Players discover that offensive strategies that were once effective are no longer as effective as they play against bigger, stronger, and more athletic opponents. A player’s initial offensive motion to go past a defender is now blocked by faster, more skilled athletes. Players who find themselves in this predicament must devise countermoves in reaction to more capable individual defenders.
When offensive players are unable to “get by” the defender, they must have the ability to “go away” from the defender in order to open up space for a score. Players can assist each other in doing this by using the countermove “Step Back.”
The best places for this move to be used are close to the basket, in the lane, or within 15 feet. Beyond that point, it becomes a highly challenging and low-probability shot. Although it shouldn’t be a mainstay of a player’s perimeter attack, it can be a very effective tool in the paint.
The Step Back’s fundamental basics are listed below:
Attack The Defender First
“Counter move” refers to the Step Back. By attempting to go past the defender with your drive, you must first force him to stop it. Trying to create an off-balance later with your movement.
Get Into The Defender
If the opponent cuts you off by sliding, lower your lead shoulder and keep selling the drive. This makes it more challenging for the defender to respond to your counter and compels him to fully focus on blocking your opening play. He is currently burrowing in and placing his weight back on his heels.
Press Off The Front Foot
To get ahead of the defender, push firmly off your front foot. Get as far away as you can to give yourself room to shoot. The location of the defender and your position on the floor will dictate the direction and angle you travel in as you separate. The direction is typically at a 45-degree angle, like a “V.” Depending on how the defender is positioned, you take a step that is somewhere between stepping straight back and stepping sideways.
Land On Back Foot First
In order to avoid a jump halt, try to land on your back foot first. This will give the shot more balance and rhythm and give you more time to react to the defender’s reactions.
Keep Shoulders Forward
Keep the shoulders forward as the firing motion starts as the lead foot returns. This keeps players agile and low to the ground when moving and keeps you from needlessly fading away.
Straight Up On The Shot
If enough room is made, it should be possible to make a jump shot with a high percentage of success. Players are forced to move away from the defender on the shot if adequate distance and separation are not generated on the move. This causes shots to miss the mark and significantly lowers the shooting percentage.
Every player will encounter swift, athletic opponents that are difficult to outmuscle. In this circumstance, countermoves are required to make room. The “Step Back” is a great countermove to learn, and with practice it can help you deal with the more formidable defenders you’ll encounter as you advance in the game.