• Proper Basketball Footwork for Beginners: 3 Essentials You Need to Know (Includes Advice, Inspiration, & More)

    proper basketball footwork for beginners

    Sure, we hear all about free throw shooting, how the three-point shot’s the new two-point shot, mad handles, and even assists from time to time. 

    But you know what seems to take back seat to all of that but is equally if not more important in the basketball world? Footwork.

    How are you supposed to get to the ball? How do you keep the ball away from defenders?

    Ya, it’s not that showy. And to the untrained basketball eye, goes unnoticed.

    Yet it remains a key foundation point in basketball.

    So we’ve created a list of key basketball footwork basics for beginners:

    Proper Basketball Footwork for Beginners: 3 Essentials You Need to Know (Including Tips, Inspiration, & More)


    1. Your Basic Basketball Stance: The Ready Position

     Some call this the ‘ready position.’ And this stance could be referred to as the athletic stance, it’s that versatile.

     Pretty much, you're in a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart.

     The key thing to remember is: stand on the padding just below your toes (includes the ball of your foot), heels off the ground. Ok, I guess you could call it ‘on your toes.’ (Remember you aren’t literally on your toes.)

     This makes you more agile, faster, and more reactive.

     Which is why it’s a key foundation in many sports, especially those that involve lots of short sprints. 

     Knees are slightly bent.

     And that’s it.

     You might be thinking this is easy and, sure, the technique is.

     Making it a habit is the hard part.

     Constantly reminding yourself to stay on your toes.

     Because the minute you’re flat:

    •  the ball is taken away
    • you let someone score a point
    • you have to hustle faster after that rebound than you would have in the ready position 

     Even the pros at times aren’t ‘on their feet.’

     In order to make it a habit you must consciously remind yourself to be on your feet, in this stance.

     Eventually, once muscle memory kicks in, you won’t have to think about it.

     For more information about this stance check out Tony Fryer’s post here.

    2. One Word: Pivot

     Like the ready position, this is a key footwork technique.

     Here’s how it works:

     You're in the ready position (shoulder-width apart, heels off the ground, on the balls of your feet).

     Keep one foot on the ground at all times (this is your pivot foot).

     Remember you cannot slide your pivot foot, change your pivot foot, or lift your pivot foot off the ground.

     Pivoting occurs when you move around with the ball while keeping your pivot foot on the ground.

     For beginners, perhaps use your dominant foot as your pivot foot since you’re probably the most comfortable with this foot.

     To see pivoting in action and for more pivoting details, check this video out: 


    3. How to sprint

     Yep, there’s actually a specific technique for sprinting. Since a lot of basketball is short sprints, you should know the proper technique.

     The best sprinters are sprinters—so let’s learn from them:

     Be in a ready position.

     Bring your right knee up to a 90-degree angle, then push it down as you bring up your left knee to a 90-degree angle.


     While you’re doing that, bend your arms, keeping your elbows in, hands straight, fingers close together.

     (Don’t clench your hands into fists as this will result in poor blood circulation and is less aerodynamic.)

     As your left knee comes up your right hand raises. And visa versa with your right knee and left hand. 

     To see this form in action and for some sprinting inspiration, let’s watch the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt in slow motion (start at 1:20):


    Using this form will help you get rebounds and run back during turnovers faster.

    So this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to basketball footwork. There’s plenty more to learn. Hopefully, this information helps get you started.

     Please email and connect with Guarantee3 regarding footwork questions and opinions.

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