Working The Jab Step

Footwork is your friend. Footwork gets you to where you want to go. Coaches yell “move your feet” in relation to defensive footwork but often overlook offensive foot work but good footwork keeps you out of trouble gets you in position for easy scores.

When a player secures the ball, the referee immediately establishes which is his/her pivot foot. A travel violation occurs if the player lifts his pivot foot before beginning a dribble. So why is good footwork a “lost art”. Since And One mix tapes, everything begins with a dribble and there is certainly a place for dribble drives in basketball especially if an incredible move is finished with a spectacular dunk but that’s often like waiting for a knockout punch in a fight. More often, it’s the other stuff, the jabs, the combinations, the body punches, that win the fight. That’s also true in basketball. A great move may bring everyone to their feet but it’s a culmination of all the other stuff that wins the game.

If you have been working on your mid range shooting, you should be knocking down jump shots from 15′ consistently. Now your a “shooter” and the defense is going to play you closer. Sure, you can try to dribble away from the defender but you will also be moving away from where you want to be. This is where footwork becomes critical.

Facing the basket, if the defender is more than an arms length away, you should be shooting immediately.This is not optional. You should be hitting midrange shots in game situations consistently. If not, practice more.

If the defender can touch or is in contact with you the following footwork series can get you open, freeze the defender or get him/her off balance enough so you can get off an uncontested jump shot. Coaches often call this a “Jab Step“. Combined with head fakes, ball fakes, up fakes and sweeps, you should always be able to get off a good shot without dribbling the basketball!

This is a Sequence Drill. Make all moves one after the other. Chase down every rebound and run back to the starting position for each shot (this is where the conditioning comes in). Do not dribble the ball. You must finish each move with a made shot before you go to the next move.

  1. Facing the basket at the foul line, shoot the ball without hesitation or foot movement.
  2. With your left foot as the pivot, step forward with your right foot (Jab) and step back to your original position and take a jump shot.
  3. With your left foot as the pivot, step out to your right with your right foot (Jab) and step back to your original position and take a jump shot.
  4. With your left foot as pivot, step across to your left with your right foot (Jab) and step back to your original position and take a jump shot.
  5. With your left foot as pivot, step back with your right foot (Jab) and step back to your original position and take a jump shot.

Now do the series again with your right foot as the pivot.
A complete series, 10 moves/made shots is one set.
Do 5 sets.
If you shoot 50%, you will take 100 shots.

Move to the elbow(s) and take 2 steps out towards the corner. Square to the basket and repeat the drill using the backboard.
Now you have taken 300 shots.

When you get to 75-80% shooting, add head fakes, ball fakes, up fakes and sweeps. Your percentage will drop after adding the new moves. Get it back up to 75-80%.

SEQUENCE DRILLS: I call this a Sequence Drill because each successful shot is followed by the next shot/move in the series. It is based on offensive and defensive adaptability. You just scored because your defender wasn’t close enough. He adjusts, and steps closer. You jab, step back and score. He digs in and plays you tougher. You now step across, create space and score again. Your keeping him of balance. All he can do is hope you run out of options. You wont, but you have to feel comfortable with the changes, moves and be able to make the shot and that starts in practice.

ADVANCED:
Do the series, then repeat by adding a power dribble into a Jump Shot.
Do the series, then repeat by making each shot as if it were a Foul Shot.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Working The Jab Step

  1. Reblogged this on NY S.U.B.O.A. and commented:

    Referees take note: A point of emphasis is the number of travel violations that occur but aren’t called during games. Make sure you establish the players pivot on every play and make the call if they pick it up before they begin a dribble.

  2. Pingback: Post Moves | NYBasketball

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