Basketball Moves: Front Pivot

Using the front pivot on the basketball court can help you stay square to the basket and under control to avoid traveling.

Successfully moving the ball across the court involves more than just dribbling and passing. Ball handlers must remain in control of their body to avoid committing fouls or being called for traveling.

That makes working on pivots in practice crucial.

“When a player’s not dribbling, you must utilize pivots to stay under control and square to the basket,” college basketball coach Jared Ronai says. “They must establish the pivot foot, and the pivot foot must stay planted on the basketball floor, so a traveling is not called.”


A front pivot is a forward turn that puts your shoulders square to the rim. Here’s a drill to help master the front pivot:

  • For right-hand shooters, start from the block area that is just to the left of the basket.  Left-handed shooters starter to the right of the hoop.
  • Face away from the end line while standing on the lane line. Flip the ball in front of you, moving it from the block area to the elbow area.
  • Move toward the ball to catch it after it bounces up from the ground.
  • Catch the ball and come to a jump stop.
  • Establish your left foot as your pivot foot.  Lefties, use your right foot.
  • Keep that foot planted on the ground as you forward turn, moving your right foot in front of your body and squaring yourself 180 degrees so that you’re facing the basket, shoulders square to the basket.
  • Keep the ball protected in your shot pocket and be ready to make a play for yourself or your teammates.

“Having the ability to front pivot off either foot is a fundamental every player must master,” Ronai says. “When working on this drill, go from both sides (of the lane) so you are working on both feet.”

Players will need to have their bodies in the right position to find success on offense. The triple-threat position (dribble, shoot or pass) can help you be an effective and aggressive offensive player.