Perfecting the Art: How to Shoot a Floater in Basketball

Written by: Chris Hungerford



Time to read 7 min

Learning how to shoot a floater in basketball can be the game-changer you've been seeking.

This elusive skill, when mastered, can help you navigate through towering defenders and score points effectively.

The key lies in understanding its intricacies and practicing relentlessly until it becomes second nature.

If you're ready to elevate your game by adding this versatile shot to your arsenal, let's delve into the mechanics of how to shoot a floater in basketball.

Table of Contents:

Perfecting the Art: How to Shoot a Floater in Basketball

Learn this key skill to score points like Steph Curry.

Understanding the Floater in Basketball

The floater is a distinctive basketball shot that has been gaining traction among players across all skill levels. This high-arc, quick-release technique allows athletes to exploit gaps between defensive lines during their drive towards the hoop.

Defining a Floater Shot

A typical floater calls for an almost completely vertical jump and releasing of the ball just before reaching peak height. The result? A shot with enough arc to sail over taller defenders' fingers and softly drop into the basket - hence its moniker 'floater'.

This style of shooting often becomes an asset for smaller players who need speed against taller opponents. Elite guards like Tony Parker and Steph Curry have also adopted this approach due to its effectiveness when space on the court is limited.

Variations of Floaters

Floating shots can be executed in numerous ways, but two prevalent variations include one-foot leaning floaters and euro step floaters.

In executing a standard one-foot leaning floater, you'll want to charge at your defender quickly then plant one foot (typically your dominant side), lift off while simultaneously launching your tear-drop-style release.

To perform a successful Euro-step floater requires more precision: after taking two steps around your defender (as if preparing for a layup) instead of going straight up for a regular or pull-up jump shot, take another leap sideways away from them, floating up with an arcing teardrop right above their reach.

No matter which variation you choose, though, practice is key in learning how to effectively use this important tool in any player's offensive arsenal.

Key Takeaway: Shooting a floater in basketball is an art form that requires precision and practice. This high-arc, quick-release shot can help players exploit defensive gaps and score over taller opponents. Whether you're mastering the one-foot leaning floater or the Euro-step variation, remember: repetition is your ticket to scoring like Steph Curry.

Steps to Mastering Your Floater

The floater, a crucial skill in basketball, demands precision and control. To effectively shoot floaters, there are key steps that need mastering.

Identifying Your Shooting Space

Your shooting space is the area where you plan to release your shot. This typically falls within an in-between zone, not too close or far from the basket - just beyond taller defenders' reach.

In fact, Elite Hoops Basketball's tutorial emphasizes finding gaps between defenders as ideal spaces for executing floaters. Identifying these areas can ensure a clear path for your shot and reduce the chances of it being blocked by taller players like post players who might have longer reaches.

Importance of Starting Slowly

Rushing their approach is a common mistake among beginners learning how to shoot a typical 1-foot leaning floater. It's essential to start slowly with a few dribbles toward the hoop while maintaining balance and control over both body movements and ball handling.

Emphasize this slow-start strategy, which allows enough time for proper positioning leading into either a regular jump shot or a pull-up jump shot depending on the defensive pressure encountered during execution.

Keeping Head Up During Execution

Maintaining visibility throughout court play: Dribbling with the head down limits vision, hence reducing awareness about opponents' positions around the court, especially those trying to block shots, similar to what Tony Parker or Steph Curry would do against smaller players aiming to score points near the three-point line.

Vision enhances decision-making: Keeping the head up improves peripheral vision, enabling better decision-making on whether to proceed with the planned move or switch strategies based on changing game dynamics.

Master the art of shooting a floater in basketball with precision and control. Find gaps between defenders, start slow for balance, and keep your head up for better vision. #BasketballTips #FloaterShot Click to Tweet

Perfecting the Art: How to Shoot a Floater in Basketball

Learn this key skill to score points like Steph Curry.

Key Aspects While Executing A Floater

The art of executing a floater, whether it's the typical 1-foot leaning floater or an advanced euro step floater, is crucial in basketball. The shot's effectiveness relies on mastering certain key aspects during its execution.

