Footwork, A Fundamental Key to Basketball

Footwork is one of the most basic skills in the game of basketball, but it is also one of the most overlooked skills.  In order to become a good player, he/she must have proper footwork because everything in the game of basketball depends on your feet.  Consider the skills of the game, shooting, ball handling, rebounding, defending, etc., not one of those skills can be accomplished without your feet.  Your feet are the foundation upon which your body moves therefore it is extremely important to practice proper footwork in all of you basketball training sessions. 

Proper footwork keeps you balanced throughout the basketball game.  Balance is achieved while players are in a good athletic stance, but what is a good athletic stance?  To start, a player’s feet should be underneath their hips.  From there, slightly bend at the knees and hips so that your shoulders are over the center of your feet.  A simple way to achieve this is pretend to sit down and as you are doing so, shift your hips back.  This position is a good athletic stance.  Maintaining this stance will help you keep your center of gravity thereby giving you proper balance.   

Pivoting while maintaining good balance and footwork is a skill that needs to be practiced.  Whether defending, dribbling, or trying to get a shot off, there is a good chance that you will have to pivot.  In order to keep your balance while pivoting it is imperative that you are on the balls of your feet.  By doing so, you will be able to pivot more efficiently consequently allowing you to change directions faster or get your shot off quicker.

In the video below, the player is going through a series of pivots and taking different types of shots.  This drill is called that Quick Reaction Series.  As the passer passes the player the ball, he calls out a direction (right or left).  The player then pivots in that direction and takes his shot.  The goal is to get the player to achieve proper balance and footwork on the pivot in order to get his shot off efficiently and at a game like speed.  There are many other variations of this drill that can be done, one of which is doing it on the side rather than straight on.  If you have any others, feel free to let us know.

Basketball Speed and Conditioning Workout

Two weeks ago in the post entitled, “Basketball Strength Workout” I promised to add a speed workout to go along with the strength workout that I provided.  Speed is a vital part of the game of basketball.  Whether a player or team is quick with the basketball or quick on defense…speed truly does kill.  Consequently, it is important that basketball players incorporate speed training into their weekly strength workouts.  Not only is speed important, but conditioning or stamina is as well.  Basketball players must be in good enough shape to play a full game of basketball with limited time to rest.  Therefore it is equally as important to include basketball specific conditioning to your workouts too.  Notice I said basketball specific conditoning.  This is important to consider when it comes to conditioning for basketball.  Often times, basketball players will go out and jog a mile or two.  This is not basketball specific conditioning.  At no point in the game of basketball does a player jog or run two miles.   The only thing jogging two miles will get you in shape for, is jogging two miles.  So when conditioning for basketball, please keep that in mind. 

 The following is a sample speed workout and a sample conditioning workout that is meant to be added onto the strength workout that was previously provided. 

Complete your Speed Training along with Day 2 of the strength workout:

Dynamic Warmup: (use the length of the court) jogging, backpedaling, slides, carioca, skipping, power skips, walking lunges, high knees, butt kicks, body squats.

Ground Based Mobility: Mountain Climbers 2 x 3o; Fire Hydrants 2 x 15 each leg

Frequency Drills: Side to side hops 2 x 3o seconds; front to back hops 2 x 3o seconds

Speed Work: 10 x 10 yard sprints with 1 minute rest; 6 x 20 yard sprints with 2 minutes rest; 4 x 40 yard sprints with 4 minutes rest

Cool Down:  Should consist of light jogging, backpedaling, carioca, etc. along with static stretching.  The goal is to bring your body back to its pre-workout state. 

Add a Conditioning finisher such as the prowler push, sled drags, tire flips, sandbag sprints, burpees, etc. to the end of Day Four’s leg workout.

