Selling Forward Movement

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. Continue reading

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Mike Stack First Step

Three Movements to Build a Quick First Step – Featured on “Stack Basketball”


Author BrandonGuarneri


A quick first step, like Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo’s, is a valuable weapon on the basketball court. First-step speed keeps defenders from pressuring you too closely, since they want to avoid being burned by a drive to the hoop. That extra space gives you more opportunities to impact the game.

You can improve first-step quickness by training with specific exercises and movement patterns. Michael Atkinson, Elite Pro Performance national consultant and A.C.E. certified personal trainer, put together a series that can help any player get to the rim on a regular basis. “Speed can be found in the details of the movement,” says Atkinson. Continue reading

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Stack Basketball

Stack Magazine Basketball Experts- Mike Atkinson

Elite Pro Performance Trainer Mike Atkinson is now featured on the Basketball Expert page of Stack Magazine and Blog. Mike has contributed his expertise in movement and strength for the game of basketball with new content and videos for Stack Basketball’s web site.

Links to Featured Stack Basketball Topics

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Five Training Keys for gaining quickness on the court

Article by: Brandon | August 11, 2011

Dwyane Wade Drive e1312832683114 Five Training Keys to Getting Quicker for Basketball

Being quick on the court isn’t all about genetics. According to Michael Atkinson, Elite Pro Performance national consultant and A.C.E. certified personal trainer, “While it may seem that some of the best basketball players in the world were naturally born with an explosive first step, training can help gain fractions of a second on your first move.” And those fractions of a second can be the difference between an uncontested layup and a turnover. Continue reading

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3 Movements to Improve lateral quickness via StackBasketball



AUTHOR- Brandon Guarneri Twitter @BrandonGuarneri

The key to playing shut-down defense is lateral quickness. If you can move quickly side to side, you can stay in front of the ball handler and get more stops.

Too many players think moving laterally involves sliding or dragging. Instead, when thinking about defense or lateral movement, push into position. “Athletes should push through the spot and be the aggressor on defense,” says Michael Atkinson, Elite Pro Performance national consultant and A.C.E. certified personal trainer.

Here are three exercises that can help get you moving more efficiently to frustrate your opponents.

Three-Point Line Defensive Pushes

  • Start in athletic stance facing the hoop at the intersection of the baseline and the three-point line
  • Move laterally around the three-point line in a defensive stance
  • Keep hips and feet pointing toward rim while pushing laterally
  • Keep feet square; do not bring them together

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2×2 times around the three-point line, rest as needed after first set
Coaching Points: Keep knees inside feet to create an angle for greater force production // Keep majority of force production on inside foot

Lateral Lunge to Defensive Push

  • Start on baseline, facing sideline
  • Perform Lateral Lunge with leg closest to baseline
  • Push away from baseline leg toward the opposite baseline into a series of five lateral Defensive Pushes
  • Decelerate into Lateral Lunge with leg away from baseline for quick change of direction back towards baseline

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2×10 [five in each direction], rest as needed after first set
Coaching Points: Do not let knee go past toes // Keep knee inside big toe for power and change of direction

Two Lateral Pushes  to Crossover Step Continue reading

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Build Single Leg- Explosiveness


AUTHOR- Brandon Guarneri Twitter @BrandonGuarneri

Basketball is not played standing still on both legs. You only had to watch a few minutes of this year’s NBA Finals to see how Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki made himself a Hall of Fame career from one-leg fadeaway jumpers.

At any level of basketball, from JV to the NBA, you stop, start and are always off balance. Still, you don’t need to sacrifice strength, power or explosiveness in your training. You just need to work a little differently.

Instead of grinding out long sets on Leg Press or Leg Extension machines, work more unilateral movements—like Single-Leg Bodyweight Lunges. They’ll help your body get used to the way you’re asking it to move during games.

You can take your training one step further by working with a Keiser Triple Trainer Infinity, a multi-functional cable machine that forces you to deal with resistance as you learn how to balance on one leg. The equipment’s pneumatic technology lets you work against constant resistance without shocking your muscles, so you can move freely through your exercises, just like during a game.

You’ll more easily create space for yourself on the court if you’re used to changing directions, says Michael Atkinson, Elite Pro Performance national consultant and A.C.E. certified personal trainer. “The ability to create leverage from deceleration in the lead leg allows for quick counter movement and separation from the defender,” he says. “This allows the player to create space while being tightly guarded.”

The Keiser Triple Trainer Infinity can help train any athlete for three different basketball situations: Continue reading

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Fueling Basketball Players

A small High School female player training for an hour a day may need only 2,000 calories per day but a 7 foot professional player may need up to 6,000 to 7,000 calories per day.

Male athletes who train for more than 90 minutes per day may neeed more than 23 calories per pound of body weight. 200lb Ball player = 4,600 Calories

Basketball has eight different changes in movement and players average 997 changes in movement during a 48minute game- that equals to a change of movement every 2 seconds.
Only 15% of playing time in a basketball game is high intensity, but the high intensity is the determining factor between winning or losing.

Basketball players need more than 2.7 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per day. During heavy training and competition carbohydrate needs increase 3.6-4.5 grams per pound of body weight per day.

Basketball players need .6 to .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. (lean proteins are ideal)

Basketball Players need at least .45 grams of Fat per pound of body weight. (Healthy fats: Olive oil, nuts, avocado)

SOURCE: American Dietetic Association

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Basketball MAUI-Pro AM game

Once again I had the opportunity to train on the Westside of Maui in Lahaina for the third consecutive year. Had a great time working with the various coaches and players that attended the NBC Camps that were hosted by a legit non-profit Basketball Maui. The week of camp was capped off by a charity game that included some NBA players, International pro’s and some of the coaches that staffed the camp. I had a great time playing and look forward to next year!

On Saturday night June 4th over 2,000 people came out to support Basketball Maui’s “Night of Shooting Stars” charity basketball game and fans were not disappointed as the game went into overtime with a 3 pointer by John Salmons to tie the score at the end of regulation and then Corey Maggette hit a 3 pointer with 3 seconds left in overtime to win with a final score of 107 to 106!
more info at

More Links to Game Footage

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Elite Pro Basketball Training and Events for Summer Schedule 2k 11

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D. Rose Spin Move and NASCAR an Athletic Breakdown

Due to the difficulty of the basketball “spin move” very few can create the power and control to produce in competition. Derrick Rose is the definition of power, he can create and transfer force better than any other PG in the league. This ability to transfer force allows him to create superior traction for the “D.Rose Spin Move” a 2k11 version of a basketball fundamental.

The  athletic breakdown below will display each segment of the spin move and what to work on in a training/performance setting to add the spin move to your game.

Lets take a closer breakdown of the “D.Rose Spin Move”

Like many of the athletic movements associated with basketball, the spin move incorporates:

  • balance
  • stability
  • power
  • fundamental movement patterns
  • strength foundations.

Body to the Ball : The initial angle is created by D.Rose’s ability to get his body to the basketball allowing him to create  leverage for the next move. A possible stretch shortening (SSC) effect of the hop.

Rose attacks the ball with two foot hop to create the counter movement

Define the lead foot:  Athletes who can stop and start on one foot can create superior angles leading to generate more power out of the counter movement.

D Rose 2

Inside foot attack to rim

Transferring force to right leg

Continue reading

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