Being able to move with the basketball is very important to your abilities to score when you're on the floor. We all know how important the triple threat position is in basketball, but what about getting past your defender in a quick way, that reduces their likelihood of recovering, and increases your odds of getting a quality shot when you're on the perimeter. Well in that case, you're talking about the basketball first step.
All of the worlds greatest players, or and your favorite players have one thing in common. They are able to break defenders down off of the dribble and from the triple threat position which increases their chances to score and is one of the things that makes them star guards. With that being the case, when it comes to the first step, what exactly is it, and why should you add it into your game?
Having A Killer First Step
You know what you are going to do with the basketball, and the person that is playing defense on you in most cases is not sure of what your move is going to be. The time that it takes for your move to be picked up by the defender so he can react to stop you, give you an advantage. This spilt second time is what determines a blocked shot compared to a made shot, a successful first step, to a non successful first step.
When you hit a player with the first step if you're already past the half court mark on the floor, it's very difficult for them to catch up to you, and recover to cut your dribble drive off to prevent you from scoring.
The Front Foot Rule- Make your first step drive by taking advantage of the foot that is closest to you from your defender. It takes a lot more time for him to drop that foot back, sprint slightly, and then attempt to cut you off, as opposed to attacking his back foot, and allowing him to simply step slide to cut you off. Which weakens the effectiveness of the first step.
You can increase the effectiveness of the first step by adding in foot jabs, and shakes with the ball before you make your aggressive first step on the defender.
The Misdirection- The whole point of the misdirection it to make the defender think that you are going to attack him one way from the triple threat position, and then going the other way. This is a good way to keep your match up guessing on how you are going to use your first step.
You can also consider adding in pump fakes to get the defender off balance, or jump towards the shot fake thinking you're actually shooting the basketball. Which is very beneficial if you're a great shooter. This can also help with using the first step to make it easier to get past your defender.
When you want to take your first step to the next level, you want to develop more quickness as well as foot speed. This will obviously help you in a big way when it comes to getting past defenders from the triple threat position. To ensure that you are taking a direct path past your defender, it is a good idea to ensure that you are brushing the arm and shoulder of your defender with your arm and shoulder.
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