Creating space and separation

The explosion in foreign born players in both the NBA and college basketball can be credited to this single skill-the ability to properly use your feet to create space and separation.  The American players generally (not always) are less skilled than our European and global counterparts in basic footwork skills.  Why is this?  We count 2 reasons


  1. American players are more interested in what Basics calls the “stat skills”–shooting, rebounding, 3 point %’s, Free Throws, blocked shots, steals, etc.
  2. Many coaches themselves were untrained as players in basic and advanced footwork skills so it’s difficult for them to teach the required pivots, jump stops, recognition skills et al in competitive footwork


Footwork is not exciting.  It’s not sexy.  It’s even downright boring.  But winning is NEVER boring.


  • Beginning players–jump stops, pivots, begin teaching WIDTH,  “Slide wide, go low”, use both feet when passing.  Jump to the ball
  • Intermediate players–Quicker jump stops, FORWARD and REVERSE pivots. TEACH SPACE CREATION, defensive footwork–Sprint/slide, beat player to the spot , closeouts, introduce Mikan Drill, introductory post play footwork
  • Advanced players–jab steps, INSIDE PIVOTS, Reinforce Mikan AND Reverse Mikan drills, Up and Under, Counter Moves, splitting double teams


VIDEOS of Interest