I’m often asked what footwork do I use when shooting off the catch-and-shoot or off a screen. I think different coaches have different rules for which foot you establish when catching the ball and getting up into your jump-shot. Coaches usually determined which foot to use by which side of the floor the player is on. I think nearly all coaches will tell you that when coming off a screen you will be planting your inside foot.
If inside foot is the standard then let’s extend that logic to which foot should be planted during the catch and shoot. I think you’ll find that it’s not so much which side of the floor you are on, but your orientation to the passer.
Coming Off Screens
If you are on the right side of the court coming off a screen, every coach will tell you to catch the ball on your inside foot. Said a different way, establish your inside foot as your pivot foot In this case your inside foot will be your right foot. In a game situation and hopefully in your drills, the passer will be to your left.
Which hand do you catch the ball with?
It's important to catch the ball in your shooting pocket, and if you are not catching two handed, and the passer is to your left, then you are probably guiding the ball into your shot pocket with your left hand.
The opposite also holds true. If you are coming off a screen on the left side of the court, the passer will be to your right, and you will establish your inside foot as your pivot foot, in this case your left foot, and you will probably guide the ball into your shot pocket with your right hand.
In a game situation, if you were on the right side of the court you could receive the pass from either the deep right long corner or from the middle to left of the court. Try to think of these two situation as the same as coming off a screen.
Also remember we are shooting transition jumpers now, so forget the jump-stop or quick-stop, we'll come back to quick-stops, but the game is just too fast for that type of footwork when shooting in transition. You must two-step into shots to be able to go full out and keep your balance.
So if the ball is coming from the deeper right side of the court, and you are receiving the pass on the right side of the court, it is the same as if I'm coming off a screen on the left side of the court. I want to guide the ball into my shot-pocket with my right hand and two-step into the shot using my left foot as my inside foot.
If the pass was coming from the middle or left of middle, and you are receiving the pass on the right side of the court, then you would establish your right foot as your pivot foot guiding the ball into my shot pocket with my left hand.
Cutting To And From The Basket
Let us move this same concept to cutting to the basket and away from the basket. If I'm cutting to the basket the ball is being passed to me from above the key in most cases. The player could be coming off a Pin Screen or just cutting back door. If moving from right side perimeter of the court to the basket, my inside pivot foot is the one closest to the baseline, so I want to catch the ball on my right foot. This mimics the same footwork as coming off a screen on the right side of the floor with the pass coming from the receiver’s left side.
If I'm cutting away from the basket to FT line extended on the right side of the floor, then I want to catch on my outside foot (left foot) You will be angled to the basket so you can create space between you and the defender and able to catch the ball on your outside hand (left). In actuality you are landing both feet at the same time, and the outside pivot foot is really not established until you choose it. Using your outside foot as your pivot foot you have numerous options. The sweep and go on the closeout from your defender, or the rubber band move. From both of those moves, you can get your pound dribble and two-step into a Jump-shot, or get right to the rack. In this same position when you receive the ball, on the perimeter, if the defender over plays you high side, you would establish your right foot as the pivot foot and drop-step towards the baseline to create your space for your drive to the hoop or pull up for the Jump-shot.
One of the great thing about the game today is you can choose which foot is your pivot foot. When I played whichever foot was furthest behind when you stopped, was automatically your pivot foot, and that is why people teach the jump-stop or quick-stop. It's really left over from back then, and like I said the game is too fast to shoot shots in transition hoping into shots. There is a place for the Quick-Stop or Jump-Stop in the half court setting of offense, but not in transition.
Quick-Stops Jump-Stops and Hops into Shots
Quick-Stops Or Jump-Stops
There is a time to do these, and I do run drills to get reps for players so they recognize when you would use them.
Catching the ball in a half court offense if the defender is off you a bit, with the jump-stop is a good idea. You are square to the hoop and it is an equal-foot-opportunity when you decide to drive to the hoop
Hops Into Shots
Again the game is just too quick to hop into a shot in transition and maintain your balance. You will float. But, if you are weak-side and you receive a skip pass, then I think it is appropriate to hop into that shot. You could also be waiting with your shooting foot back and step into the shot, but with cross court skip passes, it's probably going to be high, so the pass is not likely to get into your hands even if you are giving shot-pocket targets. You will probably have to reach a bit for the pass. In this situation the hop is a great way to gather your feet and get into the up-force of your Jump-shot.