Day 5 (Saturday) Basketball Specific Conditioning

Dynamic Warmup: See above

Ground Based Mobility: See above

Frequency Drills: See above

Full Court Ball Handling: (complete 1 up and back of the following at 3/4 speed and two up and backs at full speed, there should only be 30 seconds rest between up and backs) right hand, left hand, alternating dribble, crossovers, between the legs, behind the back, spin dribble, and inside out dribble

Pickup Basketball Game(s)

I’m Extending My Offer…

Hello Everyone,

School has probably started up for some of you, I know it has for me.  That means basketball season is right around the corner…I have already attended my first fall clinic! I always say that players are made in the off season.  Elite Basketball Training’s Skills and Drills Clinics and the Elite Basketball Bootcamp are guaranteed to improve your game and make you into the player that you have always dreamed of.  For more information, a registration form, and a free video on both go to the following pages Elite Basketball Skills and Drills Clinics and Elite Basketball Bootcamp.

 And because of the holiday weekend, I am extending my offer through Labor Day Monday.  So, anyone who signs up by September 7th can deduct 10% off the total price of their registration fee and they will automatically receive a FREE Gatorade Hydration package, which includes a squirt bottle and free Gatorade for the duration of the clinics.  

So don’t waste any time and take advantage of this special offer before it is too late.

See you on the court! 

 Rich Stoner

Elite Basketball Training, LLC

Ps. For information on individual or small group training for strength & conditioning and/or skills training click here .  Thanks!

Pps. The clinics are not just for athletes, if any coaches would like to attend and pick up some new and exciting drills for the upcoming season or ideas on how to train their players for strength and conditioning please feel free to contact me.

The 6 Keys of Basketball Skill Development

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Coaching U clinic created and presented by Brendan Suhr  and Kevin Eastman.  Their intention is to give you as much basketball related information as possible over a two day period, and they DEFINITELY delivered.  Kevin Eastman is widely regarded as one of the best in the world at individual skill development, so in order for me to better the Elite Basketball Training brand I felt that it was necessary for me to attend.  During Kevin Eastman’s presentation on skill development, he discussed what he considered to be the six keys to basketball skill development.  Those six keys are:

1) Have as many drills in your workout as possible that are equal to or faster than the game itself.

2) Understand that it is a process to improve your skills.

3) Eliminate the workout killers (fatigue and boredom)

4) Always have a written workout program.

5) There are five areas that need to be touched upon in each individual workout:

  • Conditioning (add movement to your drills)
  • Weak hand development
  • Shooting
  • Footwork and balance
  • Playing through contact

6) The Theory of Two

  • We can show any player any skill in two minutes or less.
  • It will take two weeks of you working on it every day for you to become comfortable with that skill.
  • It will take two months before they can use it in any game.

Having read through these six keys to basketball skill development, ask yourself if your workouts include all six keys.  If so, then you are ahead of the game.  If not, it would be best to rethink your workouts and make the necessary adjustments because in the end it will only make you a better basketball player or coach.

Special Offer…Time Sensitive


Hello Everyone,

Summer is winding down and school will be starting up within the next two weeks.  That means it is time start getting ready for basketball season.  Players are made in the off season and Elite Basketball Training’s Skills and Drills Clinics are guaranteed to improve your game.  For more information, a registration form, and a free video go to the Elite Basketball Skills and Drills Clinics page.


And remember, basketball skills are only one aspect of the game. Basketball players need to be in great shape as well.  The Elite Basketball Bootcamp is fresh off a summer of rave reviews and will DEFINITELY get you stronger, faster, and well conditioned for basketball season.  If you are prepared to put your body to the test, then head over to the Elite Basketball Bootcamp page for a video of what the bootcamp will consist of, testimonials of past survivors, and a downloadable registration form. 


Oh yeah!  I almost forgot.  Because I am so excited for these two camps to start up I am going to give anyone who signs up by September 4th 10% off the total price of their registration plus a FREE Gatorade Hydration package, which includes a squirt bottle and free Gatorade for the duration of the clinics. 


So don’t waste any time and take advantage of this special offer before it is too late.

See you on the court! 

Ps. For information on individual or small group training for Strength & Conditioning and/or skills training click here  or contace me at my gmail address on the left side of the home page.  Thanks.