Fundamentals Of Youth Basketball - Freeze Pull-ups!

The Freeze Pull-up is designed to use moves that have already worked previously going past a defender and make it look like you are going to attempt the same move ... Learn more about this move.
Jay Hernandez is the founder of Pro Hoops Inc., which is a basketball training company that provides basketball-specific workouts, camps, strength and conditioning and more. He has one video out on Wally Szczerbiak's ( Minnesota Timberwolves) shooting routine, and has another video on ball-handling in the works.

In today's game, many people talk about the fact that there aren't many players who have a mid-range game. Players either settle for the 3-pointer or they go all the way to the basket.

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Freeze Pull-Up's

There are many styles and ways of doing things that players can choose from. The Pro Hoops way teaches players to do a number of setup moves before they go into the Freeze Pull-up series.

For example, a player should attack the basket hard with a stutter step and then do another move using the between the legs going to the basket. After this the defender knows and respects that the offensive player can go by them.

The Freeze Pull-Up is designed to use moves that have already worked previously going past a defender and make it look like you are going to attempt the same move but you pull up instead. The Freeze Pull-Ups are categorized into 2 categories:

  • The first category is the 1-2.
  • The second category is the Jay-Step.

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The "1-2"

Category I: The 1-2 was established because most players hop after a move and usually hop forward into the defense that they just got to retreat back. This always gives a good defender a second chance for a deflection, a blocked shot or a hard contest. There are two 1-2 moves which include the Stutter-Step and the Inside-Out.

     1A. Stutter-Step

    The stutter-step is a move where the feet move in a right/left pattern quickly in a spot before an explosion to the basket. After the explosion, the defense will look to stop this move the next time. The stutter-step/1-2 will work great the next time.

    Start the stutter-step on the run and about an arm and a half length away from the defender. With every stutter, move your body lower and lower like you are going down a stair case (move and stutter down, not forward).

    Keep the dribble waist high, even though you get lower and lower, because we want to have the ball as close to our shooting pocket as possible. The hardest part of this move is to dribble and stutter at the same time and into a 1-2 step (right-left or left-right).

    Most players stutter and then dribble (again into the defense they just broke down). This pattern done correctly will ensure a player being frozen in their stance (picture 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6).


Click Image To Enlarge.
Pictures 1, 2, & 3.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Pictures 4 & 5.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Picture 6.

    Review:

    • Stutter down, not forward.

    • Dribble stays waist-high.

    • Stutter and dribble at the same time.

    • Finish with a 1-2 step off of the stutter, which will get a shot off faster than a hop.

    • Stutter on the balls of your feet.

     1B. Inside-Out

    The inside-out move is usually called a carry when done above the chest. We teach to do this move below the waist and don't have the inside-out come across the body. It should stop half way in order to get off a quicker move and to get into a combination move if needed.

    Players normally fake with their opposite foot when doing the move to make it look like they are going into that direction and then they explode back to the same side that the ball is on.

    Players try to imitate this when doing pull-ups and it results in a much slower move. Pro Hoops teaches to separate the movements of the upper body from the lower. The upper body moves side to side trying to catch the attention of the defender's eyes with this movement pattern.

    Starting with the right hand everything from the head, the shoulders and the ball are moving from right to left. The feet do a 1-2 step simultaneously with the inside-out. The knees are bent into a shooting position by the time the inside-out is over and a shot is going up in less than a second (picture 7, 8, and 9).


Click Image To Enlarge.
Pictures 7 & 8.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Picture 9.

    Review:

    • Inside-out stays below the waist and stops at the mid-point of the body.

    • Upper body moves from right to left while the lower body does a 1-2 step in preparation for the shot.

    • Jab on the balls of your feet.

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The "Jay-Step"

Category II: The Jay-Step is a move used a lot by Jay Hernandez in his playing days and worked so well that it was named after him. The moves that we will focus on for the Jay-Step are the Between The Legs and the Behind The Back. These moves both finish up with a jab-step off of the move.

     2A. Between The Legs

    Starting with the right hand, start with a quick right step digging your toes into the ground. You should then proceed to throw the ball through the legs as hard as you can. At the same time that this happens you should jab with the left foot and lean the upper body to the left.

    Finally, bring back your left foot to your shooting stance and release the ball. Don't come out of a low stance and don't jab forward but jab on an angle about a foot away from where your shooting stance normally is.

    This move will make it look as if you are trying to go past the defender but you pull back quickly and get a shot off as they get frozen into their stance and watch you shoot over them. Always stay low and don't bounce out of the stance. Do the opposite footwork for the left hand (picture 10, 11, 12, and 13).


Click Image To Enlarge.
Pictures 10 & 11.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Pictures 12 & 13.

    Review:

    • Start with a quick step with the same side that the ball is on.

    • Throw the ball as hard as you can through the legs.

    • Jab step slightly with the other foot to the side and not straight out in order to get the shot off quicker.

    • Bring that foot back to a shooting stance and release the ball. Don't get out of a low stance when making this move.

     2B. Behind The Back

    This move follows the same pattern as above. The issues related with this move usually stem from not having a step-jab pattern. Most players in order to get the ball behind the back tend to jump both feet on the ground at the same time.

    The other issue is that the ball is wrapped around by players like they normally do when they go to the basket. A player should always throw the ball straight back and below the butt in order to get the shot off fast and freeze the defender (picture 14, 15, and 16).


Click Image To Enlarge.
Pictures 14 & 15.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Picture 16.

    Review:

    • Start with a quick step with the same side that the ball is on.

    • Throw the ball as hard as you can behind the back and below the butt.

    • Jab step slightly with the other foot to the side and not straight out in order to get the shot off quicker.

    • Bring that foot back to a shooting stance and release the ball. Don't get out of a low stance when making this move.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, a freeze pull-up is a term used by Pro Hoops, Inc. to explain how a player should look when these moves are done correctly. The defender will not be able to react or will react too hard to the move that they can't recover.

Overall Keys to the Freeze-Pull-Up include:

  1. These moves are best used when started an arm's length away from the defender.

  2. These moves are best used after a set up move that goes toward the basket.

  3. These moves can be used on the run or while dribbling in place.

  4. The same move you used for the set up would be a good move to also use for the freeze pull-up.