Partner Pass and Pivot Drill

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This is one of my favorite drills to teach youth players footwork and passing.  We use this drill in almost every practice with beginners between the ages of 6 and 10 years old.  You can also use this drill as a "warm up" with older more experienced players. With older players we like to practice footwork at the basket and end with a shot.  But young kids don't have the strength to shoot properly.  So we use this drill instead.  Even a 6 year old has the strength to make an 8-10 foot pass.  
Instructions Partners line up on the sideline.  First player in line has a ball. Dribble 10-20 feet, jump stop, and execute the prescribed pivot (ex: front pivot).  
Frame 1
After completing the pivot, pass the ball back to your partner.
Frame 2
Passer then cuts back to the starting position.  At the same time, the receiver dribbles 10-20 feet, jump stops, and executes the prescribed pivot. The process repeats for desired number of repetitions or duration.  
Frame 3
Progressions and variations: 1) Front pivot 2) Inside pivot 3) Front pivot, step through 4) Front pivot, step through, front pivot 5) Drop step, inside pivot 6) Combine other pivots.  You can specify any footwork combination you can imagine. 7) Vary the passes... bounce, chest or overhead.   Teaching Points - Start with basic pivots first (front pivot and inside pivot).  Teach one pivot each day and slowly add more pivots as they get comfortable.   - With the front and inside pivot, have players make a full 180 degree pivot and maintain good balance.  Then make the pass. - Both feet should hit the floor at same time on the jump stop.  Keep knees bent (in good athletic position) on all pivots. Related Resources 21 Passing Drills


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James Williams says:
1/3/2024 at 12:10:45 PM

If you jump stop you are not allowed to pivot. See the NFHS Rule book.


Forrest Carlson says:
9/26/2019 at 3:19:09 PM

Yeah but a pivot should not count as a step? Ive never seen this called.


HH says:
1/7/2018 at 10:42:37 AM

No JJ you don''''t have it wrong. You are allowed to jump stop off a dribble. You just have to make sure that both feet land at the same time so you can choose a pivot foot. If they don''''t land simultaneously then the first foot landing is the pivot foot.


Coach Tanner says:
10/9/2017 at 12:06:26 PM

I would also include instruction to rip the ball under the knees as you pivot. Pivoting with the ball at your waist is asking for it to be tied up.


Ryan says:
5/1/2017 at 9:08:18 AM

What is a pivot I need to know for homework

  1 reply  

Jeff Haefner says:
5/5/2017 at 12:03:55 PM

This video explains what a pivot is:


Jon says:
6/2/2015 at 10:06:54 AM

Taken from NFHS rule book: Article 2
A player who catches the ball while moving or dribbling may stop and establish a pivot foot as follows:
A. If both feet are off the floor and the player lands:
1. Simultaneously on both feet, either foot may be the pivot
2. (NA)
3. On one foot, the player may jump off that foot and simultaneously land on both. Neither foot can be the pivot in this case.

Does this clear it up for those with different perspectives?

  1 reply  

Ken says:
6/2/2015 at 8:50:46 PM

Exactly - a referee always must determine the pivot foot to know if the player has travelled . With a properly coached power stop either foot can be the pivot foot. However if both feet do not land at the same time only the first foot to land is the pivot foot. If you land on one foot you can still pass or ( jump ) shoot but you cannot pivot to do either .

  1 reply  

Ken says:
6/2/2015 at 8:55:57 PM

... sorry I LEFT OUT a key part IF you land on one foot and jump and land on both feet you can still pass or ( jump ) shoot but you cannot pivot on either foot.


Frank says:
6/2/2015 at 9:37:23 AM

Jump stop is one step NOT 2 steps even with two foots. Think about your power layup for a second-You start with one foot to a two foot power up.
We teach a jump stop also to a post up player when receiving the ball-this allow you to use either foot to pivot and attack.


Coach Cash says:
6/1/2015 at 11:08:32 PM

In addition to Coaching travel basketball 5th grade Boys and 8th grade Girls, I'm a certified Official; yes the jump stop (quick stop) allows the player to pivot using either foot, what I look for is the dragging/sliding of the foot. Just my two cents!


JJ says:
6/1/2015 at 7:17:48 PM

Total beginner here from South Africa.
I thought that the reason to teach the jump stop is to allow the player the option to choose which foot they want to pivot on after landing. Do I have it wrong?


Dave Miller says:
6/1/2015 at 1:39:16 PM

I have never had a referee call a travel on a pivot after a correctly executed jump stop. I coach 7th and 8th graders and usually refer to the stop as a "quick stop" so the players don't get the idea that they are supposed to leap. Also, if you emphasize that the 2nd hand (non dribbling hand) contacts the ball at the same time (not before) that the feet touch down, then that helps prevent them from picking up the ball too soon. I like the drill and will add it to my repertoire of quick stop, pivot drills. If next year, refs start calling travels on this move, then I guess I'll have to change tactics! Thanks.


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