Footwork Makes You Smarter
I like to say footwork makes you smarter. All things being equal in terms of athleticism, it’s footwork that will make you a more effective player a more efficient player. You need to let your feet get you to a spot where your hands can take the shot. You need to be able to create space from your defender. When creating space, we need to think three dimensionally. We don’t just want to create some space on the floor, but also in the air.
I like to introduce footwork drills into our practice warm up. It’s a good way to get repetitions and a good way to ingrain footwork that you want established in dribbling and shooting drills.
Each one of these footwork dance-steps, we do for a full length of the floor. It’s a good way to help get warmed up and work on your footwork at the same time.
You can do these footwork drills without a ball. I tell my players they can get repetitions in on the way to super, on the way to the washroom, on the way to their next class. Do you care more about getting better than looking different from the rest?
1. Athletic Stance
• Seat down
• Straight back with your chest up
• Eyes down court
• Legs at a less than 90 degree angle and on the balls of your feet
2. Ball Handling
• Keep the ball below knee and outside of knee on
• On dribble moves keep the ball low, shoe lace high, and receive the ball low. Remain ball quick by keeping the ball low.
• Foot first ball second. The ball needs to be out of your hand before your pivot foot lifts.
• Explosive steps. Your first step should be low and long.
• The ball should be passed out to yourself. You should lead your with the ball when you make your move.
4. Shot Fakes
• Jab steps should be short quick and violent. You only need to jab about six inches to the reaction of your defender.
• Seat should drop during shot fake.
• The ball should rise above the brow.
• Eyes should draw a bead on the rim.
• All three of these motions should happen simultaneously.
Kobe Dance Steps
Use one length of the floor baseline to baseline for each of the three footwork moves. Make sure you are low and athletic. Foot first ball second. Pass the ball low to your opposite hand, and receive the ball low.
Nash Dance Steps
Shot fake, 1 dribble right and 2-step into shot
Shot fake, 1 dribble left and 2-step into shot
Shot fake, 1 dribble right, step-out
Shot fake, 1 dribble left, step-out
Shot fake, 1 dribble right, step-hop
Shot fake, 1 dribble left, step-hop