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3 All-Star Drills to Improve Your Basketball Footwork

October 12, 2012 | John Cissik

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Among basketball athletes, it's common knowledge that speed and agility training needs to focus on promoting fast feet, ball control, quick changes of direction and endurance to last all game.

If you've been working on your game for awhile now, you probably know a good number of these drills backwards and forwards. Crave some variety? Here are three new basketball footwork drills, with advanced options, to get you ready for the court this season.

Jump Shot

To dominate the floor in a game, you need to be able to coordinate different movements at the drop of a hat. This drill trains those essential quick reflexes. It can be performed three to five times during your speed and agility workouts.

Needed: Two cones, one at the opposing team's three-point line and one at yours

To perform:

  • In ready position facing the course, stand next to opposing team's cone
  • Take an explosive first step and sprint to second cone
  • At second cone, drop hips and chop steps to make sudden stop with feet hip-width apart underneath you
  • Quickly perform vertical jump as high as you can, landing with hips pushed back so your hamstrings absorb impact

Advanced version:

Incorporate a basketball into the movements. Sprint forward dribbling the ball, stop as described, make the jump, but now execute a jump shot. (See Improve your Jump Shot.)

Down and Back

Work your footwork and balance and build your endurance at the same time. Focus on the explosive first step, good sprinting mechanics on the forward runs (keeping your center of gravity low) and picking up your feet during the backpedals. This drill can be run three to five times during your speed and agility workouts.

Needed: Seven cones in a straight line, five yards apart

To perform:

  • In ready position facing the course, stand next to opposing team's cone
  • Take an explosive first step and sprint forward two cones
  • As you approach third cone, come to a complete stop and drop hips while chopping steps
  • Backpedal to second cone, keeping center of gravity low
  • Sprint forward two cones to cone four, keeping center of gravity low
  • Repeat (sprint forward two cones and backpedal one) until you have run past cone seven

Advanced option: Perform on grass for added resistance.

Charge Down  Court

Another great way to develop footwork, plus it reinforces keeping your hips low. This drill can be performed three to five times during your speed and agility workouts.

Needed: Six cones set up as shown

To perform:

  • In ready position facing the course, stand next to cone 1
  • Take an explosive first step and sprint to cone 2; stop suddenly, dropping hips and chopping steps
  • Shuffle to right to cone 3 (keeping hips low and pushing off with outside foot)
  • Spin around (pivoting off outside foot and stepping around with inside foot) and backpedal to cone 4
  • Spin around again, run to an X and set yourself up to make a two-point shot
  • Repeat, shuffling to left side

Advanced option: Do this with ball and end actually making the shot.

John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
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