The “must have” to be a great Point Guard !

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The point guard is the key part in the whole process of your team. Everything kinda runs through the point guard. You expect them to distribute the basketball and at the same time, if there is an oportunity to score, they have to score.

From my point of view, the point guard position is the most important position on the court. They are required to do many things that are very different from the other 4 positions.

While the other 4 positions (2,3,4,5) are mainly focused of putting the ball into the hop, the PG has to have a more team oriented mentality.

They must lead the team

He is an extension of the coach on the court. They’re the ones that direct the team and decide which plays the team is going to run. This includes providing encouragement to team-mates and pumping them up before the game. There’s nothing better than team-mates slapping high-fives and shouting words of encouragement at each other. The point guard must be the one that initiates this.

Team first attitude

As soon as your point guard cares more about his own stats than the teams win/loss record, you’re in trouble.

It would be easy for a point guard to dribble down the floor and call the play that will create a scoring opportunity for themselves, but a point guard shouldn’t care about who scores.

The point guards only goal on each possession should be to provide the team with the best opportunity to score. Irrelevant of who is the one shooting the basketball or getting credited with the assist on the play.

Must be able to control the ball

The point guard has a lot of things on his mind during the first 8 seconds of an offensive possession. He needs to get the ball down the court with his head up, read the defence, decide on the best play to run depending on the opposing defence, and get his team-mates in the correct positions.

This leaves little time to worry about if you’re going to lose the ball or how you’re going to get by your defender. Which is why dribbling and ball-control skills are extremely important to have if you’re a point guard.

High basketball IQ

The point guard dictates everything that happens on the offensive end of the floor.

This requires the point guard to have a high basketball IQ in order to control the tempo and also to read the opposing defence and know which play will give you the best opportunity to score.

They must know where everybody should be during set plays

If your point guard knows where everyone should be on every play it will give them the ability to decide and run the best plays that will exploit the mismatches, or give the person with the hot hand a scoring opportunity. Can also help teammates who are struggling to find their spot in the plays. (let us hope that is not happening)

Great passing skills

This one’s obvious.

The main requirement of the point guard is to distribute the ball to his team-mates in positions that give them the opportunity to score. This often means tough passes off of a pick-and-roll or being able to get the ball to the post-players on the block.

Great passing skills are essential for all point guards.

Know your teammates strenghts and weaknesses

Again, this comes back to being able to exploit the defence depending on mismatches.

The point guard must be able to utilise the strengths and weaknesses of his or her team-mates.

They need to be able to notice if a certain player has an advantage in the post or off the dribble to call the right play accordingly.

Honorable mention

Shooting ! Even tho we can see the likes of Rajon Rondo making a name for theirselves in the NBA without being a great shooter. Having a decent outside shot can help alot in the point guards job (penetrating the offense, creating defensive breakdowns etc) .

Is winning all?

“I hate to lose more than I love winning” 

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What is wrong with society that places so much importance on winning in sports that they neglect the need and well being of their child – athletes.

I’m not sure I’ve seen it all, but I’m pretty close to it. I’m not going to talk about who loves to win (we all do!) what I’m going to talk about is who supports you when you win/loose . I’ve been coaching for over 4 years now, and I’ve seen them all. From parents who just love to see their kids compete and try to do their best from parents who think this is the world championship and his child should perform at an NBA level. So here’s a shout to you all, I’m grateful that your believe in my methods of coaching your child. Rather than relate the horror stories that I have witnessed and some of my fellow coaches told me lets focus on some things.

1.Expectations 

Parents  – your 7 year old child is not going to play as well as a 10 year old. He may not play as well as your best friend’s 7 year old either. Youth basketball is a development sports, let your kid develop at his/her own pace. Even if your kid a the star of the team the odds are still far greater that he/she will become a doctor than he/she ‘s going to be a professional (basketball) player.

Coaches – you are not Phil Jackson coaching the LA Lakers neither Alex Ferguson coaching the Manchester United. Screaming at 10 years old and a 16 years old referee while cursing on the sideline does not demonstrate intensity its simply idiocy.

2.Involvment

Parents – You may not believe this, but your child is very much attuned to your voice. When you start shouting instructions from your seat you do not help.

Positive cheer = GOOD Instructional cheer = BAD 

Coaches – You made the commitment to direct this team, get good at it (still working on it). Your drills should be fun. With all these instructional stuff over the internet, books, DVD there is no excuse for drill boredom in the gym.

3.Behavior

Parents/Coaches – There is no room in youth sports for adults who cannot control their behavior.

It’s simple guys celebrate success when you have it, but ENCOURAGE effort.