Basketball Footwork Drills 101

basketball football drills

Written by Sirikit Elebaran

July 23, 2021


In basketball, shooting skills are not the only things that contribute to your gameplay. Your footwork will also play a role in how you can effectively weave your way across the court. Thus, you should make an effort to improve it during your practice sessions. Here is a collection of great basketball footwork drills that will help you enhance it for your next game.

The Fundamentals Of Good Footwork

To better appreciate these drills, you need to understand the fundamentals of good footwork first. These will give you a better foundation for enhancing your movements. 

  • Ready position: Your feet should always be in a position to run and catch the ball or to shoot. 
  • Jump-step: You want to cover as much ground with each step. Adding a small jump to your steps can help you accomplish these. 
  • Sprinting: Proper sprinting form will help you better stabilize yourself during fast runs and get into position fast. 
  • Jump stop: Getting your feet into a jump before landing to your desired position will help you better stop from a sprint and ready your body for the next action. 
  • Pivoting: Be aware of which direction will give you a positional advantage during plays and turn your foot accordingly. 

By learning how to execute these motions properly, you can better control your on-court movements. The basketball footwork drills below will help you get acquainted with these fundamentals and incorporate them into your overall movement. 

Universal Stance

The universal stance, or U-stance, will help you be more accustomed to quickly getting yourself in the ready position. This one is great for setting yourself up for defensive plays. You can also use it to prepare for offensive plays. 

Start the stance by placing your feet shoulder-width from each other. Drop your hips while keeping your back straight.. Place your chin at shoulder level but keep your head and eyes up. That will give you a wide view of the court. 

The position also provides you greater jumping awareness. As such, you would want to practice getting into the stance during play transitions. Another way to do this is to be in position after stopping from a sprint. 


Guards need to be ready to challenge the player carrying the ball. For this, they need to maintain their position to prevent the ball carrier from advancing to the basket. This basketball footwork drill will help them control the direction the opponent is going. 

Start by positioning yourself in a U-stance. Now, slide your left or right foot backward in a diagonal direction. Step your other foot backward in a similar diagonal manner until it meets your leading foot. Take another step back. Repeat the diagonal movement towards the other direction. Do the zigzags until you have covered a set distance. 

Ladder Drills

This set of drills will help you control your pace as you cross the court. Your goal here is to mimic the movements that happen on the court. For these drills, you need a ladder. Lay the ladder flat on the floor. 

Four-Step Run

Position yourself behind the ladder. Step one foot into the first rung, followed by the other. Step again with both feet in the same rung. Move to the next rung with the same movement and take another step. Repeat everything until you have moved to the end of the ladder. Turn back and repeat the other drill, starting with the other foot this time around. 

Two Up, One Back

Stand behind the ladder and step one foot into the second box. Step the same foot back to the first box. Now, take your other foot and step into the second box and return to the first. Repeat the pattern until you reach the end of the ladder. Go the other direction using your other foot to start. 

Inside Hopscotch

Hop into the first ladder box, landing with one foot. Hop into the next box, this time, landing on both your feet. Continue to do the pattern until you reach the end of the ladder. You can then turn back in the other direction using your other feet to start. 

Mirror Drill

Defensive plays require you to respond to the movements of the opposing player. As such, your footwork drills should also take this into account and get your body moving accordingly. This simple drill will exercise your reflexes and quick thinking. 

To start, get a partner for the drill. Designate which one of you will be the leader and face each other. The leader will then move sideways in any way they like, doing it as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, their partner will try to match the movements. After several sets, switch positions with your partner. 

Improve Footwork And Dominate The Court

While these basketball footwork drills might be simple, they will do wonders for your movement during both offensive and defensive plays. You also enhance your agility significantly. Take time to master these drills and watch how they improve your motion on the court in your next games. 


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