How To Do A Hesitation Move In Basketball (Beginner’s Guide)

There are a variety of moves you can do in basketball.

But one of the most deadly is the hesitation move also known as hesi.

It has so many varieties and can be used in almost every situation.

In this guide, you’ll learn what it is and how to do it in a game!

What is the hesitation move in basketball?

The hesitation move: a crafty basketball technique to fool defenders. It’s about sudden pauses or changes of speed during dribbling. Faking a crossover or stop-and-go motion can help create separation and get past the defender.

Ball handling skills and coordination are essential for this move, plus timing and rhythm. This versatile move can be used anywhere on the court. An important part of any player’s offensive strategy.

Drawing fouls is another use for this move. By using footwork and body language to mislead opponents, players can create contact while keeping control of the ball.

Practice is key for mastering the hesitation move. Mastering this deceptive dribbling can keep defenders guessing and boost any player’s game.

Key components of the hesitation move

To perfect the hesitation move in basketball, you need to understand its key components, mainly, fake drive to the basket and freezing the defender. By mastering these sub-sections, you can take advantage of even the slightest uncertainty in your defender, and create space for an open shot.

Fake drive to the basket

When it comes to offense in basketball, there are many tricks players can use to throw defenders off. One is called the ‘pretend dribble drive’. Here are 4 key elements:

  1. Sell the fake. Quickly jab step or do something that looks like you’re about to move.
  2. Pivot with control. Keep a tight grip on the ball and stay balanced.
  3. Use visual deception. Make eye contact to keep your defender guessing.
  4. Explode towards an opening. Quickly go to an open spot while keeping control of the ball.

Everyone has their own style for this move. It takes practice to figure out what works best. With some work, this maneuver can be a valuable tool in offensive players’ arsenals! Breaking down defenders and creating scoring chances is key. Conditioning yourself each day helps hone basketball abilities like speed, form & strength, so those maneuvers happen easily on the court.

Freezing the defender

To ‘freeze’ defenders, athletes should follow four steps:

  1. Take a quick initial step towards them.
  2. Change direction with a sudden lateral cut while holding the ball.
  3. Pivot and put the opposite foot down, creating distance.
  4. Make another move, such as stepping back or driving.

Keep a low stance for control and agility. Anticipate when to use this move, as overuse can make it predictable. Remember, freezing the defender is only one part of successful basketball play.

How to perform the hesitation move

To perform the hesitation move in basketball, start in triple threat position with your defender in front of you. Sell the fake drive to make them think you’re going for the basket, then pull back and freeze the defender. In this section, we explore how to execute the hesitation move with precision, followed by each sub-section that offers solutions to help perfect your technique.

Start in triple threat position

The hesitation move starts with the triple threat position. To get there:

  1. Put your feet shoulder-width apart, one slightly in front.
  2. Bend the knees and hold the ball at waist level with both hands.
  3. Keep your elbows close and stay on the balls of your feet.

This stance lets you dribble, pass or shoot quickly. Your weight should be forward so you are ready to react when an opponent defends or intercepts.

Once you’re a pro at this position, you can practice the hesitation move. With this deceptive move, you change pace quickly to throw off defenders and open up scoring chances. With the right practice and execution, it can take your game to the next level.

Sell the fake drive

To fool your opponent on the court, you need to get good at selling the deception. This means your body language, eye contact, and timing must be perfect to make them think you will go one way but you actually go the other. Here is how to flawlessly fake drive:

  1. Notice your defender’s habits and movements.
  2. Take a few steps in the usual direction they defend.
  3. Look in that direction like you will really go there.
  4. Suddenly, plant your foot and change direction, still keeping control of the ball.
  5. Add head fakes and dribble moves to make it look even more believable.
  6. Practice until it’s instinctive so you can use it in games.

Don’t forget, it’s not enough to just execute the move. You need great court vision and awareness of where your teammates are to master it. With this move, you’ll create openings for yourself and others – making you an important part of any team.

Pull back and freeze the defender

Tricking your defender into a false sense of security is key to perform the hesitation move. One way is to pull back and freeze the defender. Here’s a 5-step guide:

  1. Plant one foot firmly on the ground while dribbling towards the defender at full speed.
  2. Pull the ball back towards you, away from the defender.
  3. Bring your body to a sudden stop or slow down significantly.
  4. Pause to assess the situation and predict the defender’s next move.
  5. Quickly accelerate past them in your desired direction.

Stay unpredictable by alternating between fakes and jabs. Keep control over body and ball movement. Keep practicing until pulling back becomes an instinct.

Tips for practicing the hesitation move

To master the hesitation move in basketball, your best bet is to practice, practice, and practice some more. In order to improve your skills, this section will provide you with tips for practicing the hesitation move with two specific sub-sections as solutions – practicing against a defender and incorporating the move into a game situation.

Practice against a defender

Incorporating a defender in your practice is key to ace the hesitation move. To make the most of it, 5 steps to follow:

  1. Pick a defender who can challenge you.
  2. Begin with dribbling and doing the move.
  3. Vary your moves and make them hard to guess.
  4. Keep practicing ’til you feel comfortable changing direction quickly.
  5. Complete with a simulated game using the skill.

As you get better, add more defenders or obstacles to make the training more difficult.

To enhance muscle memory and footwork, use cones to create drills that copy real game scenarios.

This skill needs patience and regular practice. Gradually, using the hesitation move will be like second nature against any foe.

Incorporate the move into a game situation

When utilizing the hesitation move, it’s vital to work it into a game. This allows you to use it in real-time and amaze your opponents.

Here are four steps to incorporate this move:

  1. In training, practice different versions of the hesitation move.
  2. During gameplay, determine the opportune moment to use it.
  3. Be precise and keep your balance when executing it.
  4. Pay attention and watch your opponents’ reaction afterwards.

