Kevin Durant Shooting Drills and Workout With Videos

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The Kevin Durant shooting workout is a great workout because it incorporates shooting, ball handling, footwork, and finishing drills that you will use in game-like situations. These are the type of drills that the pros use to get better.

In this article, you will learn a super-efficient way to get open that Kevin Durant does all of the time. Below, you will also see a video that Kevin demonstrates the move and a second video of the Kevin Durant shooting workout that we've been taking some of our players through.

The Kevin Durant Post Cut

Kevin Durant frequently uses this super-efficient and easy way to get open, but for some reason, very few people use this cut. It also takes a lot less energy.

It's called the post cut. You take the defender down to the mid-post or high post area, post up on the defender, as soon as you feel like you have the defender on your back, you put your hand up and cut out to the perimeter to create space. Sometimes, you don't even have to cut. You can just step out and use a reverse pivot to create space.

Below, we have a sample video of the move used by Kevin Durant. You only have to watch 0:52 to 1:02 in the video.



In the video above, Durant just steps out, but you can also cut out and use the same footwork as you can see in the workout video below.

It's very important that you step out and get ready to shoot as quickly as possible. If you are open and can consistently make the shot, you shoot the ball. If the defense takes away your shot, now you should take advantage of the defense closing out and blow by the defense. You will see a series of shooting progressions below.



Kevin Durant Workout Details:

Take a set number of shots from each side of the court for each progression.

Examples of Workouts

Beginner - 5 shots attempted on each side of the court. Shoot 5 free throws.
Intermediate - 5 shots made on each side of the court. Make 5 free throws.
Advanced - 10 shots made on each side of the court. Make 10 Free throws.

Random - Shoot a different shot each time. Shoot 2 free throws.

Once you have developed consistency with your footwork and your shooting, this can be a great way to simulate games where you rarely get the same shot twice in a row. It is also a great way to practice game-like free throw shooting with only 2 free throws at a time.

For example, you might choose a series of 3 to 5 shots. If you take the drill above, here is a sample that you can do.

1. Post Cut - Reverse Pivot - Shot.
2. Post Cut - Reverse Pivot - Sweep - Lay Up.
3. Post Cut - Reverse Pivot - Sweep - Shot.
4. Two Free Throws.

Track and chart your shots to gauge progress.


The Key to This Workout Is in the Details!

You might look at this workout and think, "Duh. There isn't anything special there." Well, there isn't anything special in WHAT you do, but what separates the great players from the good players and the good players from the okay players is HOW you do things. Pro players incorporate these same drills and they probably use a lot of the same drills that you use, but what makes them great is HOW they execute the drills.

You will see the details mentioned in the progressions below.

Progression 1 - Reverse Pivot - Shot

You need to get the defender on your back. Otherwise, the initial cut won't be open.

You need to repeatedly practice the step-out and reverse pivot at full speed so you can get the shot off in a split second while making a high-percentage of your shots. If you don't, the defense can easily take it away because the defense has more time to recover to contest your shot and get set to defend the dribble drive.

Progression 2 - Reverse Pivot - Sweep - 1 Dribble Lay Up

Sweep (rip) aggressively below your knees. Get to the rim in one dribble

As long as you become effective with your step-out and reverse pivot in progression 1, this will force the defense to close out at full speed. If you have the defender closing out at full speed, this puts you at a huge advantage to drive by the defender because they have to sprint at full speed to stop your shot, then they have to stop, and then they go in the opposite direction to stop your dribble drive. You have the advantage! This is how SLOW players like Larry Bird were so effective.

Now, it's also important that you get to the basket in one dribble. This will get you to the basket quicker and put more pressure on the defense. If you don't, it allows recovery time for the defense to take away an easy basket that you could have had.

Progression 3 - Reverse Pivot - Sweep - 1 Dribble - Shot

Make sure to cover ground on the dribble.

