What is Triple-Threat Position in Basketball?

Many basketball players opine that offense only narrows down to your speed, hops, and shot. Nonetheless, finding success on the offense all starts with an offensive stance. With a triple threat stance, you can shoot, dribble, or pass the ball.

A triple threat also goes by the name triple attack. Every basketball player needs to master this stance each time they grab the ball if he/she is to be an efficient and aggressive player.

Before employing the triple threat stance to its full potential, you need to master two things – mindset and technique.

Understanding the Triple Threat

So how does the triple threat stance takes place? Well, it takes place when offensive players square up defenders. A player needs to be in a sporty position, which means that the knees should be bent while the body is ready to move. On top of that, a player needs to hold the ball on their left or right hip.

Typically, one foot is usually at the front of the other to increase their options. On top of that, offensive players need to have a dribble which means they have caught the ball from a rebound or pass. A player also needs to have a court in front.

A triple threat stance is achieved if all these requirements are met.

The position is prevalent because every wing or guard automatically gets into it immediately after getting the ball. The stance offers more options whenever outside of the key. It is also handy when it comes to squaring up a defender.

We have already established that the triple threat stance narrows down to three main options:

  • Shooting
  • Dribbling
  • Passing


Shooting the ball is the first thought that should come into your mind when in the triple threat position. Some players do not enter the stance with a plan of shooting. If this is the case, it takes away the triple threat attack aspect hence rendering it useless.

If you know that you will not have ample room to make your shot, then it is wise to pump fake immediately you get the ball. This goes miles to ensure the defense is honest, as they never know when you are looking to shoot.

In such a scenario, you enjoy a helpful advantage when you create space on an offensive end. Contrary to what many players think, imparting fear in defenders that you might shoot is very important.


You cannot be in a triple threat position if the dribbling option isn’t available. Therefore, it is impossible to be in this stance when you hold the ball after stopping dribbling.

In such a situation, only two options exist rather than three – either shoot or pass. When you enter the triple threat position, your priority should be shooting. If this option doesn’t exist, consider dribbling while the possibility still exists.

As you dribble into open space, other defenders will step up and protect you, thus freeing up the floor for teammates. If possible, take the ball into the basket if you notice an open lane. Ensure you do not give up on this opportunity.


Passing the ball while in a triple threat stance ought to be your last priority unless you observe a play developing as it is challenging to pass up. Think of passing as a plan B or even C.

If you do not have a dribble left, passing the ball is a good choice. In such situations, you need to consider dishing out the ball before the opponent’s defense comes at you and double-teams you.

Always remember to put your eyes ahead in such a way that you read the floor accurately and quickly. Once an appropriate pass becomes available, grab it and proceed to move so that play can progress.

Many people ask the million-dollar question of whether the triple threat stance works. Well, it works efficiently for those who are willing to put in the work. Unfortunately, many people do not like practicing the move and how to get into the stance properly. You must practice how to get into the position and what to do once you are in the stance.

Here is a video that demonstrates the fundamentals of catching a basketball and making an initial move to the basket.

Exceptions To The Triple Threat Rule

Although the triple threat stance is highly versatile, not all offensive players can utilize it. Just because a player possesses the ball and hasn’t dribbled yet doesn’t mean he or she can use all three options.

A post player with his/her back facing the basket, although he can still dribble, isn’t in a triple threat since his/her moves are more linear. In such a stance, a player has the options of backing their opponent down, turning and shooting, or passing the ball off.

On the contrary, a wing or guard in a triple threat position can work a ball into their teammates, cut into the lane or even create numerous shots off a dribble. A considerable difference exists between these two scenarios. A team’s defense will react accordingly.

It is worth noting that you immediately get out of a triple threat the moment you choose a path. Some of the ways you can choose and move out of include:

  • Taking a shot
  • Passing the ball off
  • Placing the ball on the ground

The only way to get back into the position is by grabbing the ball back.

What Are The Different Attack Modes?

A triple threat position is among the most valuable basketball positions. Just like with other sports, anticipation is an integral part of this sport. An invaluable offense strategy is to keep defenders on toes.

Although guards mainly use it, forwards and centers can also utilize the triple threat stance to move away from the post. Mastering the technique is highly essential for any serious player. Comprehending it deepens not only your overall knowledge but also an appreciation for an excellent offense.

Related Read: How to Block Shots in Basketball? (Not in My House)

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