Youth Basketball Footwork Drills

Coaches must teach proper Basketball Footwork Drills. Footwork is one of those skills that is needed for just about every part of the game of youth basketball. Solid footwork is needed for Offense, Defense, Rebounding, Shooting, Passing, etc. Think about it, every minute of the game is played on your feet, so having solid footwork skills is critical to individual and team success. Footwork is one of those skills (like defense) that you will never see a player practicing on their own, or before a practice. Players will walk in the gym and start shooting, but it would be a rare site to see a player walk in the gym and start working on their footwork skills. 

Youth Basketball Footwork DrillsYouth Basketball Footwork Drills


Youth Basketball Footwork Drills

Why is Footwork so Important?

If a player improves their basketball footwork skills, their game improves – footwork is the foundation for the rest of your game.

Examples of Basketball Footwork Drills / Skills used:

(see the Video Clips below)

1. Defense: Step Slide, Jumping, Jump to the Ball, Balance, Positioning (fronting, quarter turn), Zig Zag, Retreat, Drop Step, and Change of Pace to name a few…

Youth Basketball Footwork Drills

Basic Defensive Step Slide

2. Offense: Cutting, V Cuts, Triple Threat, Pivots, Screening, Jump Stop, Post Moves, and Drives / Moves to the Basket to name a few…

3. Rebounding / Boxing Out: Pivot, Positioning, Balance, Pushing (boxing out), and Jumping to name a few…

Youth Basketball Footwork Drills

Basic Jumping Drills

4. Shooting: Jump Stop, Lay Ups, Pivot, Balance, Jump Shot, and Post Moves to name a few…

5. Passing / Catching: Step Around Pass, Passing, and Stepping to the Ball to name a few…

6. Ball Handling / Dribbling: Spin Dribbling, Under the Legs, Behind the Back, Cone Dribbling, Side to Side Dribbling, Dribble and Stop, Crossover, and Change of Pace to name a few…

Youth Basketball Footwork Drills

Cone Dribbling / Footwork

7. Speed / Agility: Speed, Quickness, Athleticism, Stopping, Conditioning, Sprinting, Running, Change of Pace, and Bursting to name a few…

 Hopefully you get the bigger picture, footwork is used in every part of the game! All these basketball skills / actions require good footwork, and a players game will suffer without good basketball footwork skills.


Types of Basketball Footwork Drills:

Here are just a few of the basketball footwork drills that will help you improve your footwork, and ultimately help you to become a better all around player.

1. The Grape Vine Drills (also called Karaoke drills) – This type of drill works on coordination and foot quickness.

 Footwork Drill / GrapeVine (front view)

 2. Basic Footwork Drills – These types of drills are great for the younger players and also works on coordination and foot quickness.

 Footwork Drill / Line Drill

Footwork Drill / Line Drill (side to side)

 3. High Knees – A very good drill for strengthening the players legs and agility (very good for conditioning also).

 High Knees Drill

 4. Jump rope drills – Jump roping is a great way to get warmed up, works on foot speed and conditioning. There are many different jump rope drills – here are just a handful…

Short Hop / Jump Rope Drill (regular)

Jump Rope Drill / Short Hop (right foot)

Short Hop (left foot) / Jump Rope Drill

Jump Rope Drill / Short Hop (alternate feet)

Medium Hop (both feet sideways) / Jump Rope Drill

Jump Rope Drill / Medium Hop (both feet skipping)

High Hop (both feet) / Jump Rope Drill

Jump Rope Drill / High Knees


5. The Pivot – The two most popular types of pivot drills are the Front Pivot (forward pivot) and the Back Pivot (reverse pivot). Both are extremely important for your game to improve. This video clip shows both the Pivot and the Jump Stop.

 Jump Stop and Pivot Drill

6. The Jump Stop – The jump stop is one of the most important footwork skills that all players need to be skilled with. This video clip shows both the Pivot and the Jump Stop.

The Jump Stop (Examples)

7. V-Cut – Cuts are a very important part of any offense. Learning the “V-Cut” is a very good way to get your players started.

 V-Cut and Flash to the Ball

8. Wall Taps – This drill is great for building jumping skills. It is basic, but it does work.

 Wall Taps Post Player / Team Drill

9. Defense – The Step Slide, Zig Zag (retreat), and Running Backwards drills may be the most important defensive drills you can teach your players.

 Basic Step Slide

Zig Zag Defensive Drill / 2 Players

Running Backwards on Defense

 10. Agility Hurdle Drills – Hurdle drills are great for jumping, foot speed, and agility. There are many drills that players can do on hurdles, but we will only show a couple of examples here…

Hurdle Drills

11. Agility Ladder Drills – Ladder drills are great for foot speed and agility. There are many drills that players can do on the ladder, but we will only show a few examples here…

Ladder Drills (part one)

Ladder Drills (part two)

12. Change of Pace, Change of Direction – This is a type of footwork that is seldom practiced. Coach’s need to run this type of drill and explain why it is needed to the players. There are also advanced ball handling footwork skills that are helpful if they are part of a players ball handling skills (use the stutter step dribbling move to “freeze” the defender).

 Foot Fire Defensive Drill

Stutter Step Dribble A

I have only included a handful of the more popular footwork drills here. There are plenty more, so don’t limit yourself to just these – but you must also understand that players need to get the basic footwork drills down before moving on to more complicated ones.

More Footwork and Conditioning Videos


Youth Basketball Footwork Drills

As long as you work hard and do the youth basketball footwork drills correctly, you will improve. But understand, it takes time, there’s no other way to make it go faster. Most footwork drills are not much fun for the players, but that’s the reality of hard work and dedication needed to improve your basketball skills. Footwork drills can make you a better player, and every part of your game can improve. So now we know the “F” in footwork doesn’t stand for “Fun” but once all the hard work is over, the skills you will gain will be well worth the commitment.

basketball footwork drills

Basketball Footwork Drills

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