A Secret to Chris Paul’s Success – Change of Pace

How does Chris Paul blow by defenders so easily?

I feel sorry for all of the defenders trying to guard Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets as he blows by them for a jump shot or dunk.  I am amazed at the way he finds that 3rd and 4th gear and CHANGES PACE so quickly and effortlessly.

Chris Paul goes from really fast to super fast and he’ll stop at the drop of a dime which is nearly impossible to adjust to as a defender.   That’s why he has asserted himself as one of the top NBA MVP candidates along with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.  

Do you have Chris’s amazing speed and quickness? 

Most likely, you do not.  Don’t worry.  You can still be extremely effective by CHANGING SPEEDS.  Change of speed or pace can make a slow player very difficult to guard.  You think Larry Bird was quick?  If so, think again. 

Larry Bird might be one of the slowest players to play the game, but he still utilized the change of pace and was voted as one of the top 50 NBA players of all-time! Have you ever tried guarding somebody who changes speeds all of the time?  I have and it sucks!  You never know when he’s going to explode by you or slow down and pull up for a jump shot.  You can never relax as a defender!  

How You Can Practice Change of Pace and Become Harder to Guard

With that being said, you do need practice more than two speeds (Fast & Slow).   Good defenders can adjust to this after just a few possessions. Many of the great players have 4 to 5 different speeds to throw the defender off.  I remember watching Mike Conley of Ohio State in the NCCA Tourney in 2007.  I thought he had 6 different speeds and he was never out of control.

In order to practice this you can simply dribble the ball up and down the court.  Do your change of speeds at two to three times up the court.  For example, change speeds at the free throw line, half court, and the opposite free throw line. You can practice different speeds…. 3/4 speed to full speed, 1/2 speed to full speed, 1/4 speed to full speed, and stop to full speed. 

Try to minimize the time it takes you to reach that top gear.  This basketball move is also known as the “hesitation dribble”. You can even practice using multiple speeds.  For example, going from 1/2 speed to 3/4 speed to full speed.  Mix it up to portray game-like situations. When you get the hang of this, you can practice at a hoop going in for lay ups and pull up jump shots.  Once, you perfect this, this change of pace will have defenders’ heads spinning.


22 thoughts on “A Secret to Chris Paul’s Success – Change of Pace”

  1. Great article on the use of speed “your speed” the mix-ups, the change ups, the basketball I.Q demonstrated in such a small detail(s). Thanks guys.

  2. Sahitya Beri

    I already used this hesitation move a little bit. And it’s really very
    effective. But the way you have told it, it is really going to spin
    defenders’ head. Thankya.

  3. Bryan Thomas

    This is a great drill my girls practice this all of last season. And it help overall team ballhabdling.

  4. Pingback: Handling Ball Screens Like Steve Nash

  5. Usually you just slow down. The idea is to vary your pace to make it unpredictable and make it harder for the defender to stay with you. Good Luck. Chris Kelley – Framingham

  6. Everywhere I have ever played basketball I have been told I am the quickest player on the floor. It’s unfortunate that I do not know how to use it. I was yelled at by my teammate the other day he kept screaming “BRO YOUR THE FASTEST DAMN GUY OUT HERE USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE”. I realized that I only go 1 speed and thats my max speed. I hope I can master the change of speed that Chris Paul uses over this next year. I am 17 btw

  7. Pingback: Across the Wire (Sunday, Nov. 10th) | 5 State Hoops

  8. We are trying to bring back the stutter step as a move. It seems like defenders can’t help themselves from either standing straight up or reaching on this. Low risk high reward move. Chris Paul’s assist to turnover ratio speaks for itself.

  9. this is really useful my ball handling is not very good so im planning to make those defenders heads spin

  10. Thanks for the information! 😀 I’m still working on my speeds and trying to get past defenders. But don’t worry! I’m getting better. Also btw thanks again! I’ll be sure to do that in practices and in the games! 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top