Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Land on One Foot - Bailey's Two Step

I played college in what was the Metro East and there was a time when Princeton’s Clockwork Orange was pretty much the cream of the crop thanks in large part to this lanky kid with a visor named, Bailey Russell (some of the best ever Callahan hype on RSD was from the Clockwork PR machine).

I remember one year where their zone offense involved Bailey throwing scoobers over the cup to this ex-basketball player, grad student whose claim to fame was having dunked on Greg Ostertag.  They’d eventually dump it to Bailey again and they’d repeat.  None of that is really relevant to my point (we old folks ramble a bit) but the interesting thing to me was the way Bailey gained yards on the dumps.

Bailey would hop up and slightly forward as he caught the dump, then land on one foot – specifically his right foot.  When his left foot then landed, he was landing in a big forward step, and then he’d take another big step forward with his right leg.  Having long legs, Bailey's two step gained him a good 2 yards easily.

The keys here:
  • Having some forward momentum in the air so that first step is not just a blatant travel.
  •  Landing on your non-pivot foot (Bailey is right handed).  By landing first with his right foot, his other foot lands in a forward step with his left established his pivot, making the next step a pivot step, which as a pivot step can be in a different direction and/or speed.
Bailey’s stork like legs and floaty-ness make those two steps look natural and legal.

Where is the best application of this move?  When you’re a middle handler in a zone offense that uses a handler crash from in front of the cup, this move will get you deeper into the cup.  Unlike a crash from a popper coming from behind the cup, this type of crash comes at the cup from the front.  Ideally, this crash puts the disc in the handler’s hands with forward momentum, vision of the field, and a cup out of position (likely too close to stop throws through itself).  And it is this last regard – getting deep into the cup to allow throws through– where Bailey’s two step can be most deadly. 

All together:  See your poppers before you move.  Jump into the cup as you receive the disc.  Land on your right foot.  Land on your left with a smooth, big, forward step.  Then take another step/pivot forward to get you right up to the cup and throw through the cup to a popper.  Do this smoothly and quickly before the cup can step back to maintain their spacing.


  1. Ryan Reynolds! I remember that guy.

  2. So then, how does this affect the footwork for receiving a disc against man defense? What advantages can be gained w/in the first 0-3 steps? Which spaces given by the mark can be best exploited by different footwork? How to avoid the "You 'turned the corner'" argument?

    The first 0-3 steps of ever possession tell the tale, as far as I'm concerned. The remainder is what can all do. The instinct, the repetition, the variety of angles contained in the first 0-3 steps... That is the art of ultimate. At least as a thrower. The rest is brute force.

    BTW, I chatted briefly with Mr. Reynolds at Nationals in... 2005 with a Condors jersey on talking to Buhl. Odd conversation ensued.