Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Learn when, where and how to shoot a floater in basketball from STACK Expert Augie Johnston.

The basketball shooting technique I cover in this article is mostly for shorter players. I will show you exactly how to shoot a floater and explain when and where to use it.

Here is a list of different shots you can use to finish around the basket:

  • Layup
  • Reverse Layup
  • Hook Shot
  • Runner
  • Floater
  • Slam Dunk

First, let's talk about the precise technique of shooting floater.

How to Shoot a Floater

You shoot off both feet, but you don't have to land on both feet simultaneously. In fact, if you watch players in college or the NBA, you will notice that 90 percent of the time they don't. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. Balance: Landing on one foot at a time can slow down your forward movement better than landing on two feet. It resembles the basic footwork you use to shoot a layup, which helps your balance as well.
  2. Protection: If you go into a full jump stop, you will open up your hips and expose the basketball to your defender. By using 1-2 footwork, you will be able to keep your body between the ball and the defender. This is especially important if you shoot a floater off the glass when attacking from the wing.

After you get your feet set, it's time to get the shot off. This shot does not require a follow-through. It's a one-handed shot. The important thing is to put a good amount of arc on it. The floater is a difficult shot to block, but only if you make sure to get it over a helping big man. Check out the video player above to learn how to master the Screen-to-Floater of All-Star point guard Damian Lillard.

Here is a complete breakdown on how to shoot a floater:

When To Shoot A Floater

You want to shoot a floater when you get past your defender—or at least get him on your hip—but don't want to go all the way to the basket for a layup. Maybe there is a good shot blocker under the basket, and he would most likely block your shot if you challenge him. Instead, stop short and shoot a floater.

You might be thinking, "Why not shoot a pull-up jump shot instead?" A floater has a much quicker release, and in this situation, if you were to shoot a pull-up jumper, you would give the defender time to contest your shot.

Where To Shoot A Floater

This is an in-between shot, meaning you are too close to the basket to shoot a jump shot but too far away to shoot a layup. Instead, you shoot a floater, which has a quick release and an unblockable high arc.

Who Shoots Floaters?

This basketball shooting technique is primarily for guards. NBA players such as Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Tony Parker use floaters as one of their main ways to finish around the basket. I compare this shot to the hook shot for big men. Although the hook shot is difficult to make, it is one of the hardest shots for a defender to block.

RELATED: Point Guards: Learn How to Attack in Transition


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: BASKETBALL TRAINING | POINT GUARD | BASKETBALL SHOOTING DRILLS | DEFENDER