The Fundamentals of the Basketball Hop Catch

Using the hop catch on the basketball court can help you catch the ball in a balanced, athletic position.

Here it is: There’s less than 30 seconds to play, your team has the ball, and you’re open. As you make your way around the offensive zone, the ball handler sees you and anticipates the pass. Now what?

That’s when the hop catch can be a gamechanger.

The hop catch can be an efficient catching method that gives you multiple offensive options. By working on it regularly, this move can help improve your offensive skills.

“The hop, or the hop catch, is an effective method of catching the basketball in a balanced, athletic position,” former collegiate basketball player Jason Ronai says. “And because you are landing on both feet at the same time, you get to choose your pivot foot.”

Two other advantages to the hop catch are:

  • You can get into a triple-threat position quicker and more efficiently.
  • You may be able to get your shot off quicker once you become more fluid with the hop catch.


To perform the hop catch:

  • Aim to have your elbow below the basketball on the catch.
  • Try to track the basketball with your eyes and nose at all times. This can turn a badd pass into a good one by creating more balance when catching. It also helps you to quickly make a play.
  • As you move around the perimeter of the offensive zone, position yourself in a good location to collect a pass from your teammates.
  • Once the pass is in the air coming toward you, take short, choppy steps to get yourself balanced.
  • The hop is going to take place as the basketball travels. Catch the ball as your feet simultaneously hit the ground.

“The hop is an effective catching method that gives you multiple offensive options.” Ronai says. “It takes rhythm and repetition. But stay with it and it will make you a better all-around offensive player.”

Once you catch the ball, solid offensive moves can help you get past the defender and get to the basket. The Rip Series is a drill that can help you work on beating the defender off the dribble.