting motion. But the truth of the matter is that this shooting motion is a muscle like anything else, and the only way to get better at this for pull up shooting is to practice and practice.

Think of it like this, a bodybuilder cannot lift as much as a power lifter can right. So while strength training can make shooting this way easier, developing the proper technique and skill is just as important as anything else in basketball.

4. Alignment- This changes depending on which side of the floor you are on but, it is important to know that whether you know it or not most shooters like to align there elbow, hips, and shooting shoulder directly towards the basket.

So if your shooting a pull up jumper off the dribble then your most likely going to not have the time to set that all up before hand like on a catch and shoot. So if your a right handed shooter pulling up to your right side your going to have to rotate in mid air and get used to releasing it when all those components are lined up.

Pro Tip: Although it is not the most fun way of practicing, just by learning how to rotate in the air to take that shot without the ball, can give you the basic fundamentals and footwork required to get off an effective and deadly pull up jumper especially as a two motion pull up shooter.

2. A Lot Of Practice

I know this seems pretty obvious. But when I am talking about practice I am not just talking about practice by your self, I mean actively doing this in pick up games, and competitive situations.

A reason for this in my experience is when doing a pull up jumper you will learn, how much more difficult it is in games than by yourself. Almost more than any other shot. This is because a pull up jumper has so many variances that can change the shot. From the speed in which your dribbling to when and where your defender contests.

I am not saying you should not practice a pull up jumper in slower settings or by yourself , but what I am saying is that it needs to be incorporated at game speed at some point or your virtually wasting your time. You need to emulate the game like situation as much as possible from fatigue, speed, intensity, in order to master this and shoot it better in games.

Tips For Practicing Pull Up Jumpers: One of the only and best tips I can give is to constantly mix up the way you shoot your pull up jumper. From its speed that your dribbling at, the positioning on the floor, and even the defenders you will be going up against. This is very important for a pull up jumper as it is one of the hardest shots in basketball.

3. Having The Right Footwork

This is very key when it comes too shooting a pull up jumper, while styles and preferences are all up to you as an individual player, there are certain thing I notice help players in there pull up shooting ability involving footwork.

Alignment- Now I talked about this a little above this article, about aligning your shooting elbow, hip, and shoulder to the basket. But it is impossible to do this effectively without the right footwork.

Now you can go about this in to ways, if your a player who likes to shoot a two motion shot as I mentioned above, the the footwork you will need to worry the most about is what I like to call the 1-2 step. The one two step is exactly as it sounds, which basically means taking two choppy steps before your take off.

This is important as this allows you to get the proper lift required in order to have enough momentum to get your shot if in a two motion type of shot.

Now if your more of a one motion shooter for your pull up jump shots then I recommend focusing your footwork on something I like to call the turn. The turn is basically where your turn your body so that you can get that elbow, hip, and shooting shoulder perfectly aligned with the basket.

This will be harder on your right side if you are a right handed shooter, or harder on your left side if you are a left handed shooter. But an easy way for a one motion shooter to shoot a better effective pull up jumper is by turning your body in the middle of your shot. Now this might seem like a daunting task but it is something that will become second nature once you get the hang of it like anything you just need to practice this.

For More information on the turn on how to do it check out the video below

4. Knowing How To Set Up A Pull Up

Now this is very important when talking about the pull up jumper. You can get all the mechanics down and right, but if you do not know when to take a pull up jumper or how to set it up then all that practice was virtually for nothing.

Being A threat to drive- Understand that this is what the pull up was meant for. it is a counter to your defender cutting of your driving lane. I am not saying that you have to be like Russel Westbrook but I am saying that you have to be at least a threat or capable of driving to the basket.

Pro Tip: A basic move if you do struggle to drive to the rim but still are are good pull up shooter, is to attack your defenders top foot. whether that be of a crossover, or of a jab whatever it is attacking your defenders lead foot will open him up and give you that split second of room to rise above and take that pull up jumper.

Using Lateral Movements- Some of the best pull up jump shooters and mid range shooters use lateral movements to get into there pull up jumper. What works about using lateral movements is that it gives you more room as an offensive player, which in turn makes you more unpredictable, and frankly just gives you more space for your pull up jumper.

