Youth basketball players must learn:
It does not have to be a travel to be called as a travel... it just needs to look like a travel.
Officials make mistakes, they are only human. If a move can be misinterpretted as a travel it will likely be called as a travel.
There are three moves that are commonly called as travel:
- Pro Hop
- Rocking Onto Toes
The pro hop is an oustanding move that freezes the defense, creates space, and helps to get an open shot. It is taught at Basketball HQ on YouTube.
The pro hop is most often called as a travel due to the following reasons:
1. It looks like it could be a travel.
2. Players take an extra step before they start the hop, which makes it a travel.
2. Players end their dribble before the step when they freeze the defense, which makes it a travel once they do the hop.
Players need to practice the move to get insync with the last dribble and last step before the hop.
Another move that is commonly called as a travel is the hop during the Pro Shot.
In Paul Hoover's book "30 Shooting Tips" he writes that one misconception of shooting with a hop is that people call it as a travel. He writes, "If you land with both feet at the same time and then bounce into your shot, this is not a travel" (p. 53). The problem is not that the hop is a travel. The problems are: first, if it looks like a travel, it will be called as a travel; and, second; some players do not use it correctly.
Recently at a youth basketball game in Washington Twp, NJ, players who were trying to do the hop were called for a travel because they had already established the 1-2 step and then tried to go into the hop.
One misconception is that the hop eliminates what players can do when they have the ball. Paul Hoover writes that from a 1-2 position you have already established a pivot foot and from the hop you can choose a pivot foot (p. 53). Although this is true, it is not that the hop limits what a player can do once they are in it, it limits what they can do before they get in it.
In order to attack the basket a player needs to be in a low driving stance. Michael Jordan attacked the basket with his shoulder equivalent to the defender's hip. Players can learn to be great at attacking the basket from imitating the masters.
The hop does not permit the low driving stance. Therefore, yes, the pivot foot can be chosen and then a player can step and pivot into a low driving stance, but they are unable to start in it. Those who were attempting this got called for a travel when they went from the driving stance into the hop because they added one too many steps.
A third way players are often called for travels is through shot fakes or pass fakes when players rock up to their toes.
Players sometimes use a shot fake or pass fake that cause them to spring up to their toes. Sometimes this also happens when they see someone open, they start to make the pass, but then that person is no longer open. Therefore, right before they released the ball they rock to their toes and then come back down on their heels. This is not a travel, but it is commonly called as a travel because it looks like players left the floor. Therefore, it should be avoided.