I was at a gym the other day talking with a coaching friend on pivots, which foot to plant etc... For perimeter players, there is general consensus, most coaches teach and most players naturally prefer to use their opposite foot to their shooting hand to plant (right-handed plants with left foot, left-handed plants with right foot).

But what about players driving in the post, from say the high right elbow to the low right block? Most people agree that players should use a jump stop with a dribble. But which foot should be the pivot foot?? I think the natural response for most players is to plant the inside foot (left foot on the right block, right foot on the left block) so that they are facing the basket. If the defender is right there, then they forward pivot to get their back to the basket.

After more research, I found this article from Mike McKay of Basketball Canada and another Youtube clip with Ettore Messina at a clinic talking about doing the opposite -- planting always with the outside foot (right foot on the right block, left foot on the right block). So when coming to a stop after a dribble, instead of pivoting towards the basket, you always plant with the outside foot, then pivot towards the sideline (away from the basket).

This seems counterintuitive, wouldn't you want to face the basket after picking up your dribble? For post players, the answer is no. You actually want to pivot with your back towards the basket, in this way, the offensive post can protect the ball primarily, then absorb the contact from the defender. When you pivot towards the basket, you run a high risk of the defense stripping the ball after picking up your dribble.

Not really sure if that helps, but something interesting that I discovered today which might help in teaching footwork for post players. For more post development ideas, check out Jamie Dixon's DVD on Post Development Drills in the context of a 4-out 1-in offense.


  1. Blake Kennedy  

    September 10, 2009 at 4:21 AM

    Yeah, Ettore justified that by arguing that by originally planting with your outside foot and then pivoting towards the basket, it means your weight is loaded on your inside foot when you do go up, thus increasing your chances of finishing successfully with contact.