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Footwork Tips

Read these 6 Footwork Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Basketball tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How do I become a better player under pressure?

Quick Pivots

When you are wanting to make quick pivots or fast cuts and keep your balance at the same time, it is important to stay on the balls of your feet. Since you have to be on the balls of your feet to move anyway, by playing on them, you will make your move more quickly.


The V-cut

The easiest way to get open is to use what's called a "V-cut". Basically, a V-cut is a hard fake toward the rim, followed by a sharp cut back out toward the ball. If viewed from above or drawn on a diagram, the cut looks like a giant V, hence the name. The key is to sell the cut to the basket and as the defender turns his hips, that's when you plant and "explode" back out toward the ball. A very effective off the ball move. I use it quite often in my game.

how do I get open for a pass


When executing an "L-Cut" you start at the block on the edge of the free throw lane and walk your defender up the side of the lane. When your teammate is ready to deliver the pass you step into the defender, make contact, and change speeds quickly by pushing off of your inside foot to pop out to the wing.

how can I keep my balance?


Balance is one of the most important things to remember in the game of basketball. To have good physical balance you should have a wide base of support by keeping your feet at least shoulder width apart. A good bend at the knees and the waist will also help. Now, try to keep your head just above the midpoint between both feet . In this position you have the most physical balance possible.

How do I pivot?

How To Pivot

The pivot is a fundamental skill that can get a player relief from pressure defense, and can be a great skill to have to begin an offensive move. To pivot, turn on the ball of your foot. Once you choose your pivot foot, it must maintain contact with the ground until you dribble, shoot or pass. (You can go airborne to shoot or pass) If your pivot foot moves and you do not dribble, shoot or pass, it is a violation called traveling, and the ball is awarded to the other team. A reverse or back pivot is when you turn backwards and when you turn forwards it is called a forward or front pivot.

What is a pivot foot?

Positive footwork

Once you have recieved a pass and faced the basket, you have probably established a pivot foot. That foot may no longer move until the ball leaves your hand when you dribble. POSITIVE FOOTWORK is a term that describes your "free" foot. Regardless of the manner in which you square up, your free foot should remain slightly in front of your pivot foot. This allows the offensive player to remain in charge and gives the ability to attack the defender. A player should not allow the free foot to end up in a position BEHIND the pivot foot, as this will give the defender an opportunity to apply pressure and "belly up" to the ballhandler, putting the ballhandler on his back foot and retreating from the basket.
Once a foot is free, that is the only foot that the player can fake or step with. "The foot that moves is the foot that goes!"

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Guru Spotlight
Ray Lokar