Plus, make sure you have great ball-handling skills prior to trying this move. Concentrate on dribbling and making fast decisions under pressure. With practice, you can do it without a second thought, leading to successful scoring chances.

Remember, adding the hesitation move into a game needs patience and regular practice. It may not always work, so keep practicing other moves to add variety to your gameplay.

When to use the hesitation move

To effectively navigate tight defensive plays and create room for a shot or pass in basketball, it is crucial to master the hesitation move. This section, “When to use the hesitation move,” will detail two crucial scenarios in which this move is particularly useful- against a tight defense and when you need to create space.

Against tight defense

When you’re up against a tight defense, you need to have lots of moves to get past your opponent. The hesitation move can help deceive your defender and give you space to shoot. Just slow your dribble while keeping the ball close. This will make them hesitate, creating an opening.

The hesitation move is great against quick, reactive defenders. Change up your speed to catch them off-guard. Practise this move, so it becomes natural in games.

Be strategic with the hesitation move – read the situation and use it when there’s an opening. Don’t overuse it or rely too heavily, or else they’ll adjust.

Adding the hesitation move to your arsenal can make you a more versatile player. This increases your chances of success in basketball!

To create space for a shot or pass

Creating space with hesitation moves is key in basketball. It can help you get away from defenders and take advantage of openings. Here’s a guide to mastering the technique:

  1. Drive towards the basket.
  2. Stop and do a hesitation move.
  3. Change direction or switch up your approach.
  4. Use fakes or more hesitations to keep your opponent guessing.
  5. Take the shot or pass it to an open teammate.

To make the most of this skill, you need good ball-handling, body control, and court vision. Watch experienced players to learn how to use it in different situations and make it your own.

By perfecting this technique, you can become a major threat on the court and always be ready to surprise your opponents and create opportunities.

Common mistakes to avoid when performing the hesitation move

To avoid common mistakes when performing the hesitation move in basketball, focus on perfecting your technique. This will greatly increase the effectiveness of the move and make you a more formidable player on the court. Two critical components of the hesitation move include selling the fake drive convincingly and pulling back and freezing the defender.

Not selling the fake drive convincingly

Executing a hesitation move well needs one to make the defender believe they’re driving to the basket. Failing to fake it will make the move hard to succeed. Players often forget this, leading to wasted chances and turnovers.

To sell the fake drive, the player should take a long stride towards the basket. Then, they must suddenly stop or slow down. Feet must be in a position like they’re going to shoot or pass. Simultaneously, the upper body should lean in the direction of the fake shot or pass. Eyes must also seem like they’re looking in that direction.

Unique ideas on how to properly fake the drive could help draw more fouls when trying to score. Making your body big after stopping is critical in convincing the defender you’re still driving. Adding eye fakes could also deceive experienced defenders.

Enhancing your skills for pretending a drive can add value to offensive play. Plus, fewer turnovers from forced shots or difficult passes under defense.

Failing to pull back and freeze the defender

If you don’t do a good pull-back and freeze move when performing the hesitation dribble, it can make it harder to get around the defender. This move helps you create space between you and the defender, so you can make your next move without a problem. Here’s a guide for doing it correctly:

  1. Fake a drive in one direction.
  2. Once the defender reacts, step back the other way.
  3. Pull the ball back. Put your weight on that foot.
  4. Stop. Hold for a few seconds. This should freeze the defender.
  5. When there’s space, push off with that foot and make your next move.
  6. Repeat if needed.

Also, keep your movements smooth and keep eye contact with the defender. Not mastering these details means you may fail at the pull-back and freeze move.

Variations of the hesitation move

To master the variations of the hesitation move in basketball, including the in-and-out hesitation and the hesitation with a crossover dribble, you need to refine your ball-handling techniques and footwork skills. These two sub-sections will give you the solution you need to improve your hesitation move and elevate your game on the court.

In-and-out hesitation

The hesitation move happens when the ball handler does a sudden change of direction. Dribble towards the defender then pull back. Quick footwork and timing is needed for this.

A variation of this move is to fake a drive one way, then switch to the opposite direction. It gives the illusion of an initial drive and creates space for the ball handler.

Practicing these variations can be useful. It can help break down defenses and create scoring chances. The In-and-out hesitation enables control over the ball and makes it hard for defenders to guess what’s next.

Hesitation with a crossover dribble

Initiating the ‘Pause and Crossover’ is a great basketball move to confuse defenders. It needs fast reflexes, accuracy, and perfect timing to be effective. Here are 6 steps to master it:

  1. Dribble the ball towards your defender.
  2. Pause suddenly, one foot forward and one foot back.
  3. Change direction by moving towards the back foot.
  4. Cross over your front foot while dribbling to the other hand.
  5. Continue in the new direction quickly before the defender can adjust.

To do this successfully you need to stay balanced. Your knees should be slightly bent for more control. It isn’t just about fooling the defender but also having the right rhythm – which is essential for team collaboration.


Basketball players, use the hesitation move to enhance your game! It is a deceiving dribbling technique that throws off defenders.

First, dribble at full speed towards them, then slow down as if about to shoot. Instead, shift your weight and quickly accelerate past them.

Practice this move with good ball control, changing speeds and directions. Keep the ball close and low, using quick bursts of acceleration to get past defenders. Be patient and unpredictable – don’t hesitate too often or too long. Use the move in combination with crossovers and step-backs for the best effect.

The hesitation move takes practice, dedication, and risk. But it can be a great addition to your offensive arsenal, helping you outmaneuver opponents and make game-changing plays! So next time, give it a try – you’ll be surprised by its effectiveness!

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