Maintaining Near-vertical Jump

An important part of shooting floaters effectively lies in maintaining a near-vertical jump. This technique not only reduces the space between you and your defender but also enables you to release a high arc shot over taller defenders' fingers without giving them time to react properly - something that Tony Parker was known for with his signature teardrop shots.

This might seem counterintuitive as compared to regular jump shots where players often leap towards the basket. However, remember this move is designed specifically for situations when getting height instead of distance becomes more beneficial such as against taller player defenses.

Avoiding Forward Momentum

Another critical factor while executing floaters involves controlling forward momentum. If allowed unchecked after releasing your pull-up jump shot, there's every chance that it'll sail long due to reduced shooting space between yourself and the hoop just like at the three-point line. Therefore, focusing on going completely vertical from the takeoff point during drills at elite hoops basketball tutorial sessions.

In fact, even great shooters like Steph Curry regularly use this strategy despite having one of the best outside shots in history because they understand how a well-practiced floater can be an efficient way to exploit spaces conceded by modern defense strategies, especially those aiming to prevent layups and threes.

Key Takeaway: Mastering the art of shooting a floater in basketball is all about maintaining a near-vertical jump to gain height over defenders and controlling forward momentum. It's not just for show - even top players like Steph Curry use this strategy to outwit modern defenses.

Why Should You Learn The Floater?

The floater shot in basketball is an important skill that can open up new scoring opportunities, especially for smaller players. This unique high arc tear drop shot has been used effectively by greats like Tony Parker and Steph Curry to score points over taller defenders.

In essence, learning how to execute this move efficiently could be beneficial against advanced defensive strategies commonly seen today on the court.

Benefits Against Modern Defense Strategies

Facing sophisticated defenses that aim at limiting easy shots such as layups and three-pointers often leaves certain areas of the court unguarded. A well-timed typical 1-foot leaning floater or even an elite hoops basketball tutorial recommended euro step floater can take advantage of these openings.

This kind of play helps undersized players shoot over taller opponents who are focused on blocking regular jump shots or pull-up jump shots from closer range.

Successful execution requires understanding your own shooting space and maintaining near-vertical jumps during execution.

Different types of floaters require practice from various angles which adds versatility and unpredictability into one's game while maximizing scoring chances.

Variety In Floaters: An Asset To Your Game

Mastery in executing different kinds of floating shots not only makes you unpredictable but also more confident when faced with taller player defense. HoopsKing provides valuable resources for mastering this crucial aspect among other essential skills needed on the court.

  1. Regular Jump Shot Floater
  2. Euro Step Floater
  3. Pull-Up Jump Shot

Becoming proficient in all these variations will enhance any young athlete's offensive arsenal, making them a formidable opponent irrespective of their height disadvantage.

Unlock new scoring opportunities in basketball by mastering the floater shot. This high arc tear drop shot, used by greats like Tony Parker and Steph Curry, helps smaller players score over taller defenders. #BasketballTips #FloaterShot Click to Tweet

FAQs in Relation to How to Shoot a Floater in Basketball

How to Shoot a Floater in Basketball

To shoot a floater, drive towards the hoop, jump near-vertically, and release the ball with an upward flick of your wrist. Aim for a high arc over defenders.

How to Shoot a Good Floater

A good floater requires balance and control. Start slow on your approach to maintain stability. Keep your head up during execution for better aim and awareness.

How to Throw a Floater

You throw a floater by driving into open space between defenders, jumping vertically while keeping forward momentum minimal, then releasing the ball at peak height with a soft touch.

Where to Aim for Floaters

The best target for floaters is just above the square box on the backboard or directly at the rim, depending on the angle of approach and defensive pressure.


Mastering the art of shooting a floater in basketball is about understanding its mechanics and practicing relentlessly.

The game-changing skill can help you navigate through towering defenders and score points effectively.

A well-executed floater exploits spaces conceded by defenders aiming to prevent layups or threes, making it an efficient scoring tool, especially for undersized players.

With practice, variations of floaters from different areas and angles will become second nature to you, enhancing your confidence on the court.

Maintaining a near-vertical jump while executing floaters is crucial, along with avoiding forward momentum that reduces shooting space.

If you're ready to elevate your game further by learning more versatile skills, consider joining our coaching program at

We offer elite training designed to enhance every aspect of your performance on the court. Let's start this journey together!