I remember when I was just starting to do personal training and coaching basketball camps. One of the first things I realized is that every young player wanted to know how to euro step.
The funny thing was, I didn’t know how to Euro step.
It had never been a part of my game. Can you imagine an uncoordinated 6’10” center dribbling into the lane and then Euro stepping past his defender?
Well, maybe you can now, but a few years ago, it was not very common. It looks a lot like a giraffe on ice skates, to be frank.
I eventually learned it so I could teach it to the kids I was coaching and not look like a complete amateur.
The Euro step originates from Europe (duh) and has been popularized in the NBA.
The Euro step is a high-level move that can help you get past defenders and create scoring opportunities. It can be a tricky move to master, especially if you’re just starting out.
But don’t worry, young hooper, with the right technique and plenty of practice, you can become a Euro step master in no time.
So grab one of the best shoes for a point guard or shooting guard, and let’s get started!
What Is A Euro Step?
A Euro step is like a basic layup, except instead of going straight forward, you plant your left foot when going in one direction and then jump to your second step in the opposite direction, jump off the right foot, and shoot a layup or floater.
Have you ever played hopscotch? It’s a lot like that.
It’s a move that an offensive player can use to really freeze their defender and give them the space needed to score a bucket.
It’s one of the European players exceptional fundamentals that they brought to the NBA game.
Reasons You Need to Know What A Euro Step Is
To become a better player, you need to study the game and have the ability to incorporate new moves that make the game of basketball a whole lot easier.
The Euro step layup will open up opportunities for a lot more scoring chances and give you a leg up on those who have not implemented it into their game.
Who doesn’t want more opportunities to score?
Step-by-Step Instructions On How to Euro Step in Basketball
From European basketball leagues to the NBA, the Euro step has changed the game for basketball players.
Read on to find out how you can develop this move and improve your game as well!
1. Practice your footwork
Like boxing, the Euro step is all about footwork, so it’s important to get comfortable with it before you start adding any ball handling.
Start at the free-throw line and jump forward onto your left foot for a nice big step in one direction, then jump in the other direction on your right foot. You should find yourself on the right side of the basket with these two jumps.
Once you’re there, jump up toward the rim for a layup. It might feel a bit awkward jumping off your right foot on a right-handed layup, but with practice, you will become more comfortable.
The ability to pivot quickly and explosively is the key to mastering the Euro step.
Also feel free to check out Drew Hanlen’s full video.
2. Perfect your timing
The timing of your steps is crucial to pull off the Euro step effectively.
As you take your second step, your defender will be anticipating your movement, so you need to be quick and deceptive.
Practice getting to that second step quickly. It may not be fast at first, but it will become faster with practice.
Soon enough, you’ll be euro-ing past defenders to create space like James Harden.
3. Work on your ball handling
Once you’re comfortable with your footwork and timing, you can start adding the ball into the equation.
Watch NBA players like LeBron James or the Greek Freak. They are studs at gathering the basketball on that second step so they can finish through contact with this two step maneuver.
Start by dribbling toward the basket and practice taking a big lateral step. On the second gather step, grab the ball with two hands for security, then finish with one hand toward the basket.
Being a great ball handler will make the move that much more effective.
4. Add variations
Once you’ve mastered the basic Euro step, you can start adding variations and going in a different direction to keep defenders guessing.
For example, you can finish with your left hand on the right side of the basket.
On the finish, you will need a long lateral step. After the shot, your body will be turned and facing the other side of the court.
This is a great variation that puts your body between the ball and your defender on the finish.
5. Practice, practice, practice
The Euro step is a high-level move that takes plenty of practice to perfect.
You need to be comfortable with your footwork, timing, and ball handling to execute the move effectively in game situations.
Incorporate the Euro step into your regular practice routine, both with and without defenders.
The more comfortable you become with the move, the more opportunities you’ll have to create scoring chances for yourself and your team.
Key Considerations for Successfully Mastering The Euro Step As A Basketball Move
You need to be agile. Footwork doesn’t come from nowhere, you need to work at it.
Pick up a speed ladder and do an assortment of footwork techniques to improve your coordination.
You should also practice your lateral jumping by jumping from one foot to the other again and again. You’ll almost look like a skier when you do this.
Taking It to The Next Level: How to Do A Step-Back Jump Shot
Another patented James Harden move, the step-back jump shot, helps create space by making your defender think you’re driving toward the basket.
But instead of driving to the basket, you will plant your forward-most foot, jump back, and shoot a jumper.
This is so much more effective if your defender has to respect your ability to get to the basket.
Variations To The Euro Step
You can do a standard layup, a reverse euro step, or a step-back jump shot.
For guards who are looking to create space and score, these are all variations you should incorporate into your repertoire.
It wasn’t that long ago that the Euro step was brought into the NBA.
It’s a technically legal move that seemingly every European player knew, and so as a personal trainer, I had to be able to teach it to my students, which wasn’t easy at first due to its complexity.
With the right technique and plenty of practice, you can become a Euro step master in no time. Remember to focus on your footwork, timing, and ball handling, and don’t be afraid to add variations to keep defenders guessing.
Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be able to use the Euro step to create scoring opportunities and outsmart defenders on the court!
Is A Euro Step Two Or Three Steps?
The Euro step is completed in two big steps.
Some consider there to be a third step in the approach, but in my mind, the move itself is only two steps.
Is The Euro Step Legal?
The Euro step is legal if you do it correctly.
It may feel awkward the first few times you do it, but if you keep practicing, you will become more comfortable with it.
Who Has The Best Euro Step?
There are a ton of great euro-steppers.
I think I’m partial to James Harden because he was the most effective player in the NBA at using it for what seemed like years.
Luca Doncic, LeBron James, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are all great euro-steppers.