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Basketball Drill - The Jump Stop

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I have worked with players of all shapes and sizes for many years and one of the most difficult moves to grasp that has the most advantages is the jump stop. This is just as simple as it sounds but rarely used the right way or especially at the right time.

As I grew up I was very good at scoring the ball from anywhere on the court, but as I got older I found that I was getting called for a lot of charging calls. Teams knew that when I drove to the basket I wasn't going to stop. As a result, I was called for a lot of charging calls. I was fortunate enough to go to a basketball camp one summer in Iowa called FutureStars that was run by a man named Van Coleman. He had some excellent instructors throughout the country that would work with us.

On one occasion I had the privilege of working with BJ Armstrong, formerly of the Chicago Bulls. He taught us the jump stop. At first, we were snickering amongst ourselves because we thought we were above the jump stop. We'd done that drill a hundred times growing up. We'd dribble the ball and then jump in the air and land on both feet. Easy right? He showed us that the move was the most under-used move in basketball and if you got it right it would pay off by putting you in control and by way of helping you get easier baskets for yourself and your teammates.

We broke off into groups and did a drill that I still use and practice to this very day. It went like this: We each had a defender on us that was instructed to defend us but to allow us to go by. Then he placed a chair 5-7 feet away from the basket.

We started just to the right and left of the top of the key and were to drive to the basket without hitting the chair. This was comical. Here we were players that were considered to be some of the best high school kids in the country and we couldn't do this drill correctly.

We were running into chairs or falling into the chair or tripping on the chair. Either that or if we managed to do it correctly we'd always commit a traveling violation doing do. The trick was to take controlled dribbles, make sure that both feet landed at the same time and to be sure that we went straight up without making contact with the chair. It sounds easy but it is very tricky. The jump stop needs to be practiced in situations where it can be used.

I am a large proponent of practicing and running drills by your self. I love it. I think the way to truly judge a person's character or the type of player they want to be is by watching them when they believe nobody else is around. Think about it. When you are by yourself, take some chairs or some objects and place them in spots near the basket and jump stop by them. Make sure that you are controlled with your dribble when you jump into the air.

In order to avoid being called for traveling you MUST jump off one foot and land with two feet. If you jump off two feet and land with the ball that is traveling. But the true secret comes from the landing. LAND WITH BOTH FEET AT THE SAME TIME. Don't skip to a stop or take a stutter step as both are traveling. You must come down with both feet at the same time. You'll notice that when you land you should be under control and in an immediate position to be able to shoot or pass.

When I got good at the jump stop I realized that I could gain a lot of distance on one dribble. Remember that once you dribble and jump off that foot you can gain a lot of space in that jump. Try it. I tell people it is like a long jump. Those guys run as fast as possible and then jump and land on two feet. Well, they don't land really but you get my point. That is perfectly legal to do with the basketball.

To get comfortable with it I suggest people just start small by taking a dribble, hop and land. I even say it to myself, dribble and hop. I dribble the ball, jump off one foot and land on two. It is great practice.

If you watch closely enough you'll notice that many great college and pro players use this move and it truly is underutilized in today's games. Practice this and in no time you'll start to see the benefits.

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