Progression 3 is set up by being great at progression 1 and 2. If you don't have the mentality to aggressively attack the basket (progression 2) after somebody takes away your initial shot (progression 1), the jump shot will not be open.

In order to be effective, you need to create separation with the dribble. Otherwise, the dribble will not get you anywhere and the same defender who you initially had an advantage against can disrupt your pull up jump shot. You see this often when the defender blocks the shooter from behind.

Progression 4 - Reverse Pivot - Sweep - 1 Dribble Change - Lay Up

Dribble hard at the chair, snap the ball below the knees and close to the body on the change of direction. Make it game-like.

Progression 4 is another counter to Progression 1 and 2. If the help defense slides over (second chair), you can now change directions with the dribble and attack the rim. If you are not aggressive with your dribble, the defender can attack and control what you do. By being aggressive with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd dribble (if needed to score the lay up), this puts the defense on their heels and gives the advantage back to you.

In the video above, we used 3 dribbles because we were working on becoming effective with a low crossover with this player. You can also perform the drill with 2 dribbles by using the push crossover which players like Dwyane Wade and Manu Ginobli are highly effective at.

Progression 5 - Reverse Pivot - Sweep - 1 Dribble Change - Shot

Cover ground on the change of direction to create space for the shot.

Progression 5 is a counter to Progression 1, 2, and 4. Now the defense is sending everybody at you because you're destroying your man and even picking apart the first line of help defense.

After you change directions at the first help defender (second chair), the defense has sent everybody to the lane, so now you pull up for a jump shot. Just like on progression 3, you need to create separation with your dribble. So make sure to snap that change of direction dribble to cover lots of ground to open up space for your jumper.

Progression 6 - Reverse Pivot - Sweep - 1 Dribble Change - Finish Counter

Dribble hard at the third chair, you have to make the defender commit to open up the finish counter whether it's a drop step (spin), step through (up and under), a Rondo, side step (Euro Step), or any other creative, effective finishing move.

This is a counter to progression 1, 2, and 4. If the help defense slides over to stop you after your change of direction dribble, you can use a finishing counter to attack the defense and get to the rim. However, this isn't effective if you don't perfect the details. If you dribble at the 2nd help defender (3rd chair) hesitantly, they can easily cover your finishing counter move and disrupt your shot. It's vital that you dribble at the 3rd chair as aggressively as you can, this will get you in the habit of getting that help defender on their heels which will leave your finishing counter move wide open.

Now, you certainly don't need to perfect all of the progressions to be a good player. You should work on perfecting the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd progressions. Besides being better than 99% of the players out there after you perfect those 3 progressions, you can start to add the additional progressions.

Wanted to give a special thanks to Don Kelbick for being a huge influence on our training methods and making us better coaches which leads to better players.

Also wanted to give a special thanks to Kyle Wolf who is the shooter in the video below. Kyle is a 6'6 forward at Rockhurst High School (Class of 2013) in Kansas City, Missouri.

(Updated 12/4/2014 - Kyle went on to win the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year in 2013 and led his team to a Class 5 state championship. In 2014 during his freshmen year, he started in 18 games and was a key contributor for Central Missouri University as they went on to win the NCAA Division 2 National Championship. Hard work with an organized plan pays off.)


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    Comments

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    sav says:
    7/18/2012 at 5:12:26 AM

    What about on the pop out doing a jump stop? would that be as effective?

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    Stepan says:
    7/18/2012 at 6:31:35 AM

    The first video (where Durant posts, cuts and then drives to the hoop) presents a very good example of an almost perfect basketball move. "Almost"—because it''s a traveling. And it will be traveling all the time. Right, they don''t call it in the NBA. Right, good players execute the sweep really fast. But it doesn''t change the fact that the move is illegal. Which raises the question of how and what we teach as coaches. Should we teach players to be 100% law-abiding, so to speak, vs. real-world-effective?

