Note: This is helpful for people who have purchased our Attack & Counter Skill Development System Videos & eBook or attended our Attack & Counter Basketball Camps.
If you don't know anything about the Attack & Counter System, you should check out the videos or attend a camp first. Then this will be helpful for you.
Since 2014, 10,073 people have attended an Attack & Counter Camp or purchased the videos. (As of March 25th, 2019)
Because of this, we get a lot of questions about implementing the system with your team or into your workouts.
When it comes to the use of the drills and concepts in this system.... there's no right or wrong way.
You can choose drills and concepts that you feel would be beneficial and incorporate them into your practices in any way you see fit.
With that said, here are some ideas and suggestions. And after these ideas, you can find specific practice plans.
1 - Teach Footwork First
Generally speaking, you'll want to teach the 3 pivots and 3 counters first. Teach the terminology and basic concepts. Stay close to the basket to make it easier for players to learn and get more reps.
2 - Use it All Year Round
The drills and concepts are very effective for both off-season workouts and in-season practices. We encourage you to emphasize player improvement all year round.
3 - Incorporate Pieces of Your Offense
To work more efficiently, take pieces of your offense (ball screen, away screen, cut, etc.) and turn that movement into a skill drill. As an example, you can practice the key aspects of your away screen while working on footwork, shooting, and ball handling at the same time.
Not only are you multi-tasking but you can almost build your entire offense during your off-season or in-season skill work sessions. And you're preparing players for situations they'll see in a game.
4 - Use a Variety of Drills
You'll notice that many of the drills work on the same things (footwork, mentality, ball handling, shooting, and finishing). However, by changing the drills that you use, players feel like they are doing something new. This helps overcome boredom and prepares players for handling any situation they might see in a game.
5 - Change Emphasis
Consider changing the emphasis in each workout or practice. For example, on day one you could emphasize front pivot and step through counters. You can start in close, work your way out, add dribbles, and add a variety of challenges and situations while working the same footwork.
Another option is to emphasize high rep shooting on day one, post play on day two, perimeter play on day three, and guard play (ball handling) on day four. Now of course, you are always working on ball handling, footwork, shooting, and finishing in every workout. But you can modify the emphasis each day to keep workouts interesting.
6 Attack & Counter Sample Practice Plans & Workouts
Here is a more concrete example of how you could implement this into practices and workouts when first teaching the system. This can be done at workouts or at the beginning of the season.
Now, also keep in mind I've spent the majority of my coaching and training career working with 11 to 18 year olds.
Also, each situation is different. You will need to tweak things based on your age, skill level, time constraints, strengths, weaknesses, and so on. The truth is there is no such thing as a "one size fits all" plan that will work for everyone.
But to keep things in perspective, if you simply taught the pivots and counters to your team and brought them to me as a high school coach, I would be very, very happy.
Many college players don't execute this footwork properly.
Attack & Counter Practice or Workout #1 - The Pivots
At first, there is always a little more talking than I like to do. However, you need to sell them on the concepts.
You know what the difference is between a great coach and a bad coach... motivated athletes!
0:00 to 0:15 - Introduce Attack & Counter System
- LeBron and Kobe spent their summers working with Hakeem Olajuwon to learn footwork.
- Not teaching 100 different moves. Teaching 3 pivots and 3 counters and how to use in hundreds of different situations.
- Introduce the "Think Shot" concept.
0:15 to 0:28 - Front pivot in post area
- Top foot / bottom foot explanation.
- Pivot foot / swing foot explanation.
- Demonstrate what good defensive players do when you don't think shot.
0:28 to 0:37 - Inside pivot (also called a back or reverse pivot)
- Talk about fear of failure - Explain how Hall of fame 3-point shooters miss more than they make.
0:37 to 0:45 - Drop step in post area
- Straight line, front of the rim.
- Explain why we start close to the basket. More reps to get better footwork.
I prefer to get all of that into the first practice or workout. However, if you are short on time you can just stop when necessary and start where you left off.
You can also leave them with a teaser, "Next practice, you get to learn the three counters. Then you will know everything you need to know about basketball."
Attack & Counter Practice or Workout #2 - The Counters
0:00 to 0:10 Mentality concepts
- Do what you're good at.
- Think shot. - You shoot it or you don't.
0:10 to 0:20 Front pivot - Step through in post area
- Swing foot - Always straight line front of the rim.
0:20 to 0:30 Inside pivot - Sweep in post area
0:30 to 0:40 Drop step - Inside pivot in post area
- Drop step long and hard to create space.
- Stay low to get balanced.
Tell them now you're going to teach them how to use this footwork in hundreds of situations. So now you're immediately good at 100s of different moves just by understanding this footwork.
Different Ways To Proceed Moving Forward Based On Age Level:
Now, there are many different ways you can proceed from here and there is no right or wrong way. But here are some ideas of what you could try:
For youth teams, you could spend multiple days or even the whole season reviewing days 1 and 2 in the post.
For middle school teams, you might review the concepts from day 1 and day 2 before progressing forward.
For high school & college teams, you could probably proceed forward and cover more concepts.
Here is an example of the review days that you might use.
The Pivots Review
You simply review the concepts from day 1. You talk less.
Today would be a heavy emphasis on reps.
0:00 to 0:10 - Front pivot in post area.
