Here are my top 3 reasons to break out of a backpedal:
1. The “T” step is normally used when the athlete is at higher speeds.
2. If the athlete has weak hips, then they are more likely to use a “T” step
3. When body control is an issue, the “T” step can bail athletes out during change of direction.
Consider the biomechanics of human movement. The reason the knee bends forward of the body and not backwards (like a pelican) is because we decelerate our mass and momentum on each step and use our quads to aid in this. We don’t have this same benefit going backwards unless we turn our hip open (externally rotate) and side plant with our foot (“T” step). This action allows us to use the action of controlling knee flexion (deceleration) much easier.
Also, consider the width of your foot. It may be roughly 3-4 inches wide when using a vertical heel deceleration foot plant (this is great when not moving so fast). However, the “T”step allows us to use the entire length of our foot (for the most part) as our foot digs into the ground.
Don’t discourage the T-step. Simply figure out why your athlete is using it and when it most likely will be used.
Here is a quick video of a “T” step drill….