    General statement is simple: if you want to go to the hoop with one dribble and finish off the "correct" foot (e.g., jumping off your left foot when you go right and lay it up with your right hand)—your pivot foot (as you start your drive) should be your right foot if you go right and your left foot if you go left. Otherwise it will be a traveling. Why? Because it''s mechanically impossible to adjust your feet if you go, for example, right off your left pivot foot. Remember, we consider one-dribble-drive situations only. Remember also, that the ball should leave your hands before you lift your pivot foot. Just try it in slow motion, and you''ll see. If you go right off your right pivot foot life is easy: right foot on the ground, left foot goes forward, the ball is thrust forward, now the pivot foot is lifted (left foot on the ground), one step, right foot on the ground again, the ball is caught, one step, finish off the left foot with the right hand. But with your left foot as pivot... you won''t be able to do that. And what really happens in most cases is that players just quickly change their pivot foot while the ball is still in their hands.
    Check 0:54–0:58 sequence on the video. As you can see, the ball is still in the Durant''s hand as the pivot (left) foot has already left the floor. You can watch any NBA game, rewind any drive of that kind (there are a plenty in every game)—same thing. Traveling all the time. It doesn''t mean that the sweep as a move is wrong per se. Of course not, it''s very effective. But—as long as we stay in the realm of idealistic, imaginary basketball where every violation is noticed by the refs—you should know: if you perform the sweep of that sort, your options do not include a convenient, "comfortable" one-dribble drive. You should either jump off the "wrong" foot (Steve Nash is probably the best in this department), or shoot on the first step, or incorporate another dribble. And you will never be able to start your drive in that lightning-quick manner. You can only be lightning-quick when you go to the right—off your right foot, or to the left—off your left foot.

    That''s why, I think, it''s critical to teach players to be able to use either foot as pivot. And to be patient with that, not try to define a pivot foot too soon. For example, one very common teaching pattern is (for right-handed players) "jump stop to receive the pass, get the ball while in square position, put the ball on your hip, pivot on your left foot to protect the ball from the defender, then jab step with your right foot to create space". Great, but this way you voluntarily lose the best option you could ever have— immediate drive to the right off your right foot. Yet so many players just do not do that. They''re used to use only one foot as their pivot, and that''s how they do it. By the way, that hurts them in various post-up situations too.

    "Shoot with either hand" is a very well known recommendation. "Drive off either foot", I think, is none the less important.



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    Rick Allison (C2E) says:
    7/18/2012 at 7:39:54 AM

    Concur with Stepan. Traveling on the first step of the dribble is SO common now that referees don't want to have to stop the game every time a player does this. However, it is still a prominent part of the travel rule, in high school, college, NBA and FIBA.

    If you are going to use the sweep and not travel you have to really practice being ball quick in order to get the ball released as you take your first step.

    In the shooting workout video, most of the repetitions with the sweep have a travel violation of picking up the pivot foot before the ball is released for the dribble. On the sweep and pull-up shot, the player does a better of job of getting the ball down on the first step, so it is just a matter of emphasis and awareness.

    To fix this anomaly, try insuring that the ball hits the floor with the foot of the first step. Consider it a "sync point" for the timing of the 3-step attack.

    This is not to take away from the point of the video, which is the effectiveness of the post cut. Great job on the write-up and presentation though. Appreciate all you do in sharing tips for young players to get better.

    Like
       

    Joe Haefner says:
    7/18/2012 at 8:36:26 AM

    Thanks for the comments, Rick and Stepan. You have some good picture-takers (eyes), because I had to put that in slow motion to notice the travel off of the 1 dribble progression.

    Stepan, I'm not sure if you're saying to disregard the move altogether or not. I certainly would not. It's highly effective and as Rick said, the move just needs to be synced.

    Stepan, I agree on your statement on "correct" jumping foot or finishing hand. Jump off whatever foot gets you to the rim the quickest. Finish with whatever hand that you need in order to score. You don't want to slow down for the defense to catch up. And you don't want to give the defense an easy block to use the "correct" hand.

