How to move around while staying put
| 2 min read
In basketball, the pivot is absolutely essential. Pivoting allows players to change direction while maintaining their dribble, protect the ball from defenders, and shoot or pass quickly.
To teach young players how to pivot, start where it matters: footwork. One foot stays firmly planted while the other can move in just about any direction to create space or avoid defenders — ideally, 180 degrees. Tell young players to pretend there’s a nail in the big toe of their pivot foot. The heel can come up, but the big toe cannot move.
These four tips can help you teach brand-new basketball players how to pivot correctly.
Use visual aids: Use cones or markers to help beginning players understand the footwork and movement involved in pivoting. The pivot foot can be the left foot or the right foot, and they should practice both. The pivot foot must stay on one mark while the other foot moves 180 degrees to touch a different mark — forward or backward.
Start slow: Begin with slow, deliberate movements — right front pivot, left front pivot, right reverse pivot, left reverse pivot — without a ball. You can gradually increase speed and complexity, and add a ball, as your players become more comfortable with the basics.
Maintain proper positioning: It all starts with the triple threat position. As they practice pivoting, remind players to be on balance, keep the eyes up and protect the basketball.
Practice game situations: In the end, a pivot is a means to an end. During practice, simulate game-time scenarios where players pivot after they catch the ball, or to make a pass. MOJO activities like Diamond Passing or Passing Tag can really help.