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Basketball Offensive Drills - Stop and Go

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Most players have two separate movements for dribble penetration and their jump shot. This drill is designed to teach explosive footwork, balance, and penetration technique off the dribble.

The player must hold their decision to penetrate or shoot the jumper until the last second, which is a game like situation. If their decision is make too soon, they will either miss the jumper or travel. The player can learn to 'make a power pause' with the dribble into the jump shot or with one quick low penetration dribble on to the basket for a lay-up.


One player or coach serves as the 'traffic cop'. Player A dribble full speed from half court inside the three point line. After entering inside the line, the 'traffic cop' quickly calls stop or go. On the command stop, the player must immediately pull up and shoot the jump shot without traveling, off of a one contact jump stop. If the 'traffic cop' yells go, the player must proceed to the basket with only 'ONE' penetration dribble for the lay-up. Anything else is a violation. The two players can take turns making the fastbreak dribble and being the traffic cop if a coach isn't present. A made jump shot is worth 2 point. A miss is 0 points. If the traffic cop yells go, and the lay-up is made after only one more dribble the dribbler gets 1 point. A traveling violation is 0 points. First player to 15 wins. This is a very simple drill, but exceptionally effective in teaching player to maintain balance and power without giving up options based on how a defender is playing them.

Number of Players:

2 or more


I have always tried to teach my players what I call a 'POWER PAUSE'. This is a momentary pause with the dribble after a full speed dribble or penetration dribble, with the head fairly upright, and the butt down, from which the player may without any extra steps or movement shoot an explosive jump shot, or after the 'pause', push the ball low and behind the defender for one dribble penetration to the basket for a lay-up. I call it the POWER PAUSE, because when you pause you do it with the power and energy still in your legs.

Most player will relax and release their lower body energy when they hesitate with the dribble. They may be able to penetrate from this position, however with no power in their legs they have no chance to make a quick explosive shot. If I'm the defender, I would simply force the jumper in this situation.


Practice this game with using only the left hand penetration and fastbreak dribble. Another variation is to add two pauses the game...one on the three point line (although this isn't recommended for very young players who's jump shooting skills are not highly developed), and one near the free throw line extended. I will also have my players work on a crossover power dribble off of the POWER PAUSE.


Explosive stops and starts leading to dribble penetration or jump shot


This basketball drill is licensed under a Creative Commons License. This drill is from Pål Degerstrøm at www.degerstrom.com/basketball.

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