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Using the Drop Step: Creating Space for Easy Baskets

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    Sports Tips

Using the Drop Step: Creating Space for Easy Baskets

Creating space on the basketball court for easy baskets is a fundamental skill, and the drop step move is a go-to weapon for achieving this. This post will help you understand the mechanics of the drop step, its execution, and its strategic advantages.

The Anatomy of the Drop Step

The drop step, often referred to as the "power move," is a fundamental post maneuver that helps players gain a positional advantage over their defenders. It involves a quick pivot and drop of the foot, allowing the player to create separation and get an open shot close to the basket.

Execution of the Drop Step

To execute the drop step effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Post Position: Start by establishing a strong post-up position. Your back should be towards the basket, and your defender should be leaning on you.
  2. Catch the Ball: Receive the pass securely, keeping a low center of gravity. Your knees should be bent, and you should be ready to pivot quickly.
  3. Pivot and Drop: Identify the direction you want to move based on the defender’s position. If the defender is on your right side, pivot on your left foot. Drop your right foot back and around the defender, using your body to shield the ball.
  4. Power Up: As you drop your foot, power up into a strong, balanced position. Use your body to maintain separation and go up for the shot.

Here's a quick visual guide to the drop step:

1. Post UpEstablish a strong position with a low center of gravity.
2. CatchSecure the pass, stay balanced and ready to move.
3. PivotChoose a pivot foot (usually the foot opposite the defender), drop the other foot.
4. Power UpUse your lower body to create space, go up strong for the shot.

Strategic Application

The drop step is more than just a physical move; it’s about reading the defense and making smart decisions. Here are some tips for using the drop step effectively:

Reading the Defender

  • Feel the Defender: Use your body to feel where the defender is positioned. If they're overplaying one side, that's your cue to spin in the opposite direction.
  • Timing is Key: Execute the drop step when the defender is off-balance or not fully prepared to react.

Creating Separation

  • Use Your Body: Your upper body should act as a shield. By dropping your foot and pivoting, you effectively use your hips and shoulders to keep the defender at bay.
  • Quickness and Explosiveness: The move should be executed quickly and explosively, leaving minimal time for the defender to recover.

Practicing the Drop Step

Incorporate these drills into your practice routine to master the drop step:

  1. 1-on-1 Post Drills: Practice against a defender to simulate game conditions.
  2. Mikan Drills: Focus on footwork and finishing around the basket.
  3. Mirror Drills: Pair up with a teammate and mimic each other's moves to improve agility and footwork.


The drop step is an essential move for players looking to dominate in the paint. By mastering the mechanics and understanding when to use it, players can create easy scoring opportunities and enhance their offensive arsenal. Coaches should emphasize the importance of proper footwork, timing, and use of body positioning when teaching this move.

Happy practicing, and may your drop steps be powerful and effective!