Why is the Counter to the Inside Pivot not a Step-Through?
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Author:  toddr1 [ 09 Apr 2017, 17:57 ]
Post subject:  Why is the Counter to the Inside Pivot not a Step-Through?

I'm loving the basic concept of teaching the pivots in tandem with their counters, but I can't figure out why the counter for the inside pivot is a "sweep" instead of a step-through. For example, with a right-foot inside pivot coming back toward my left, the defense must slide to my left and toward me to stop my shot. My instinct would be to move against the motion of the defense by stepping around his left (my right) with my left foot, or a step-though as Don calls it. Such a move would also allow a shot without a dribble (from the post, anyway). It also seems the step-through would protect the ball much better than the sweep and step with my left to my left (his right), which opens my body and exposes the ball. I'm tempted to teach it this way but am quite worried about messing with such a fundamental aspect of the program. Does this make sense? Can't wait to hear what you think.

Author:  toddr1 [ 10 Apr 2017, 06:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why is the Counter to the Inside Pivot not a Step-Through?

... and just to add to the above as I think about it more, an illustration that makes my point:

Suppose you are in the post on the right side of the basket and make a front pivot with your LEFT foot as pivot. The defense has closed and prevented the shot. Now you are square to the hoop and have a tight defender with a LEFT pivot foot. Don says in that situation the counter is to step through with your RIGHT foot essentially creating a lefty layup attacking the front of the rim.

Likewise, suppose you are on the same side of the basket and keep that same LEFT pivot foot but make an INSIDE pivot. The defense closes to prevent the shot. Now you are a bit lower in relation to the basket but you are in the same situation because you are square to the hoop and have a tight defender with a LEFT pivot foot. Why would the counter not be the same step through with the RIGHT foot?

Thanks again-- I may be over-explaining but just wanted to be clear.

Author:  kelbickd [ 10 Apr 2017, 16:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why is the Counter to the Inside Pivot not a Step-Through?


First and foremost, you should never be "scared of messing up" anything in basketball. It's only basketball. You have to teach what you are comfortable with.

I also think you are being too technical. I teach more mentality than anything else. I don't want my player looking for their defense, I want them looking for their offense. Indecision is a player killer and those are reasons I teach what I teach.

More to the point, the reason why I teach "sweep" as a counter to the inside pivot is simply because it is open. If you make an inside pivot using your right foot as a pivot foot, it will put your defender immediately on your right hip. The defender does not move to your right hip, your pivot puts him there, immediately. By understanding that a sweep is a counter, you are in position to take advantage of it, immediately. Before the defender creates any movement!

I probably watch the game differently than you do. That is not a comment on the way you watch the game, but rather the way I watch the game (I watch the game differently than most, but that is another discussion). I didn't just make this up. I came to it after watching an working with 1000s of players at all levels. I am continually amazed when watching good players how often counters are open and how much quicker players seem to be (watch Dirk Nowitzki or Kevin Durrant along the baseline).

At my "Attack and Counter" camps, we play different types of 1-on-1 games during the last session. In those games, I govern the pivots to reinforce what we have worked on ("In this game, only front pivots, etc). Sometimes, to get fresh eyes on it, I ask coaches to watch how many times the counter is open for any particular pivot (not just inside pivots, but all of them). Invariably, they come to me and respond, "The counter is open almost 100% of the time." Can other things be open as well? Possibly. But, as I said before, I want my players attacking with their offense, not looking for their defense, and I don't want to give them more decisions to make because indecision is a player killer.

There are much larger philosophies at work as well, such as where I believe the best scoring opportunities come from, the fact that I try not to play the "If" game (if he does A, you do B), I don't like fakes or "moves" nor do I look too far down the line past what you do "now," (again, a larger discussion for another time).

I don't know if this helps you at all. What you see on the video is what I truly believe in and have experienced big improvements, and quickly, over a very long period of time. You should teach what you believe in.

Author:  toddr1 [ 11 Apr 2017, 10:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why is the Counter to the Inside Pivot not a Step-Through?

Thanks so much for all that, Don. Really appreciate your feedback, and I will go ahead and teach the sweep as the counter to inside pivot. And I realize I'm being quite technical but then again teaching footwork is a technical undertaking because we are being very specific about where we want those feet to go. So a technical question: Why does the reverse right-foot pivot "put" a defender on your right hip as opposed to the center of your body or even the left hip?

I'm VERY interested in those 1v1 games you describe and really think you should find a way to add it to the program. Because that's what's missing for me— the defense. I'm sure you've heard this before and I know you have a response (which I would certainly love to hear) but I really need to understand how to make these concepts "live" within a controlled environment. Is the rule just "front pivot only" or do you allow the counter after the front pivot (or whatever pivot you've called for)?

Thanks again-- any camps in the NYC area?


Author:  kelbickd [ 17 Apr 2017, 13:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why is the Counter to the Inside Pivot not a Step-Through?

You can govern any pivot you want. The object is to teach and then let them make decisions on what is best for them.

I really don't think you get the big picture. Footwork is not just applicable when you have the ball, it is applicable when you try to get the ball, when you have the ball on the dribble, when you try to seal, even when you play defense. You're either good with your feet or you're not. If you are limiting your teaching only to one-on-one situations, you are doing your players a dis-service. I believe that the game is a jigsaw puzzle and you have to get all the pieces to fit together. The way to do that is consistency with your feet.

As, I said, this is really big picture for me. It might be hard to describe, but your discussion is a much bigger thing than can be described here.

I am not in NYC this year, but I am all around it. I am in Rochester in a couple of weeks, and Philadelphia and south of Boston in June. If you can make it to a camp, you will see things that I cannot describe here and we can talk about a few things.

Author:  toddr1 [ 18 Apr 2017, 06:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why is the Counter to the Inside Pivot not a Step-Through?

Totally understand that footwork is applicable and crucial to the entire game and I remain eager to bring way more footwork into my practices as inspired by your system. I think the question of how to practice the footwork—whether we're talking offense on or off the ball, or defense—in a controlled but live situation is valid, no? I imagine we would agree that the way to teach a skill is to gradually progress the offense/defense pressure, randomization (is that even a word??) and speed of the drill as opposed to just teaching it dry and then throwing them into full games and hope they apply the skills. So that's why I'm curious how you do the 1v1 stuff or any other stuff that makes it feel more live.

Where can I see the exact dates & locations of the camps and if I just show up as a coach looking to observe is that ok?

Appreciate all your responses. Want you to know I had 9 year-old girls doing the drop-step last Thurs and it was pretty awesome to see. Can't wait to pull out the chairs and have them get to the basket in one dribble!


Author:  kelbickd [ 19 Apr 2017, 15:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why is the Counter to the Inside Pivot not a Step-Through?

Here is a link to my schedule. You can work if you like, it's the best way to learn. Contact Dustin Pierson at Breakthrough if you would like to. If you want to come by and talk, that's ok too.

Author:  toddr1 [ 20 Apr 2017, 11:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why is the Counter to the Inside Pivot not a Step-Through?

I would love to work and see the camp but unfortunately your Boston & Philly dates fall on the week I'm away with my extended family. Thanks for the invite and I would really like to see one of these in the future.


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