Newsletter #186

May 13, 2020


Today's Quote:   "Be quick, but never hurry." - John Wooden

Today's Theme... Is Triple-Threat Dead?  Teaching the Split-Step

Coaches have long been teaching perimeter players to catch the ball in triple-threat position, and then shoot or make a shot-fake or a jab-step fake, read the defender and react.  Some coaches now question this and believe perimeter players should use the "split-step" instead.

With this, the player receiving the pass immediately starts a dribble-drive instead of getting into triple threat and pausing to read the defense.  This especially seems applicable to teams that employ the dribble-drive attack.

Some coaches teach this only to advanced high school and college players. Younger players and less-skilled players might have difficulty with the split-step.  Additionally, some players and coaches report that sometimes refs don't recognize this and call a travel.

The Split-Step.  The receiver reads the defender before he gets the ball. If it looks like a dribble-drive situation, use the split-step. It is a more explosive way for a player to use his/her momentum to start the drive. As the player is receiving a pass and reading the drive, he/she splits the feet (with one foot 6-8 inches forward) to get into a running/sprinter stance to explode as soon as the pass is received. Here's how:

  • "Ball in the air, feet in the air".
  • On the catch, both feet hit the floor at the same time with feet a step or two wider than the shoulders, in the "sprinter stance", and neither foot is the pivot foot yet.
  • If driving right, when landing the catch, the right foot should be about 6-8 inches ahead of the other foot.
  • If driving left, when landing the catch, the left foot should be about 6-8 inches ahead of the other foot.
  • Push off the back foot to accelerate and explode out of the sprinter stance.

See this video from EGTBasketball (Elite Guard Training).

split step video

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