There are 5 positions in basketball.
Each one needs specific basketball coaching tips & drills because each of the basketball positions has different responsibilities.
Of all the positions in basketball, the point guard is perhaps the most important in terms of providing leadership on the court.
Whether you play for high school, college, or kids basketball teams, you need to earn the respect of your teammates and coaches in order to lead them.
Here are 15 basketball tips to help you develop qualities you need to be a great point guard.
Though some of these characteristics are important for players at all basketball positions, it's absolutely vital that the point guard possess all of them.
1. Floor leader
The point guard is the coach on the floor. You must have the confidence, ability, and desire to lead your teammates as you call for offensive and defensive changes.
To be a great leader, you must be the type of player your teammates respect and want to follow. In tough situations, be the player your teammates look to for direction.
2. Excellent ball handler
The point guard will handle the ball more than any of the other positions in basketball.
You will need to be able to dribble against pressure and be able to push the ball up the floor quickly in the open court.
It is your responsibility to protect the ball and get the offense going.
3. Excellent passer
As the leader of the offense, the point guard must be able to deliver the ball to open teammates.
You will need to keep your head up in order to see the whole court at all times. You must be able to use pass fakes and make strong passes to teammates without telegraphing where the ball is going.
Since your teammates are guarded most of the time, you need to be able to recognize where you need to deliver the ball so it won't be intercepted.
4. React well in transition
The point guard is often one of the first players down the floor on offense leading the fast break.
More than any of the other positions in basketball, you are also usually the first one back on defense.
Both of these situations are times of quick transition, and you need to be ready to react as your role changes quickly from offense to defense.
5. Recognize changes in defense and adjust
A good point guard notices defensive changes.
This is important in order to avoid getting caught off guard and turning the ball over.
Whether the defense is changing from zone to man-to-man or from half-court to a full-court press, you must recognize changes immediately and communicate them to your team.
6. Two strong hands
In order to bring the ball up the floor against good pressure and be able to get the ball to teammates in all locations on the floor, the point guard has to be able to dribble the ball well with either hand.
It doesn't take long for the defense to recognize a weakness, and they will make your life miserable by forcing you to your weak side.
It takes a lot of time and practice to gain confidence with both hands.
7. Good shooter
Most of the time, the point guard is not called on to be a big scorer like some of the other positions in basketball.
Your main job is to run the offense so that open teammates can score.
However, the point guard has to be a good enough shooter from long distance that you are at least a threat to score.
If the defense doesn't respect your shooting ability, they will be able to sag off of you and make it more difficult to move the ball on offense to other basketball positions.
8. Excellent free throw shooter
Since the point guard has the ball in her hands a lot, she has the opportunity to get fouled more than some of the other positions in basketball.
Especially if the game gets close and the defense needs to get the ball back, you may find yourself spending a lot of time at the free throw line. Make sure if you're the one that gets put on the line, you can deliver the points.
To be a good floor leader, the point guard needs good court sense.
You need to really understand the game of basketball and be able to see what's happening on the whole floor at all times so that you can see plays as they develop.
You need to understand your teammates’ strengths and weaknesses and play to their strengths.
You need to know who on your team has the "hot hand," so you can keep getting them the ball.
You also need to recognize tendencies and habits in your opponents that you can take advantage of.
10. Aggressive defender
The point guard typically guards the opponent's point guard. You must be a hard-working defender who puts constant pressure on the opponent.
Tough, aggressive defense on the ball handler will make it difficult to run a fast break, force him to work hard bringing the ball up the floor, and make it hard for him to see open teammates.
Also, as the safety on defense, the point guard is called on to slow down the opponent's fast break until his teammates can hustle back.
11. Know the scoreboard
More than any of the other positions in basketball, the point guard must know the time on the clock and the score at all times.
Make it a habit to glance at the clock at every dead ball and every trip down the floor.
To be able to make good decisions on the floor, you have to know how much time you have to work with and how close the game is.
I've seen plenty of games lost by poor decisions made because players had no idea what the scoreboard said.
The point guard can infuse energy and enthusiasm into her team by hustling all over the floor. The ball is the most important possession on the court, and you should work hard to get your hands on it.
Whether it's diving on the floor after loose balls, running after a long rebound, or making a gutsy defensive stop, your scrappy all-out effort will pay huge dividends for your team.
13. Good communicator
Unlike the other positions in basketball, the point guard is the voice of the coach on the floor.
Though coach will no doubt give instruction and encouragement from the sideline, she relies on the point guard to deliver information to the team.
Whether it's making offensive or defensive changes, encouraging teammates, or making teammates aware of the time on the clock, you cannot be timid.
You have to be able and confident enough to speak loudly and clearly over the noise of the gym. If your teammates can't hear you, it's impossible for every member of your team to be on the same page.
The point guard's job is to make everyone else at the other basketball positions look good. Your job is to pass first, shoot second.
15. Mentally prepared
As the floor leader, the point guard must be mentally prepared for every game. You have to keep a close check on your emotions, so that you stay in control at all times.
Remember, your team will feed off of you.
Also, you should know your team's playbook by heart. You should not only know your assignments in the various offensive and defensive sets, but you should know where your teammates should be also.
Finally, you should know your opponent as well. When coach gives you a scouting report on your opponent, it's your responsibility to study it and know what to expect from the other team.
If you really want to be a great point guard, I highly recommend watching games and finding a good point guard at the college, pro, or even high school ranks that you admire.
Watch carefully how they handle themselves on the floor. You can learn a lot from them and start to model your game like theirs.
And one of the best ways to improve your skills at all positions in basketball is by attending summer basketball camps.
"Turning teams at any level into championship contenders!"
Derek Kellogg - Head Coach, UMass
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