0:10 to 0:20 - Inside pivot in post area.
0:20 to 0:30 - Drop step in post area.
The Counters Review
You simply review the concepts from day 2. Like the previous workout, you talk less.
Today would be a heavy emphasis on reps.
0:00 to 0:10 - Front pivot - Step through in post area.
0:10 to 0:20 - Inside pivot - Sweep in the post area.
0:20 to 0:30 - Drop step - Inside pivot in post area.
Attack & Counter Workout #3 - Pivot & Counter Review and Extended Drop Steps
0:00 to 0:15 - Pivot & counter review
You can do this at a basket or without a basket. You simply run through each pivot and each counter.
- Front pivot
- Inside pivot
- Drop step
- Front pivot - Step through counter
- Inside pivot - Sweep counter
- Drop step - Inside pivot counter
Whatever drill and organization that you choose, just have a timer as you rotate through the pivots.
0:15 to 0:30 - Extended drop steps - 1 dribble
- Swing foot: Straight line - front of the rim.
- Push the ball out on dribble.
An Excellent Way To Practice Your Footwork Every Practice In Just 6 Minutes
Here is a great idea I got from my brother Jeff Haefner. You add the pivots and counters to your warm up. And you rotate the pivot or counter every minute. So it only takes 6 minutes.
That way, you are getting a few repetitions every day no matter what and continuously improving your footwork.
Another tip is to do warm up / athletic development and ball handling in the hallway before practice.
You schedule to meet 20 minutes before you can access the court. Do a warm up / athletic development session for 15 minutes. Then do some ball handling for 5 minutes.
Then when you take the court, you immediately go to your pivot and counter routine. It's a way to squeeze more out of your limited practice time.
Attack & Counter Workout #4 - Introduce Perimeter Concepts & Ball Handling
You can pick any cut from your offense and combine it with the footwork. In this example, the offensive cut is a simple corner to wing cut. This is a common cut in a 5-out offense.
0:00 to 0:10 - Corner to wing cut - Front pivot - Shot
- Introduce chair rules - Inside foot, close to chair, step in towards basket.
0:10 to 0:20 - Corner to wing cut - Front pivot - Step through - Lay up
- When you dribble - Think lay up.
- Step in straight line to basket.
- Shoulder to defender's hip.
- Beat with feet, separate with the ball.
0:20 to 0:30 - Corner to wing cut - Front pivot - Step through - One dribble jump shot
- Still think lay up - Defense slides over and you pull up for jump shot.
- Cover ground - create separation.
Attack & Counter Workout #5 - Inside Pivot on Perimeter and Change of Direction Dribble
You can pick whatever offensive cut will put your players in a position to use an inside pivot on the perimeter. A few examples are a v-cut, l-cut, or a straight cut from the post area to any perimeter spot.
For the example below, a v-cut is used.
0:00 to 0:06 - Pivot & counters warm up
0:06 to 0:14 - V-cut to wing - Inside pivot - Shot
- 4 magic words to get open: Inside shoulder, inside hip.
- To get open: Change speed and change direction.
- Inside pivot is used to create space.
- Get low to be balanced.
Note: You may not want to cover principles of getting open and the inside pivot on the perimeter on the same day. You may want to teach a simple block to wing cut, then teach the v-cut a following day. This is going to be situational.
0:14 to 0:20 - Inside pivot - Sweep - Lay up
- Shoulder to defender's hip.
- Straight line - Front of the rim.
Briefly, talk about how you can do the one dribble jump shot progression as well. To save time, you might skip that progression.
0:20 to 0:30 - V-Cut to wing - Sweep - Two dribbles with change of direction
- After change of direction, get North & South ASAP.
Attack & Counter Workout #6 - Drop Step on Perimeter and Finishing Counters
There are multiple situations from which you can teach a drop step on the perimeter. Simply, take a piece of your offense where a defender might overplay the passing lane.
The situation below is taken from the corner to wing cut covered previously.
0:00 to 0:08 - Corner to wing Cut - Drop step - Shot (Lay up or jump shot)
- Defense overplays, drop step to rim.
- Straight line, front of the rim.
0:08 to 0:15 - Corner to wing Cut - Drop step - Inside pivot - Shot
- Counter drop step with inside pivot to create space from defense.
- Drop step long, hard, and quick. Just like attacking rim.
0:15 to 0:22 - Corner to wing Cut - Drop step - Inside pivot - Sweep - Lay Up
- Sweep to get by defense.
- Straight line - front of the rim.
0:22 to 0:30 - Corner to wing Cut - Drop step - Inside pivot - Sweep - Two dribbles - Drop step counter finish
- Using footwork counters at rim to get by defense. Talk about drop step or step through.
End the session explaining to them how they've developed an offensive game just by knowing 3 pivots and 3 counters. The combinations are only limited by your imagination.
Where To Go From Here!
Of course, this is just an example of the introduction to using the footwork and mentality in the post and on the perimeter.
There are many different drills and more advanced drills that you can use to cover the same concepts in the Attack & Counter videos and eBooks.
And you can start to introduce throughout practice competitive 1v1 drills to practice the footwork and individual offense.
You also can advance to game situations such as down screens, ball screens, zipper cuts, etc. that are covered in the Attack & Counter Skill Development videos.
What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...