Basketball Triple Threat Position
The triple threat position is one of the primary elements that any basketball player should learn when beginning to play the sport. Even before you become an effective dribbler who can weave in and out of defenders or a shooter that can hit from downtown, learning the triple threat position will open you up to a variety of options to take your game to the next level.
The triple threat position can happen after grabbing a loose ball or a rebound, but most typically occurs after receiving a pass from a teammate. Many times, players immediately want to put the ball on the court and dribble to an open space. However, by picking up your dribble you have already given your opponent the option to dictate where you go next. By dribbling before looking, you also may fail to find your teammate and miss the opportunity to make a good pass that can result in a quick bucket.
Another issue with basketball players who fail to utilize the triple threat position can be seen by those who have the desire to immediately shoot the ball. For some players, after receiving a pass they will immediately look to shoot the ball. This doesn’t account for possible defenders that may be coming your way to block your shot into the third row.
Now that you know what happens if you don’t use the triple threat position, let’s talk about what the triple threat position is. The triple threat position is when you get the basketball and have the option to pass, shoot or dribble (hence TRIPLE threat). When first receiving the ball, you should automatically put yourself into triple threat stance. This means being in a comfortable ‘athletic stance’. Athletic stance is the position you would be in; no matter what sport you play. Feet shoulder width apart, parallel and pointing in front of you and knees bent just slightly in preparedness to move if necessary.
Once your lower body is in an athletic stance, you should then focus on your torso, shoulders and arms. Your torso should be upright and erect, ready to take contact of an oncoming defender. Your shoulders should be directed at the hoop, as this allows you to see the open court and what direction might be best for you to attack. And lastly, your arms should be holding the ball ready to either shoot, dribble or pass. This means having your primary hand (typically your shooting hand) at a 90° angle and your other hand holding the ball to stabilize it and protect it.
Now you know what your body should look like in triple threat position, the last key is what you should look FOR while in triple threat position. Well, depending on where you are on the court, how much time is left on the clock and whether or not you have the green light from your coach will probably answer many of these questions. Obviously if you are at half court, you do not want to jack up a shot that will probably result in a turnover. On the other hand, if you have the hot hand during the game, you want to be able to take the ball to the hoop or pull up for a shot. Being in proper triple threat position will allow you to see the court, defenders, teammates and the hoop, so that you can make the best decision on the court.
Those who fail to work on the triple threat position will find themselves turning the ball over and putting up bad shots more often. This means that before you know it, you’ll be sitting on the bench because you are a liability. But if you can implement triple threat into your game, you’ll have a much better chance at being a better player on the court and helping your team be victorious.
Personally, I love the triple threat position because defenders cannot predict your next move if you haven’t dribbled. Also, make sure you are strengthening your arms, forearms and fingertips, so when a defender is all in your space, they can’t swipe down and force you to turn over the basketball. Stay low, be active and be strong in your triple threat. My good buddy Steve Pellan from Basketball Performance demonstrates the triple threat position and how to use it on the court.