Basketball Drills: The Rip Series

Work on beating the defender off the dribble with this high-octane drill.

August 28, 2017

Any basketball player will tell you that separation is key to making quality shots. Defenders will be trying to stop you at all costs, and you’re going to need to find the best ways to get past them with the ball and get open without it. That’s why basketball camp director and college coach Donnie Arey is here to teach you how to perform the Rip Series drill set to help you develop a quick first step when driving to the basket and different cuts that can help make it easier for your teammates to get you the basketball.


All you need to perform the drill is a few basketballs and some teammates. To start, have three or four players line up next to the basket with another player standing at the farthest end of the key. The teammate standing alone will feed the ball to the first player in line who will catch it at the opposite elbow. The player with the ball then takes the exterior pass, thrusts the ball to his other side — the “rip” — and drives for the layup. Each player will follow suit.


If you’re ready to take your training to the next level, you’re going to want to narrow your shot opportunity for more of a challenge. Instead of driving for a layup, take a few steps and make a seamless bank shot. Try to hit only the glass and net, not the rim. If you want to change things up, you can also cut across from the elbow to the key and attempt an even deeper shot.

To get even more separation on your shot, backpedal from the elbow toward the three-point arc. If the defender bites during the game, you’ll have a much easier time making the shot.


For the advanced level of the Rip Series, try to get maximum separation by pushing off of your inside foot and getting to the corner of the floor. You’ll basically be moving in a triangle pattern on the court from the baseline, to the elbow, to the corner. Once you push off, the defender is going to recover, which is when you’ll attack the rim with either a one- or two-handed layup.

According to Arey, the Rip Series teaches players how to move better in small spaces while also working on dribbling, passing, shooting and getting open without the ball in your hands. If you can master this set of drills, you’ll be one step closer to being the ultimate offensive threat on the basketball court.