While it is good to attack vertically at times, mixing it up is a sure fire way to keep your defender guessing and allow you to get off your pull up jumpshot easier and more effectively.

Know who you are playing against- While I do believe a pull up jumper is great against all types of players it is important not to get too complacent with it, and not look for better opportunities on the floor.

For example if you happen to be a guard and have a speed advantage on a big that switched out on you, you will easily be able to get that pull up off against him. But while a pull up is an option that is almost always there for a player it can be a double edged sword in that, you can get complacent as a player. So still look to get to the rim and find your open teammates, that pull up will likely be there all game.

Frequently Asked Questions About a pull up jump shot

Why does it seem like I always miss my pull up short or do not have enough strength to get it to the rim?

This could be for a multitude of reasons, but one of the main ways this takes place, is either because you do not have enough strength yet, or you are not getting enough momentum on your shot. For strength that can be fixed by practicing the shot over and over so you develop the proper muscles for that shot. And by developing a good workout routine. For momentum make sure you plant your feet hard into the ground with a one two step and focus on exploding up, this is also known as Dorsey flexion which will allow for optimal jump power and momentum for a smoother easier pull up jump shot.

For more information check the link below

How Do I get a pull up over a taller defender?

While it is usually much more difficult to get a pull up over a taller defender it can be done. One of the easiest ways to do this is dribbling right at him, this will instinctively cause him to jump back, which is your chance to pull up for a jump shot, or pull up. But in either case you just need to set him up more and cause him to be more worried about your drive whether thats a pump fake, crossover, jab step, whatever it is you need to either have him back up, or open up his lead foot.

How do I know whether to do a floater of a pull up jump shot?

A good rule of thumb with this is too shoot a pull up when your defender is still in front of you and a floater when your past your initial defender and need to get it over the opposing help defense.

Can I have an effective pull up jump shot even if I cannot jump so high?

Absolutely in fact, not being able to jump high can sometimes make a pull up go easier. Think about it even though some of the best pull up shooters are freak athletes, they usually do not jump there highest on these shots, and in fact the players who do jump the highest often struggle with there consistency and field goal percentages, like Russel Westrbook. Even though it might be a little harder to get your shot off you can counter this by setting it up better, or having a slight fadeaway incorporated into your pull up. This can give you more room, and you can mix a fade and a pull up quite seamlessly. For example a player like Lou Williams does this very effectively.

How do I know whether I Should Pull Up Or Continue Driving To The Basket?

Again a good rule of thumb is to know what kind of player you are going against, if he is much bigger and more athletic and you already have a good shot, then take the shot. If you have the size advantage and its a mismatch, then pulling up might let the defender of the hook. Remember the more you play the better you will get a feel of this. Another important thing to watch is if he has your driving lane cut off. For example if your driving hard to the hoop and your defender has to quickly run to where you are going, then most likely you have a good opportunity for a pull up jump shot.

How do I pull up better In transition?

Like anything with the pull up jumper, you need to use your footwork to stop on a dime and work on deceleration, and your footwork. It also helps to have a two motion shot in a situation like this since you will have enough momentum to get the ball to hoop and enough time to align yourself to the shot for the most accuracy. But if your a one motion shooter like Steph Curry then you will need to account for that speed by putting a little less force on the ball since that momentum will guide you most of the way.

Why Do My Pull Up Jumpers always seem to be getting blocked?

A simple tip I have told players before is to always fake an opponent out with your eyes. A big reason you might be getting blocked is because your opponent sees what your trying to do before you even do it. Now while it is important to have your eyes locked onto a target, it is also very important to fake your opponents out with your eyes. A example of this in the pull up, is looking to where you will be driving so your opponent thinks your driving, then pulling up and locking your eyes on the rim.


Let me know what you guys did to improve your pull up jump shot below. Or who you think the best mid range shooter is in the NBA right now? I hope this article helped you improve your pull up jump shooting game. As always thank you and keep hooping my friends.

For more great tips to improve your game check out the links below

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