    Thanks guys!

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    Brian Miles says:
    7/18/2012 at 10:29:07 AM

    I hadn't really considered the traveling aspect of that move, so thanks for the heads up on that. However, I have a middle-school daughter who learned that move from a basketball camp she attends (by former NBA player, Dave Jamerson). She has used it a bunch and has never been called for traveling. That is in both middle school and travel basketball. My daughter is not very quick, but this is a deadly move to beat a defender.

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    Stepan says:
    7/18/2012 at 10:37:40 AM

    Joe, it's not my eyes (not even my glasses superimposed on them&#9786) that should receive credit, it's my understanding of what is possible and what's not. You just can't go off the left pivot foot to the right, take one dribble and finish jumping off your left foot. Never. So when I see a player defining his pivot foot and then driving like that I just know it's a traveling, no need to watch the replay. Unfortunately (or maybe not) refs wouldn't wait to see how the player finishes on the rim, they either call a violation immediately (very rarely) or "let the guys play".

    In fact, I made two major points in my rather prolonged previous post.

    First, do we only have to teach what is "correct" and in accord with the official rules of basketball? It's just a question, I don't know the answer. Quite a few popular moves are illegal. For example, take a classical drop step to the baseline (Tim Duncan's favorite): a couple of dribbles into the lane to move the defender (let's say, attacking his chest with the left shoulder), the left foot is planted, the ball is caught (so the left foot is now a pivot foot), the player pivots on the left foot, then the right foot is planted, then the left foot is lifted and planted again to find balance, little jump hook. Travel? Nope, play on!
    See, for example, here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd1-2PYoGhA (around 0:48).
    Personally, I don't teach this move because I know: it's illegal. The only way to execute this move correctly is to shoot a one-leg jump hook (off the right foot). But it's only natural to plant the left foot! Everybody does that, and many to a great success! So... should we teach that?

    Second, I tried to emphasize not the move (the sweep) itself and not even the way the move was executed. The point is, there are things that are just impossible. The sweep itself is a very good move, one of the best against a close defender. And the reverse pivot is one of the staple moves, too. It's all fundamentals, the very grit of basketball. And, of course, you can combine these two all right, no doubt about it. But you can't expect taking one dribble and dunking the ball with ease after that. It is not what you should train. Because it's impossible. Again—if we respect the rules (see above). And what you should train was perfectly described by Rick: synchronize, learn to put the ball down in time, focus on the first step.
    But most of all—understand that you won't blow past your defender going in the "uncomfortable" direction (and by "uncomfortable" I mean the direction opposite to the pivot foot initially defined). If you want to blow, if you want to shine and throw down monstrous dunks go right off your right foot and left off your left foot. If you go the "uncomfortable" way (which is an absolute necessity in many cases) you can still be very effective, you can still take your man to the hole... but it won't be an easy ride of glory. You should be prepared to shot a teardrop (tremendous asset for any player), to finish jumping off the "wrong" foot, to stop on both feet, to add an extra dribble... And this is what should be taught and practiced. Not the reverse pivot-sweep-one-dribble-slam dunk combination. Reverse pivot, sweep, TWO dribbles, dunk off the left leg? Yes, it's possible.

    But the question remains: do we only have to teach what is "right"?

    Like
       

    Jeff Haefner says:
    7/18/2012 at 11:54:56 AM

    Stepan,

    Regarding travels, I don''t know the answer either. I think a coach just has to do what they believe in and go with it. Personally I think that as long as the player is moving the ball towards the floor before their pivot comes up, I''m good with that. If it''s a blatant travel, we''ll address that. But I''m personally not a stickler for making sure they are precisely following the rule book. I think that would be a full time job and there''s enough to do for these kids the way it is.

    Regarding the pivot moves... Are you saying coaches should not teach and players should not practice the reverse pivot-sweep-one-dribble-layup/dunk from the perimeter?

