Basketball Post Moves & Skills: The Drop Step

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Two Post Moves Demonstrated in the Video:

  1. Drop Step - Baseline

  2. Drop Step - Middle

The goal of the drop step is to get the defensive stuck on your back so he can not disrupt your shot as you drop step towards the basket for a lay up. A great counter-move to the drop step is the Drop Step, Inside Pivot, Jump Shot.

How to Drop Step towards the Baseline
  • Plant your inside foot as the pivot foot and
  • As you receive the pass, drop step towards the goal with your outside leg.
  • Drive your knee of the leg that originally was your pivot foot up towards the goal and complete the lay up.
How to Drop Step towards the Middle
  • Plant your outside foot as the pivot foot and
  • As you receive the pass, drop step towards the goal with your inside leg.
  • Drive your knee of the leg that originally was your pivot foot up towards the goal and complete the lay up.


Keep Your Hips Low - Approach the chair and keep your hips low. Just like in a game you want to maintain a low center of gravity to keep a solid base so you are not easily pushed around. If you get lower than the defensive player with a solid foundation and you bump into the defender, it is more likely to knock the defender off balance which will open up more scoring opportunities.

Long and Strong - I like to remind players to take a long step and go up strong towards the goal. This helps them get to the goal quickly and prepares them for contact by the goal.

Advanced Variations:

Power Drop Step - Take one hard dribble and come to a jump stop with both feet before powering up for the lay up.

Drop Step w/ Contact - Nudge the player as he goes towards the goal with a pad or your hands. This will help condition them to power up towards the goal through contact.

Related Products & Articles

How To Develop High Scoring and Highly Skilled Post Players

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Drop Step Counter

Do you have any questions or suggestions for this drill? Let us know by leaving your comments...


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Wim Cluytens says:
9/25/2008 at 3:08:32 AM

Where do you dribble the ball: between the feet?
What hand is used?


Jay says:
9/25/2008 at 9:33:36 AM


Isn't it considered a travel when you are raising your pivot foot as you are going for a layup during this drop step baseline?

I think it would only be legal if he jumps with both feet after dropping his outside leg.


Joe Haefner says:
9/25/2008 at 11:02:40 AM

Hi Wim,

Typically, you would want to dribble the ball away from the defense and that is typically directly in front of you (between your feet) and close to the body.

Personally, if I'm drop-stepping to the left, I use my right-hand, because it is harder for the defender to knock the ball away.

You would use your left hand if drop-stepping to the right.


Joe Haefner says:
9/25/2008 at 11:04:37 AM

Hi Jay,

The move displayed in the video is a legal move. It's just like when you go up for a lay-up, you get a step and half.

Now, if the player would stop and bring his other foot back to the ground, it would be a travel.


gal says:
9/30/2008 at 6:28:49 AM

very nice drills, this is an excellent drill for forward and center to make strong down low....i'll add this in my training program....god bless you breakthrough...


david kigbu says:
10/13/2008 at 2:04:54 PM

breakthrough, may God bless You guys.


John says:
11/10/2008 at 6:41:09 PM

This drill is exlent for big men that are playing post up for the first time in basketball men that previously played sf or sg and now have come in to play pf or c lack this moves a great drill


Lew says:
12/4/2008 at 3:07:08 PM

This the first time I''ve seen this drill and it looks like the ball handler is traveling. I will start using this drill thou.

  1 reply  

Anthony says:
6/12/2018 at 6:00:24 AM


He can raise his pivot foot while taking a shot. However, the ball has to leave his hand before he can put his foot back down.


PJ says:
9/25/2009 at 5:25:17 PM

Regarding the video above, there is something similar that I do that either always beats a defender. The problem is, if it''''s street ball and not a real game, usually the players think it''''s a travel. Would it be possible for someone to either

a) tell me it''''s a travel
b) direct me to a video that shows this in action and state it''''s not a travel.

Coming down the court, I take a jumpstop and land at about the free throw line. At this point, I can pivot off of either foot. I then complete into a layup.

So in the example, I jump stop, my right foot is the pivot foot and I step with the left foot. As in a layup, my pivot foot is lifted before I jump off of my left foot.



justlooking says:
12/21/2009 at 5:17:17 PM

PJ, it just sounds awkward. Wish you had a video or link to someone else doing the move. Are you talking about the hop step. That move is pretty controversial and get''s called everytime depending on your venue and refs interpretation. Got a youngster that does it all the time with NO calls ever, but he always lands on 2 feet and goes back off with 2 feet (slight lean due to momentum).


playa 23 says:
2/27/2010 at 8:54:27 PM

yo this is a TRAVEL!


ditiro mothibedi aka coach Dt says:
5/21/2010 at 5:28:43 AM

great drill for my forwards.practice this everyday and it works very well


papcun52 says:
10/2/2010 at 9:37:36 PM

I always thought this was a travel: any time you lift your pivot foot before dribbling or passing, it is a travel but you can step and shoot. So any time you are allowed to pivot you can step and shoot. PJ I would say you can step and shoot off of your jump stop. The problem is the majority of people will call it a travel. I've been playing all my life (31) and up until last year I thought it was a travel. I wish more people knew the rule. I was always taught to power dribble with my drop step. You can even do and up and under without a dribble, but I've seen it called a travel by some officials.


