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Home - The behind step and prolonged centre movement

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  The behind step and prolonged centre movement

By Dejan Rodic

Today's column will deal with the behind step and prolonged centre movement that causes the most trouble to the referees. As you can see in the pictures the player plays with the back turned toward the basket after receiving the ball. We lower the knees, spread elbows and make a trick movement to the opposite direction and then bypass the defence player with our leg.

As we can see in the picture the defence is helpless once our foot is in the direction of movement toward the basket. Afterwards only conclusion is needed for a successful execution. Naturally, this is not clear to the younger players; they often raise from the floor when they are trying out this step and when they add the other leg at the turn, they make travelling (steps).

When the leg is on the floor we turn it on the heel in the direction of the attack or we simply move the leg at the same time we start dribbling. More experienced players help themselves with their elbows when turning toward the basket and this way protect themselves when shooting the basket. All these are simple basis and I believe everything is clear here. What is more interesting is how to upgrade this part of the game with a suitable continuance. When the player on centre position plays this way, we can add a prolonged step (where we change the standing foot with a turn and play toward the basket).

As you can see in the video (in this case from the right to left) the player changes the legs with right foot when she or he is facing the basket (the left foot is the standing foot). The player then pushes off with the right foot (the left foot, which was the standing foot before, is raised before) and he or she finishes with a lay-up.


We meet the dilemma here whether it makes sense to teach the young players this. I have emphasised to my players many times how difficult it is to defend this kind of movement. When a certain number of players decided to use this movement during the game, there came a shock! Referees (at least 80% of them) would charge the player with travelling (steps). They were presented with this movement at referee seminars but most of them do not follow this rule and almost always charge players with travelling (steps).

When this happened on one of our games, the girls asked me why I had taught them this move; because this is obviously travelling. We simply stopped training this; a few months later we went on a tournament in Italy where we received the third of all points this way. Trust me, the girls did not understand how this could be travelling in Slovenia but not in Italy. Anyway, this is a great way for outplaying the defence, but it obviously cannot be used.

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