Drill: Pivot Footwork

Footwork really is the base for solid basketball fundamentals. Particularly at youth levels, footwork is often the unmentioned difference between a good player and an average player. Thankfully, even though it’s such an integral part of basketball and influences essentially all other skills, good footwork can easily be established at a young age.

The pivot is one of the easiest footwork to teach, and perfecting the pivot movement is vital for all players (regardless of “position”). This simple drill can be used for players of all ages and skill levels.

With younger players, use the drill to introduce pivots (starting with forward pivots and moving to reverse pivots), and correct form and technique. With more experienced players, the concept an be implemented as part of a larger drill (such as taking a first-dribble or protecting the ball from a defender).

Pivot Footwork

DESCRIPTION Players start with a basketball. Introduce and demonstrate the pivot options (right forward, left forward, right reverse, left reverse). On the whistle, players go into a jump stop and establish a pivot foot. The coach then instructs a series of pivots (ex. right forward), with players following along.
SKILL FOCUS Footwork, Pivot
AGE (STAGE) 8+ (Learn-to-Train)
EQUIPMENT 1 basketball (per player)
VARIATION:
INCREASE THE ANGLE
Challenge players to increase their turning angle. Players will start with a 90-degrees (1/4) turn, and can progress into to 180-degrees (1/2) turns, and even to 270-degrees (3/4) or 360-degrees (full) turns.

For players who are older or more comfortable with their pivots, you can implement these movements into dribbling and shooting drills. One of our favourite examples is catching the basketball on top of the key off a spin, back to the basket,  turning 180-degrees to face the basket, and attacking the rim.

How else do you implement pivots into your other drills? Let us know in the comments below!

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