Tips And Techniques For Basketball Players: Play Like A Pro! Footwork Drills


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Basketball is an amazing game, a quick-paced, non-stop sport with end-to-end action, featuring great athletes with incredible hand-eye coordination. There are many ways amateur athletes can improve themselves and their game to help them play like a pro. By practicing drills, conditioning, following a strict diet, and improving hand-eye coordination, you’ll be paying like your favorite pros in no time.


There are five parts to the game of basketball that an athlete must concern himself with. They are shooting, passing, rebounding, ball-handling, and the movement around the court. There are many drills in each of these categories that can help. While there are different schools of thought on how to practice, the following is just a sample of the many ways there are to improve basketball skills through practicing drills.


Footwork is an important part of basketball. Even without possession of the ball, players are constantly moving, using a series of short sprints, cuts, dekes, and other moves that could cause a player to trip up if they haven’t practiced. Footwork drills are an excellent way to improve your basketball game, because these drills also go to improve your strength and conditioning, as well as your basketball skills

Here are some footwork drills to work on:

1. Dots Drill
Find a spot about five feet wide where you can mark (electrical tape, chalk) five spots in the same pattern as the five spots on a die. Make sure there’s about two feet in between all the dots. There are several ways to do this drill, which involves hoping or jumping between the dots. It can be done on the right foot, the left foot, both feet, and then hopscotch style. For the first three, start on one of the lower dots. Then hop (or jump) to the middle dot. Then go to the top dot diagonally from where you started. Then go laterally to the second top dot, then back to the middle, then to the other lower dot, and then across to the dot you started at. The hopscotch drill is just like the children’s game, starting with one foot on each of the two lower dots. Then jump and land with both feet on the middle dot. Then jump again and land on the top two dots. Then go backwards in the same fashion. Work on each one of the four drills for 15 to 30 seconds, and run them consecutively. To challenge yourself, work on either how technically accurate you can be within the time frame, or how many circuits you can complete in a set amount of time. This drill is great work for leg strength, coordination, balance, and footwork.

2. Side Step Drill
Side steps are an important part of basketball defense. This drill is perfect for working on this skill. Start one baseline. Move sideways from the baseline to the center court line, always perpendicular to the baseline and never crossing one leg over the other. To make this a true defensive drill, work on keeping your palms up and work in a defensive stance, with your butt low and knees bent. Then repeat this drill facing the opposite direction.

3. Leg Hop Drill
Starting on the baseline, hop down to center court on one leg. Then return to the baseline while hopping on the other leg. This drill is to concentrate on height, not speed or distance. Then do this drill with a jump with both legs together.

4. Ladders Drill
This drill is well-known by all basketball players, though it may be called different things: Ladders, suicides, or wind sprints. This drill is usually known as a warm-up or even a punishment drill, it’s excellent for improving footwork because of all of the stops and starts. Start on one baseline and then run to the free throw line, bending down to touch the line. Then run back to the same baseline, touching that line. Then run to the center court line, and back to the original baseline. Follow the pattern to the far free throw line, and then to the far baseline and back again.

5. Line Jumps Drill
Start in one corner of the court facing down the sideline with both feet together. Then jump from one side of the sideline to the other, making your way down to the opposite baseline. When you reach the far corner, sprint down the base line to the opposite corner, and do the drill down the other sideline. The key to this drill is quick, low, diagonal jumps.

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