Tim says:
10/14/2010 at 12:32:45 PM



Joe Haefner says:
10/19/2010 at 3:16:47 PM

Hi Tim,

The move displayed in the video is a legal move. It's just like when you go up for a lay-up, you get a step and half.

Now, if the player would stop and bring his other foot back to the ground, it would be a travel.


Ryan says:
10/28/2010 at 10:45:41 PM

Isn't this a travel because you can't lift your pivot foot unless you shoot or pass and I've been taught to jump off both feet to avoid a traveling call.


Joe Haefner says:
10/29/2010 at 8:32:02 AM

Ryan, he is shooting. Therefore, he can lift his pivot foot.


Deuce says:
3/29/2011 at 3:08:01 PM

Hey!! Who let you in the Hecht Athletic Center!?!? sense is that referees at lower levels would call this move a travel for the same reason many people have questioned the move in the comments. Would you agree with that? If so, then are we risking teaching kids a move that, while a good legal move, will cause turnovers because of the referees' lack of knowledge? How would you address that?


Chris says:
8/16/2011 at 10:29:45 PM

I coach a high school team and we teach this move. However, some refs get confused and call it a travel. How would you are address the mysticism surrounding the step through? It can be quite irratating when the whole gym ignorantly yells "travel!"


Joe Haefner says:
8/17/2011 at 9:50:44 AM


I hear you. I've had that happen as well.

One thing I picked up from Morgan Wootten is to go up before the game and start a conversation with the referrees. The conversation can be about anything.

Then say, "Hey I got to ask you a question about some footwork, because the last game I played the referee told me it was a travel." Then, take the refs through the footwork. Once you show it to them, they should confirm that it's not a travel. And if it happens during the game, they are cognizant of it and will less likely call a travel.


Steve says:
1/26/2012 at 4:28:24 AM


If the player receives the ball on the move, it’s not a travel.
If the player receives the ball while stationary, it’s a travel.

Please let me know if I'm wrong.



Ken says:
1/26/2012 at 8:11:59 AM

This is a legal move .... you are allowed a step and half just like as you would in a lay up. As long as you don't put your pivot foot down... its legal.

Great point about talking to the refs before the game Joe... puts the situation in his mind and that way he will make the proper call.

A friend of mine was teaching a move that was travelling, it started to be called travelling mid season. I broke the move down for him and explained that he was putting his pivot foot down before the shot.... thus a travel. Thats not the case here.


Basquetmaster says:
3/14/2013 at 7:49:27 AM

It is a legal move.
When you move the free foot, the other becomes the pivot foot. When you lift the pivot foot may pass or shoot before putting it back into the ground.


demitrius says:
12/6/2013 at 6:38:42 PM

I'm a guard and want to have an extra skill like post game any suggestions for me


Ken Sartini says:
12/7/2013 at 10:05:23 AM


***** Work on one good post move, like a drop step, add a counter after you get this down pat. Then, use your quickness. You can work on creating some space also.... but the drop step has to work for you first.... drop step, bump and freeze the defender - step back and shoot.

Thats one thought.... I always wanted my players to take their man to the hole instead of a post move (guards) ... there is so much help defense in todays game that it might be hard to accomplish what you want, depends on your size.

Looking at it another way, the refs are instructed to call the game closer than ever so you will see a lot of touch calls.... but it seems like late in the game the refs loosen up a little bit.


Z'Kiyah jones says:
2/23/2014 at 9:45:03 AM

Hi coach
I am a power forward and I need to know how can I condition for basketball while I am at home because most of the time I can not make it to the gym.


Ken Sartini says:
2/23/2014 at 1:30:42 PM

You can do some strength training... weights etc.

You can do some pyrometrics. You can work on these moves at home also... with or without a ball.

Just use your imagination.


kamogelo khutsafalo (Lady Coach) says:
8/2/2014 at 1:08:38 AM

I hav practised the drill several times and it has worked well for my big man (pos 5), so good


kamogelo khutsafalo (Lady Coach) says:
8/2/2014 at 1:12:08 AM

A very good drill for my forwards


Charles e. long says:
12/19/2014 at 11:38:27 PM

Excellent information for any player who want to get better


Paul Costa says:
11/22/2016 at 6:49:39 PM

In the video, isn't the player using the outside foot (foot closer to mid-court) as the pivot foot and using his inside foot (foot closest to the baseline) to drop step when going baseline?

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
11/28/2016 at 10:43:18 AM

When it comes to some of this terminology, it depends who you ask -- you'll get different answers. When drop stepping toward the baseline, the pivot foot (planted foot) is closest to the rim-line. When drop stepping toward the middle, the pivot foot (planted foot), is closest to the sideline.


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