Coaching Youth Basketball: Footwork – The Jump Stop

Teaching players the cornerstones of excellent footwork is one of the most important parts of youth basketball coaching. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t something that many coaches actually know how to do. Fortunately, there are a number of impactful basketball drills that greatly help developing good footwork. This is especially true when it comes to the jump stop. Following is one of the most effective basketball drills that you can ever share with your students.

The Purpose Of The Jump Stop Drill

Before running any new basketball drills with your team, you want to have a keen understanding of their purpose. After all, if you can’t explain the benefits of these activities to your students, how can you expect your players to tackle them with any real enthusiasm? With the jump stop drill, the overarching goal is to improve on-court performance. This is one of those basketball drills that provides a diverse range of benefits including reduced traveling, enhanced balance, better pivoting skills, greater space, and more confidence.

Getting Started

Have each of your players line up at the baseline. If you court is especially small or if you happen to have more than ten players on your team, divide your players into two, smaller groups to ensure that everyone has the right amount of space. Each player should have approximately five feet of open space on each side, for comfortable pivoting and movement. Next, tell them to start running at 75 percent speed as soon as you blow your whistle. Then, blow your whistle again at sporadic intervals to have the players pivot. You can call your pivot instructions out, whether you want them to front pivot with the right foot, or back pivot with the left foot and so on.

The Sequence For The Jump Stop Drill

Beyond pivoting according to your announced instructions, players should jump stop with both feet hitting the floor simultaneously, take a quick pause, and then pivot their way back to their starting point. Until you blow your whistle again, they will need to maintain the position. Then they can begin running once more, until the entire length of the court has been traveled.

Your Job When Running New Basketball Drills

Youth basketball coaching is always about far more than blowing your whistle and calling out commands, especially when it’s done right. You need to make sure that every player is getting each element of this drill right, from start to finish. When players goof off or travel, have these individuals return to their beginning positions at the baseline in order to start the entire process again. Your players should run the jump stop drill across the entire court no fewer than five times while maintaining optimum focus.

Tips For Making This Drill Effective And Easy

Keep your players motivated to get your basketball drills right by always making the repeat the entire round after getting caught goofing off or making major mistakes. This should be ample motivation for keeping everyone focused and on target. You also want to try and mix things up with your basketball drills as often as you can. For instance, with the jump stop drill, you can let players travel the whole length of the court at least once, without blowing your whistle a single time or you can blow your whistle multiple times within a single trip.

Have your players run at varying speeds. They can begin at half speed and work their way up to full speed. You can even add a ball in. For instance, they can dribble balls while running. This is an essential addition if one of your primary goals is to minimize or eliminate persistent problems with traveling. Youth basketball coaching is always about flexibility, however, so be ever-mindful of the needs and abilities of your group. If you have younger players who are still understandably struggling with basic coordination, try running basketball drills like this one without basketballs for a while. When your team advances in all-around skills, you can add balls in to make the drill more challenging.

Make The Most Of Your Basketball Drills

Basketball drills are most effective when they’re made a regular part of team conditioning and training. You can even combine the jump stop drill with other activities to keep your players on their toes. The more dynamics that they’re working with, the harder they’ll have to focus and the more they’ll have to work to stay on top of your commands. This will invariably condition them to be more focused on the court and to respond better to tense situations, spur of the moment changes, and other expected developments that might during the middle of an intense game.

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