A pivot foot in basketball is the foot of an offensive player that must remain stationary while pivoting. A player can pivot around this foot and can lift it only when passing or shooting, but the ball must leave his or her hands before it touches the ground again.
When a player receives the ball, they are immediately faced with the question of what they are going to do next. They may choose to dribble, pass, shoot, or to pivot. If they choose to dribble and then pick up their dribble, they are then able to pivot, as well. When pivoting, the player must choose which foot will remain grounded as the pivot foot! Knowing which foot will give the player the most options is a skill that comes with practice, but can definitely be learned over time.
Once a player chooses their pivot foot, they cannot change it.
In some instances, the pivot foot may be assigned to the player. This can occur when going up for a rebound and landing only on one foot first, or by landing oddly and needing to pivot to maintain balance. Whichever foot landed first or remained on the court will automatically become the pivot foot!