Athletic Breakdown: Austin Rivers Crossover

I have been fascinated by Austin Rivers unique stlye and unorthodox angles on the basketball floor since his high school mix-tapes. Austin displays a crossover at Ohio State that literally froze his defender in his stance on his way to the rim.  River’s ability to generate power and speed on his counter movements is so quick that I have to break it down to guide you through 1.0 second of his signature crossover.

1. Size em Up– After backing up from his defender to create space, Austin aggressively steps at the defense with his inside foot to create the initial angle for the right to left crossover and the start of the counter movement.

Creating Space and Taking Space

2. Take Space & Create Angles– Stepping into the defenders space with his (L) inside foot Austin  plants his (L) left foot and brings his (R)outside leg through to sell the forward movement. The (L) inside leg becomes the initial stabilizer and generates the first action in the crossover. While selling the move he will not bring his outside foot down for contact until the inside leg has performed its secondary function.  This technique is what gives him the pop and jerk that leaves the defender stuck in stance and Austin to the line to complete the and 1.

Selling Forward Movement

Check the shadow of his shoes foot is ready for contact

3. Hop and Skip-The real athleticism and footowork in Austin River’s move is the point in time when both feet are off the floor simultaneously.  Austin’s (L) foot does a quick power skip or “A” Skip (jump and land same foot) to start the hesitation and to create a plyo response on contact for his next step with the (R) foot. This will allow Austin to create a stretch shortening cycle off of the left foot, right foot combo on contact and give him the change of direction needed to sell the COD.

Setting up the change of direction

4. Ready on Contact-The (1, 2) pop he generates has so much power it is similar to a double jump on  a trampoline. the way his feet react to the court on contact.

Left Foot Down,Right Foot Still in Air

Both feet down L,R leading into the push for crossover

5. Execution– Chest tall, shoulders by the defense and take the defenders line so they are forced to open up their hips.

The Blow by

Stride Length 101 Push to the Spot

About Michael Atkinson

Mike Atkinson,CSCS, is the owner of Elite Pro Performance and the on court performance director at Sierra Strength & Speed. Considered to be a specialist of Keiser performance equipment, Mike is known as a hybrid basketball performance trainer focusing on strength, movement, and basketball fundamentals. Atkinson’s experience and current work with NBA Player Development Specialist Aubrey McCreary has given him a unique set of skills to train players on sports specific patterns and positioning at a professional level. Atkinson’s training experience includes work with numerous NBA draftees, multiple Division 1 athletes, and other professional clients. He has also worked as a performance consultant in the NBA Development League and has directed basketball performance training camps and clinics for youth athletes on the West coast.
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