When coaches talk about finishing off of two feet I think the general assumption would be that they are talking about using a jump-stop as the primary method to do so. Personally, as a player and when I started as a coach, that was the method that I always assumed was “the way” to play off of two feet. However, as I watched more and more basketball from the lens of a coach studying the game, I began to see not only how frequently stride stops were used by players, but how natural they appeared to be.
A stride stop is when we decelerate and our feet hit the ground in a 1-2 contact pattern as opposed to a one sound pattern of a jump stop. Many players use this 1-2 ground contact pattern shooting off the dribble or sprinting off a screen into a shot. We’re primarily going to focus on the usage of stride stops as a means to finish in this article. If you’d like to read a more in-depth article on our system of cuts when players get to a two-foot stop and don’t have a scoring option, you can check this article out.
Playing off of two feet on a rim attack whether it be a jump-stop or a stride stop gives a player balance, power, and the ability to use a fake or a pivot while stopped. The biggest reason why we prefer the stride stop and teach it to players at all levels is it allows a player to completely “brake” or stop on a drive while also still allowing a player momentum and speed playing off of two feet. Most stride stops around the rim will have a 1-2 ground contact pattern with the outside foot hitting first (r-hand dribble r-foot hits first and vice versa if player is dribbling with the left). This gives players the ability to use the second ground contact as a means to seal their defender and get a “body-in, ball-out” concept. The outside foot hitting first is not an absolute and there are players professionally such as Russell Westbrook who often use an inside-outside pattern, but we generally start by teaching outside-inside footwork to maximize ball protection on finishes and pivots out of the stride stop.
In the video below, you will see players using the stride stop to brake and pivot while also seeing finishes from a variety of release angles out of the stride stop footwork.
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