How to Become Shifty? (Try This To Create Space)

Today, I’m going to be showing you a quick four-step process that you can use to easily shift defenders, and by shift, I mean make them go one way while you go the other way.

Of course, this is going to help you create space for your shot and attack, whether you’re driving to the rim, whether you’re getting to the elbow, whatever it is that you want. This is pretty much going to help you learn how to embarrass defenders when you’re on the court with your handles.

4 Steps to Shift Defenders Easily

1 – Extension

The first step of being shifty when you’re a guard, or when you’re trying to create space with your handles and trying to shift defenders, is to get in a low position. 

Keep in mind that you don’t want to be too low because then you can’t move. But be in a good low attack position.

When you do it focus on your hips – on opening with your hips and creating an extension. That’s the first step of shifting defenders. 

By extension, I mean you want to cover a lot of ground which is going to build a foundation for all your moves and that’s why it’s very important that you open your hip. This is something I actually learned from martial arts. If you try to kick somebody you wouldn’t be able to get that far because of a hip that is not so open.

The same thing applies to basketball. If you want to extend, you can open that hip and extend much more. Also, opening your hips is going to give you a much better opportunity to extend and extension is very important because you want to cover ground when you’re making these moves.  It’s going to open the door to being much more shifty. 

Step #2 Setup

Step number two is the setup. Once we have the extension, the setup comes with utilizing that extension, whether we’re going hard in one direction or going hard in the other direction.

Even if we’re taking horizontal dribbles to create space these are all different setups but you have to master all different types of setups to be shifty. It comes with the extension part because if I’m just attacking my moves and not going anywhere, it’s impossible to be shifty. 

So first step we had the extension, the second step we had the setup. 

Step #3 Power 

The third step is power. This comes from a mix of opening your hips and using your hips. At the same time, it comes from the extension as well. But when I say power I mean the power of your moves when you push off your back foot. The power when you’re doing your crossovers or when you’re pulling the ball back and in your dribble too.

You should be pounding the ball hard. That power is very important for making defenders go where you want them to go. You’re not going to be able to get somebody to move if you’re not using power. 

You can see a big difference between a crossover that involves power and one without it. Focus on that to improve and become shifty. 

The setup is important because you want to push hard to even set a move up. If I never beat my defender, he’ll never fall for a crossover. We want these three steps in all our moves. 

You should overstress the power when you’re practicing or when you’re training. Just pound the ball in your training so when you get in the game it becomes natural to you. Of course, when you get in the game you don’t want to be pounding the ball uncontrollably. But when you practice that a lot it’ll become second nature for you to have that power in your game.

Step #4 Execution

Execution is all about being able to finish off the moves whether you’re finishing at the rim or hitting the shot, it does no good to be able to shift somebody, get them bouncing because you won’t be able to hit them with hesitations or none of that head fakes and all that if you can’t hit the shot out of it.

 If they know I can’t shoot it doesn’t mean any good to come all the way and go like that. You’re not going to shoot it because you can’t shoot and if you shoot you’re probably not going to make it. 

You need to be able to execute these moves and finish. Again, if I’m known for crossing somebody, getting to the rim, and missing a layup, they’re going to be less likely to shift and try to stop me in my moves.

They’ll probably be like ‘Hey if he beats you he’s just going to miss.’  So, you should execute these moves as well. 

In order to execute the fourth part you really have to master the first three parts. If you don’t master those you won’t be able to execute.  Implement each step, focus on the breakdown of each step by itself so you understand it, and then work on implementing them altogether.

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