Improve your basketball footwork by using a jump rope to get reps and develop precision.
We worked with NBA and WNBA trainer DJ Sackmann to develop four jump rope exercises you can use to improve you basketball footwork and ball handling.
The goal of all training should be to replicate game-time action. The jump rope is a great tool to speed you up and hold you accountable to precision in your movements.
Elite SRS and HoopStudy bring you lateral quick feet drills to increase speed and agility and get your game ready for the NBA. Master these conditioning drills and start incorporating jump rope into your basketball training workouts.
Why Is Jump Rope Exercise So Important For Basketball?
Incorporating jump rope into your basketball workouts works simultaneously to help improve your game. Not only is jumping rope a great way to get warmed up before your games or training, but it is also an excellent way to work on your footwork, explosiveness and coordination. In basketball, having these three skills is essential, and it is very easy to see the players that have them compared to those who don’t.
Start With the Right Jump Rope
You'll want to find the perfect jump rope to begin your training. Certain elements make up a quality jump rope, so you should ensure that your rope has all of them.
Adjustability is the first thing you'll want to look for in a jump rope, you need to look for a rope that you can adjust the length of.
The second thing you should consider is what surface are you jumping on. If you're jumping outside you'll wear through your rope quickly unless you're using a heavy PVC or beaded jump rope.
The final element to look at is going to be the weight. Find a jump rope that offers different levels of weight resistance.
Recommendation: For basketball, we recommend the Fitness Training Set.
(Related: See our Jump Rope Buyers Guide here)
Drill 1: Foot Replacement
The main keys here are footwork and balance.
In this drill, you are replacing your feet under your hips.
This mimics the movement of catch-and-shoot opportunities in-game.
To begin this drill, start by jumping rope normally for two reps. After every second rep, turn your body to the left or right for another two reps, bring yourself back to the middle, and repeat - rep this out for 30 seconds.
Put the rope down after every 30 seconds and transition into a partner catch-and-shoot drill using the same movement you used using the jump rope - rep this out until you make 9 shots.
Drill 2: Change Of Direction
Basketball is all about being agile and quick on your feet.
You need to be able to change your direction at a drop of a dime to be able to get past your defender or stay in front of your man on defense. This change of direction jump rope drill will help you work on becoming a quicker basketball player.
To begin this drill, start by skipping on your inside foot for one rep and transition into a split stance for one rep. Repeat this 5 times, then switch to the opposite inside foot and repeat again 5 times - do this for 1 minute.
Put the rope down after the minute is up and pick up a basketball. Starting from behind the 3-point line, catch the ball off a split stance, attack the left/right elbow using a skip off the inside foot into a split through and into your shot - rep this out until you make 9 shots.
Part 3: Step Backs
The step-back is a must-have in a basketball player's arsenal to create space for their shot. This drill will help you develop the footwork needed to perfect this shot.
To begin this drill, start by skipping just underneath the rim (just far enough that your rope won't hit the net) and after every third rep, plant your foot into a step back - repeat this until you're at the 3-point line.
Once you've made it to the 3-point line, put down the rope and get a partner to pass you the ball. Split catch the ball, attack the elbow and dribble into a step-back shot - do this until you make 9 shots.
Part 4: Side Steps
Another way to create space away from your defender in basketball is the side-step. Similar to the previous drill, start by skipping as you normally would, and after every third rep plant your foot into a side step - do this for 1 minute.
Once the minute is up, put the rope down and get a partner to pass you the ball. Catch the ball off a split stance and attack the elbow, just like you did in the last drill, only this time instead of performing a step back shot you are planting your foot into a side step shot.
Want The Full Video Breakdown?
If you want to take your game to the next level, grab the official HoopStudy basketball training bundle. Included is everything you need to get the most out of jumping rope and enhance your footwork, explosiveness and coordination.