Learn the Basketball Jab Step in a few Easy Steps
The basketball jab step can be a devastating basketball move out of the triple threat position. Read further to find out how to jab step so that you can keep your defender guessing and enhance your offensive abilities.
Why is the jab step so important?
If you watch some of the greatest players like Kobe, Lebron, Paul George and KD, you will notice when they receive a pass they don’t start dribbling immediately. They give their defender a jab step, maybe multiple basketball jab steps before they actually try to score or attack. The defender can’t cut you off if you are using quick jab steps versus dribbling immediately. Imagine this scenario, there is only 20 seconds left on the clock, you have the basketball and your defender is facing you with tight defense. You’ve just caught a pass from your teammate, but you have yet to attempt to dribble past the quick defender. You are sure of your ability to make the shot if you can just get a a good look.
What would you do? How would do you create space?
The most obvious options are to try to dribble past the defender, pass the ball to a teammate, or simply pull up for a well contested 15 foot jump shot. These scenarios are all options, but neither of these options represents the best option. In your position, your team is counting on you to make a play. However, with the defender in your face, your scoring options are low percentage shots.
The Triple Threat Position
In this position, you have the advantage because you are in a triple threat position, which means you can effectively pass the ball, shoot a jump shot, or drive to the basket. Your feet should be slightly wider than the width of your shoulders. In addition, you should stand slightly crouched with your knees bent, slightly on the balls of your feet, with both hands securing the ball on a thigh or out in front of you. This stance allows you to move in any direction, shoot, drive, or pass the ball, which makes YOU a triple threat.
If you want to work on your triple threat in the gym and follow a few step-by-step triple threat drills, I would recommend Ganon Baker’s Triple Threat DVD: 34 Ways to Create Space. You definitely do not want to be one dimensional with your triple threat options, you want to have an abundance of triple threat moves, so that you can always have your defender on egg shells. After training through Ganon’s DVD, you will have players ready to switch match-ups, I know that happened to me.
Making the Most of the Triple Threat Position with the Jab Step
Since the defender is in your face, you should use a technique called the basketball jab step. The jab step or side step can be a devastating basketball move to test the quick defender’s reaction and create space. To perform a jab step, you have 3 options:
1. Simply use your non-pivot leg to take a hard short step toward the defender and the basket to create space.
2. Use your non-pivot leg to take a hard short step to the side of the defender, towards the basket to create space.
3. Use your non-pivot let to take a hard short step to the middle or across the defender, towards the basket to create space.
In options 1-3, you should fake dribble to simulate a drive or a basketball motion. Think about it this way. Say in your head when you are performing a jab step, “Shoulder to Knee”. If you are going to jab to the right, swing the ball from your left shoulder to your right knee and jab step your right foot out. Remember keep the ball tight, so that the defender can’t swat it out of your hands. The purpose of this movement is if the defender doesn’t react to your jab step to the right, you drive right!
When you jab step, the ultimate goal is to make the defender come out of their stance to react, which provides you a short window of opportunity to make a play.
What should you do now?
Jab Step Benefits
One benefit of the basketball jab step is that the move gives you options. When you jab step toward your defender, if he or she lunges at you, you can effectively drive past the defender by taking a longer step and pushing the ball out around your defender’s hip. On the other hand, if your defender begins to back pedal toward the goal, your jab step has worked perfectly to create just enough space to get a clear look at the goal for the jump shot.
Another benefit of the basketball jab step is it gets the defender off-balance. By making the hard half-step towards the basket, the defender is forced to react. When the defender reacts, you have the option to counter with another move such as a head fake or read the defender’s movement and position yourself for a high percentage shot, drive or pass. When you make your defender react, his or her teammates will react as well.
I love the jab step because it allows you to keep your defender guessing your next move. You don’t want the defender to have your moves in his back pocket, so if you utilize the jab step and then make your moves, you will keep the defender off-balance. Go to the gym and utilize the basketball jab step, use it while you are playing against your friends, use it during the games and you will see what a difference it provides in your offensive repertoire. Thanks for reading and share this article if it was valuable to you!