    Like
       

    Stepan says:
    7/18/2012 at 12:35:49 PM

    I'm only saying that it can't be executed without traveling, let alone some unrealistic scenarios like throwing the ball 15 feet ahead and then picking it up under the rim.
    Blatant traveling or not... that's the way it goes. And who am I to say that it goes wrong? In the rules you won't find a special definition of what a "blatant" traveling is as opposed to "non-blatant". Traveling is traveling. And vice versa, non-traveling is non-traveling. Have you seen many players who would catch the ball, raise one foot, put it down, make their move, then raise the pivot foot and stay this way for some time without trying to get rid of the ball immediately? Have you seen many coaches who would coach that? I haven't. The assumption is "you can lift your pivot foot first, but only a fraction of a second earlier". Wrong, nothing like that in the rules (FIBA & NCAA). You can raise your pivot foot and rest on your second foot as long as you like. Of course, unless you start dribbling the ball after that or put you pivot foot back on the floor. I like to play "egret" to illustrate this rule for the new players. I ask one of the guys to pass me the ball, then I catch the ball and raise one foot like an egret in the water. Travel? "No travel, coach". Then I put my foot down, raise my pivot foot and now play an egret with my pivot foot in the air. "Travel, travel!" No travel. As shock subsides, players start realizing how many new opportunities this "new" rule brings, especially in the post.

    This is just another example of how real life is different from the book. As a coach, you're trying constantly to bridge this gap...

    I'm just curious what other coaches think of that.

    Like
       

    Jeff Haefner says:
    7/18/2012 at 1:13:12 PM

    Stepan,

    Thanks for clarifying...

    However I feel obligated to point out that this statement is not correct:
    "you can't do a reverse pivot-sweep-one-dribble-layup/dunk from the perimeter without traveling"

    If you're on the right side of the floor, you just jump off your right foot and you avoid the travel. This gets you to the basket in fewer steps and is quicker. This is a basic fundamental few coaches teach but they should. Here's a good drill and article addressing the subject:
    http://www.basketballsbest.com/OffensiveFtwork.htm

    I thought you were eluding to this concepts in one of your earlier posts but maybe not.

    Regarding travels, if I made sure all my players were following the rules precisely 100% I would do nothing but spend time making sure players are not traveling and committing violations. We are looking at one instance of a travel (and you can barely see the ball isn't out of the hand without watching in slow motion). I'm sure there are many more if you watch film and pay close attention to the exact steps, when the ball is put down, when it's picked up, whether players landing with 2 feet at the precise exact same time, etc. I mean I could go on and on about all kinds of technical details where we would call violations on players. I won't spend time listing all those situations here but you see it in games all the time. If I did that, that's all we'd do in practice. And if refs could actually see all that, games would take 3 hours to finish.

    You're right traveling is traveling. If we called every one in the game it would be pretty boring and/or every single coach would have to go about things very different. Just just my take on it.



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    Stepan says:
    7/18/2012 at 1:51:20 PM

    "If you're on the right side of the floor, you just jump off your right foot and you avoid the travel."

    Jeff, my point exactly. Go right off your right foot, left off your left foot as much as possible. Do not hurry to define your pivot foot if you have a choice. Be able to go in either direction.

    Regarding following the rules and observing violations, I should emphasize the critical difference: there are things that can be executed properly (at least theoretically) and there are those that can't. That's the problem. True, 2 feet might be probably landed one after another. But they CAN be landed simultaneously. So it's just a specific mistake by a particular player. Next time he'll do the same move without violation. But you wouldn't TEACH to stop on one foot instead of two, would you?
    In the case of Durant's move the move just CAN'T be executed properly. You can't choose your left foot as pivot, go right with one dribble and finish off your left foot—without a travel. The only way to do it is to add an extra step before you catch the ball which is impossible in most cases.
    So I'm not proposing to watch every move and stop the practice every time someone made a slightest mistake. It is only a question of what we teach and what we should teach. A question, not the answer, as I've already mentioned above.

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