The “Jab Step” has been and will still be one of my favorite basketball moves after catching the ball. A jab step is when you fake that you drive to one direction towards the basket, then drive towards the opposite direction or shoot the ball. Here are the key steps on how to execute a good jab step.
Step 1: Establish a pivot foot. Once you catch the ball, you have to establish which foot will be the pivot foot, the foot that does not move, and establish the jab step foot, the foot opposite of your pivot foot which you will utilize to perform your jab step. After you catch the ball, the first foot that moves off the ground will be your jab step foot, while the foot that does not move will be your pivot foot. If you do not set a pivot foot, the referee will call a traveling violation on you.
Step 2: Get in attack position. For the jab step to be effective, you do not want to be upright and not in a position to either attack the basket, shoot or pass. Make sure you have solid triple threat to keep the defensive players guessing while keeping the ball away from the defensive player. If you stand upright and not in any position to perform a basketball move, a good defensive player will take advantage and try to steal the ball away from you.
Step 3: Perform the jab step. When you perform the jab step, you do not want to step away from the basket since that will negate the effectiveness of the jab step. What you have to do is to step towards the same side as your jab step foot to attack the defensive player guarding you and towards the basket. Also, make sure your pivot foot does not move, otherwise it will be a traveling violation.
Step 4: See what the defensive player does. If the defensive does not react to your jab step, then just drive towards the basket. If the defensive player does react however, you have the option of putting your right foot back and shoot the ball, drive towards the opposite side of the defensive player, or take another jab.
Footnote: When you drive towards the basket after performing the jab step, utilize your body to seal off the defensive player from getting in front of you, especially if the defensive player guards you tightly.
If you would like to master the jab step move along with other fundamental basketball moves that will make you a better basketball player, please join and sign up for our Weekly Training Basketball Academy.