The Art of Deception in Basketball | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

The Art of Deception in Basketball

October 29, 2012 | Brian Lebo

Must See Basketball Videos

A deceptive person is usually frowned upon by society. However, the art of deception has great value in basketball, where faking out an opponent can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

Of course, deception is important in virtually every sport. In baseball, the pitcher wants to throw a fastball when the batter is expecting a breaking ball. In football, the offense wants to pass when the defense is expecting a running play. But it's especially useful in basketball, where tactics like changing speed, faking a pass and faking a shot can give an offensive player a competitive advantage.

What makes the art of deception especially valuable is that it's generally not dependent on physical tools. Deception relies on the cerebral part of the game, so it doesn't necessarily matter how big or strong or fast you are.

The essence of deception is the ability to make an opponent think you're doing one thing when you are doing another. Want to become a master of deception? Here are some simple ways to improve your ability to deceive. Just limit them to the court; don't use them in your daily life.

Change Speed

Practice a stop-and-go or a hesitation move to make it more difficult for a defender to guard you. With or without the ball, this involves starting, hesitating (stopping or slowing down), and then starting again. (Check out how to Create Your Own Shot Opportunities With Marshon Brooks's T-Mac Drill.)

Change Direction

No player is easier to stop than one who moves solely in a straight line. If you're a ball handler, practice a crossover dribble. If you rely on your point guard to get you the ball, a well executed V-cut is hard to defend.

Ball Fake

Pass Fake. Defensive players react to where they think the ball is going. Especially against a zone defense, the fake pass can be effective in drawing defenders toward one area to open up another for a scoring opportunity.

Shot Fake. The shot (pump) fake is a great weapon against over-aggressive defenders and shot blockers. Once you get defenders off their feet, they are at your mercy.

Jab Step

No one likes to get beat off the dribble, but a hard jab step can get a defender off balance to make space for a shot, open a path to the hoop or clear a passing lane.

Use Your Eyes

Don't "telegraph" your passes or, more broadly, your intentions. Defenders will be drawn to the direction you are looking. Use your eyes to draw them away from what you actually plan to do, like the often admired "no-look pass."

Topics: BASKETBALL
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Must See
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,126,688
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 23,654,657
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,692,522

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,181
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,385
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,246
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,483
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,789,434
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Some of you may have heard the UNDERLOAD/ OVERLOAD buzzwords around baseball gurus the last bunch of years for velocity training for pitchers in...

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball