Hip Triple Threat: Ignorance or Mediocrity?

I decided to write this post because most of the youth coaches that I saw are teaching the Hip Triple Threat as fundamental. Nothing wrong abou t it, but is it sufficient the way triple threat is trained?

I read a lot of articles about Triple Threat, and almost everybody talks and teaches only one type, or better said, only one stance, the Hip Triple Threat.

On a simple google search, the definition of the triple threat is: “The term Triple Threat comes from the fact that you have three options that you can make from a triple threat position. This is a position every offensive player should be in when they still have used their dribble yet. … Those three options are to shoot, to pass, or to dribble the ball and drive tow ards the basket.”

I agree with the definition partially, first, because a player can be in triple threat while he is dribbling also, and second because the description doesn’t provide enough clarity regarding the aggressiveness that provides for the player.

The classical way of teaching, and also the “only way” for the most coaches, of the Triple Threat, is when the ball is placed into the shot pocket while the knees are bent. This one I will call Hip Triple Threat, and it is, of course, included into the above definition, but do you think is the “only” way?

Not at all.

Now, going back to our definition, let me list the fourteen types of Triple Threat positions that I teach:

  1. Right Hip: When securing the ball near the right hip;
  2. Left Hip: When securing the ball near the left hip;
  3. Right Knee: When securing the ball near the right knee;
  4. Left Knee: When securing the ball near the left knee;
  5. Right Ankle: When securing the ball near the right ankle;
  6. Left Ankle: When securing the ball near the left ankle;
  7. Right Shoulder: When securing the ball near the right shoulder;
  8. Left Shoulder: When securing the ball near the left shoulder;
  9. Dribble Right: Ability to shoot during stationary or sliding right-hand dribble;
  10. Dribble Left: Ability to shoot during stationary or sliding left-hand dribble;
  11. Elbow Squared Pivot: Shooting elbow in line with the basket off pivot;
  12. Elbow Squared Dribble: Shooting elbow in line with the basket off the dribble;
  13. First Step Right: Ability to shoot in the process of taking the first step right off the dribble;
  14. First Step Left: Ability to shoot in the process of taking the first step left off the dribble.

Those are the types I have learned and identified, and as you can see, only the first two are accepted by the majority coaches as the Triple Threat Positions. I am still looking for more, and right now I can’t figure it out, but maybe you will find the next one. If it is so, please let me know!

I discussed a lot about how aggressive a player should be, and how he needs to be a constant weapon against the defense. I believe that teaching the young athletes more options, gives them more tools in perfecting their game, and adding excellence in our coaching creates the best opportunities for their development.

I will reiterate what I’ve been said a lot of times in my previous posts: we are responsible as coaches and educators to teach only excellence and to give everyone equal chances to reach his full potential. Excellence is the quality of excelling, of being truly the best at something, in our case in coaching basketball. For me, it starts with being fully involved in coaching every second, and it continues with learning and excploring every single day new things for my knowledge.

Teaching only the Hip Triple Threat, known as “The Triple Threat Position” is an act of ignorance? Yes, of course, it is. But who is not ignorant?

If, according to the dictionary, ignorance means: “lack of knowledge and information,” I can easily say today I am not the ignorant that I was yesterday, nor the one that I will be tomorrow. What I wanted to underline is that even if I am “ignorant” every day, I am continually trying to learn, and I am digging to discover new things. Otherwise, ignorance will lead to mediocrity, which is terrible.

What I learned in my whole life, and you can take it also as an advice, it is that from the moment I dedicated to excellence, and I had a taste of it, I never went back to mediocrity! And, the best part is that it is never too late for a start.

If you are already feasting on or you just tasted, you will know what I meant, but if you didn’t, you need to try it.

Bon Appetit!

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