Basketball Tip – Face-up Moves

As stated in previous posts, the philosophy of the NRBA is to be a shooter first when receiving a pass.  However, there will be many times when you receive a pass that you will not have a good shot for various reasons and need to be able to beat your defender with dribble penetration.  It is important for you to have a variety of fakes/moves when engaged in a one-on-one opportunity that will give you an added advantage as an offensive player.  The goal of any fake is to get the defense to react and move in one direction so you can drive past them more efficiently.  Remember, defense reacts to movement, so the quicker, more violent the fake, the more likely the defense will move in the direction of the fake.  Face up moves are simply that: a fake or combination of fakes when receiving the ball and facing up, which are made with quick, violent movement to get the defense to react.  If you do not have a good shot when receiving the ball, then driving is the second option and the following face up moves will help you be effective in moving or getting the defense off balance so you can penetrate and create scoring opportunities for your team off the dribble.


  • Shot fake


      1. Eyes on the rim
      2. Stay down in your ready position
      3. Fake up with the ball quickly and violently (you should be able to see through the shooting window)


  • Pass fake


      1. Look where you are making the fake
      2. Keep the ball protected and tight to your body (do not extend the ball away from you)
      3. Stay low ready to drive


  • Jab step


      1. Jab at the outside of the defender’s foot
      2. Jab forward not sideways
      3. Protect the ball on either side of body
      4. Short, quick movement – not a full step


  • Fake sweep / double rip (rip left then rip and go right or rip right then rip and go left)


      1. Be in a low, wide stance
      2. Keep the ball tight to your body
      3. Bring ball below knees
      4. Shift your body in direction of the sweep / rip


  • Combination of fakes – i.e. Jab step, shot fake


You can begin practicing and mastering the art of facing up and making a fake or series of fakes as listed above by doing the following drill:

Free Throw line and back with face up moves

Begin on the baseline in a ready position.  Execute one of the above face up moves, then explode out and drive hard to the free throw line.  At the free throw line, pick up your dribble by landing a well balanced jumpstop and executing an aggressive pivot.  Repeat and drive back to the baseline.  Continue the above process either for a predetermined amount of time or number of repetitions.  One repetition would be going from the baseline to free throw line and then back to the baseline.  Repeat with the same faceup move or choose a different face up move to work on.