How to Become Elite through Pivot Basketball

pivot basketball

Written by Aliesha

August 28, 2021


Pivoting is an advanced footwork technique that allows you to quickly change directions and craftily navigate through your defender. Most basketball players employ this move as the main weapon of attack in the post, but it can also be used to get your defender off balance for a shot from mid-range. While many players have a basic understanding of pivoting, one factor that often gets overlooked is the amount of pressure on the pivot foot. Let’s take a closer look at pivot basketball. 

Footwork Fundamentals: Learning the Pivot Basketball Skill 

Well-trained and polished footwork sets an elite basketball player from the rest. After all, it allows you to navigate through the creases of the defense and generate offense in an efficient manner. With that said, one of the most important footwork techniques to learn as a hooper is pivoting. In case you are looking to equip this in your repertoire, here is what you need to know. 

Definition of Pivot 

There are a lot of players who rely on their athleticism and other physical tools to put up points during the match. However, if you have elite pivoting skills, it will make you not only hard to guard but also an elite player in general. This is because it will enable you to create space and do so in a controlled manner.

Pivot basketball is when players keep their same foot in place while the other steps away, changes direction, or moves to another spot. Pivoting is an effective way for a player to generate speed or change direction.

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Rules on Pivoting in Basketball 

Here are three pivoting rules for you that may help you score more points in your games and beyond.

Rotate around pivot foot

Rotating around pivot foot is a basic rule that’s fundamental to mastering the art of pivoting in basketball. This basic rule reminds players to keep the pivot foot stationary while rotating around it. The purpose of this rule is that if you don’t rotate around the pivot foot, there would be less power delivered on the series of shots. To put it simply, if a baller should dribble then take a shot, he should start rotating around his right foot and then finish the motion with his left. That would ensure proper power delivery for that series of shots.

This also means that one should get past his or her own pivot foot before rotating and getting off the other foot. When doing this, one should know that it will cause a slight delay in getting back into the defense position after the offensive player makes their maneuver.

Never lift pivot foot until shooting, passing, or dribbling

Here is another rule of pivot basketball. When you’re in the middle of a pivot, you’ll want to always make sure that your pivot foot remains planted on the ground. The reason behind this is that both you and the ball will be far more stable if you are in control of one point. If your pivot foot isn’t anchored, you can’t do much with the basketball especially when it comes to dribbling. 

Pivot foot can’t be changed once established

One of the basic rules of pivot basketball is that players usually use their dominant foot to start. This dominant foot is your pivot foot. This chosen foot cannot be changed once established. Just make sure that you are pivoting on the right foot or dominant side of your body.

Work on your footwork and be unstoppable! 

Common mistakes when pivoting

Basketball pivoting is important for player movement and skill execution. Potential offensive and defensive strategies revolve around the principles of pivoting in basketball. When a player doesn’t pivot correctly, he might lose his balance or balance control, make an error in judgment, encounter fouls, or display limitations in his game.

When you’re pivoting, there’s a temptation to twist only the top half of your body instead of stepping with your feet. But that won’t give you control or balance. It’s the footwork that’s crucial to master the move, not just starting and stopping. Work on making sure your upper body doesn’t turn more than your legs when you’re pivoting left and right. Otherwise, you’ll just fall over on your face every time you try a crossover.

Another common mistake in pivot basketball is when players are standing with their feet straight out and their legs straight. This can lead to being out of balance and may result in falling or having an injury. Also, basketball players have a tendency to bend down when pivoting, which results in losing their balance and not being able to see open teammates. To avoid these mistakes, players should keep their heads up and shoulders back so they can see as well as keep their balance. 

Have an Efficient Footwork

Pivoting is just another weapon in the basketball player’s arsenal. It is a great weapon to have at your disposal. The pivoting motion gives you the chance to be crafty and trick your defender by changing directions in an instant. Having said this, it is essential to have mastery over your footwork, so you can quickly execute pivot basketball on the court.


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