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  1. How David Beats Goliath
  2. Coaching Toolbox Site Map
  3. Coaching - Books Downloads on iTunes
  4. 10 Fundamentals for Proper Footwork

Obviously, this is the opposite for lefties. The problem with most players attempting to make an off-hand layup isn't strength or control of the arm or hand, it's that the player has to jump off the non-dominant leg. When approaching the basket to shoot a layup, take as long of a step as possible with the foot of the outside leg the leg furthest away from the basket and closest to the sideline. Next reach out with both hands--also as far as possible--to grab the basketball.

In this position, the player should have the outside leg and foot as one point of the tripod, and the two hands, also stretched out, make up the other two points of the tripod. It may be beneficial to have the ball sitting still just outside the block in a chair or being held still by someone when learning or practicing this technique.

Think of chair drills or especially the Mikan drill, only stretched out. It may prove helpful to research the "Mikan Drills" even if you think you know how to do all of them.

From the tripod position, first pull the basketball into "the chin and protect position" with the elbows out. The knee of the outside leg should now be lifted with as much upward thrust as possible to help increase the vertical leap off the floor. Finally the eyes, hands and fingers must remain projected and pointed at the target. Many basketball coaches and players prefer to aim at the top corner of the backboard. Another very helpful technique is to keep the eyes and fingers on the target, the top corner of the backboard, as long as possible--even after landing on the floor and having momentum take the player away from the basket.

The purpose of pivoting is to gain a positional advantage.

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Learning to pivot in the direction that gives the offensive player positional advantage is an acquired skill. A foot becomes a pivot foot because it is the last foot to touch the floor or the other foot leaves the floor first. Because the pivot foot can turn as long as it remains anchored to the floor, the player is now able to move the other foot without a causing a traveling violation. Most players keep their entire foot on the floor when pivoting. Most coaches allow this and many teach it. Although commonly used, this not the best bio-mechanical way to place the foot on the floor.

If the foot is flat, the player stands straight up instead of being low, balanced and powerful.

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Remember "heels up. A pivot should only be used to gain a positional or tactical advantage like maintaining balance, to get away from the opposing player or to protect the basketball. Once in the ready position following a two-foot jump stop, either foot may be used as the pivot foot. Virtually every basketball movement requires or can be enhanced with proper pivoting. Plus Sign Pivots -- This is one of the best ways to learn proper pivoting.

Place the left pivot foot on the floor at the center of where the lines cross.

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Then get the body into the ready stance with the heels up. Practice this while holding the basketball in a triple-threat or chin-and-protect position. Be mindful to keep both elbows up to protect not only the ball, but to also help keep defenders from bodying up and crowding the offensive player. Failure to keep the elbows high allows the defender to force the offensive player to step backward and lose balance.

That allows the defender to get close enough to swipe the ball away. Initially, practice just getting into the ready stance with a slightly wider base and establishing balance with the left foot the pivot foot on the center of the plus sign. Once comfortable, begin pivoting by moving the right foot and shoulder forward together until they reach the same horizontal line from where the pivot foot left foot is anchored.

The most important part of the movement is to keep the pivot foot on the floor while turning on the plus sign. If the foot is not still in the same exact spot when you touch the right foot to the horizontal line, the pivot was done incorrectly. After that, simply reverse the right shoulder and foot back to their original placement. Switch and pivot on the right foot as well to learn and strengthen both legs.

These two movements are commonly referred to as an outside or front pivot and the inside or reverse pivot. Practicing 25 to 50 inside and outside pivots not only teaches great skills development, but is also a great warm-up activity. Practice or more on each foot and it becomes an excellent strength and conditioning activity. Practicing or more can take a player's game to the next level. Secondly it is also helpful to start holding the basketball under the chin with elbows up. Then position and sweep the ball up over the head or low near the ankles as this protects the basketball from defenders.

This move is highly effective in protecting the basketball when trapped by two defenders. A player utilizing a pivot foot and adding a pass fake becomes very difficult to contain in a trap. This helps players trapped at half court or in a full-court press.

Post players and rebounders can also benefit from straight-line pivots and pass fakes to make outlet passes when trapped. Perimeter players use straight line pivots on the perimeter to jab step in attack moves to set up a shot or drive. The jab step is basically a combination of a pivot and a fake jump-step. First establish a pivot foot. Keeping the heel up on the pivot foot allows a player to have balance, the ability to change the direction before dribbling, and the ability to push off with enough power to maximize quickness of the individual player.

The jab step is used to get defenders to move away or turn in an attempt to stop the offensive player. Players often jab to the left or right, but it is more effective sometimes to jab directly at the spot just outside and past the defender's foot. Experiment to see if the defender has a pattern of putting more effort in turning or moving back more when you jab at their front or back foot, or both equally. Practice shooting as well as moves that attack both sides. If the defender steps back, the offensive player can return to the original position with momentary clearance in time to get off a good shot.

If the defender turns to cut off the angle of the jab step, the offensive player goes opposite, often attacking the front foot of the defender to gain a positional advantage to drive past the defender. It is very important to actually be trying to beat the defender by exploding into a first step. This move should be done only if you read the defender and realize that you have not created a positional advantage.

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Starting from a low-ready position, protecting the ball in a chin, low sweep or rip through, pivot in the direction you want to travel while simultaneously bringing the opposite shoulder, hip and foot across the body and in the same direction. To maximize the effect of this move, push off the pivot foot like a sprinter using a jump step and raising the opposite knee high to increase explosiveness.

This move is highly effective without any fakes, especially if you can lull the defender into being still and flat-footed.

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Thiel said the Huskies had a surprisingly successful season last year and that success is continuing this season. He's brought an amazing energy and passion to the game and the players have really responded well to the buy-in. He's funny.

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He's high energy. He's tough, too, but he'll do goofy things like drop down and give himself 20 pushups in the middle of practice just because he can. They're basically the best team in the Pac by a long ways. Those are elusive in college basketball.

10 Fundamentals for Proper Footwork

And these three guys have stuck through the ups and downs of the program. They were recruited by previous coach Lorenzo Romar, and when he was fired they hung in and stayed with Hopkins and I think they're real happy they did. He is a defensive tornado. I've never seen a player like him in college. He'll strip the ball from a player he's in front of. He'll play the passing lanes to start a fast break with a steal.

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