You think you’re a good player? You’re a young player with basketball dreams? If you’re reading this article, chances are you want to become a great ball player. Chances are you do not have much guidance outside of your team basketball coach. He probably does a great job, but he only has a limited amount of time. So you don’t have much to help you work on your individual game.
I’m sure you look at NBA games and try to copy “superstar” signature moves, don’t you? Though some of these moves are great, I don’t think this is what you should try to do. Have you ever noticed that great players are not necessarily the one with the best moves? Would you agree Tony Parker is one of the best point guards in the NBA? Would you agree he’s not the most skilled, or the most athletic?
Great players constantly do things that others don’t. It has very little to do with skills or even athleticism. If you want to make it as a player, why not duplicate what great basketball players have always done? Do you want to know what they do?
- Catch the ball on a triple threat position (Don’t dribble right away)
- Minimize dribbling. Great offensive players only need 2 dribbles to beat their defender.
- Are able to go both ways (left and right)
- Always make the right decision (shoot, pass, dribble at the right person at the right time)
- Screen away from the ball for their teammates (and open up to the ball after the screen)
- Always know clock and score
- Are vocal – Help teammates get in the right position
- Know their teammates, and pass to the right person at the right time
- Don’t yell at the refs (ok they do sometimes, but it’s bad!)
- Crash the boards (and don’t get boxed out)
- Know how to position themselves to get in the right passing lanes
- Don’t jump to pass the ball
- Throw strong chest passes
- Use screens to perfection (Curl, fade…)
- Don’t turn the ball over (especially not in the last 5 minutes)
- Listen to the coaches during time outs
- Run the floor in transition (everyone in their lanes with space)
- Don’t give up middle penetration
- Make offensive players take more than 2 dribbles to beat them
- Are in great defensive stance the entire defensive sequence
- Contest all shots. ALL SHOTS!
- Are always in good position (Deny or help side)
- Are extremely vocal (I got ball or I got your help…)
- GET AFTER IT!
- Box out physically
- Get loose balls
- Always see the man they guard and the ball when they’re away from the ball
- Take charges
- Never foul a jump shooter
- Never get screened
- Hedge screens hard
- Never let their man cut in the paint
- Don’t allow backdoor cuts
HoopGrind Director of Player Development | Pro Skills Trainer | Athletic Director | Former D1 Hooper