In this article, I will help you understand the role of a basketball point guard, and give you the information you need to be a great one.
What Is A Point Guard?
A point guard is usually the leader of the team and generally has the role of setting up the entire offense. A point guard should be able to handle the ball, see the entire floor and be able to effectively talk to the other teammates on the floor. Through this article I will give you all the information you need to be your team's point guard.
Handling The Ball
Handling the ball is easily the most important thing to being a point guard. In order to be the best ball handler possible, you should have at least one "go to" move. This move would be the one that you feel the most confident performing, and should be able to create space between you and your defender.
On top of a "go to" move, you should have 2-or-3 secondary that you can use to change up; you should feel comfortable enough to perform these under moderate pressure.
You should practice performing these moves with your head up. This is very important. You will be surveying the floor when dribbling, and will not have time to look at the ball.
Seeing The Floor
Another important aspect of being a point guard is being able to see the floor effectively. As a point guard, one of your jobs will be finding the open man for the open shot.
In order to better see the floor you will have to be able to dribble with your head up. Practice dribbling up and down the floor scanning the floor side to side.
Passing the ball is also extremely important. You should be able to comfortably whip the ball around the court. Passing is important due to the fact that if your teammates are open, and you fail to get them the ball, your team will fail. As a point guard you need to be able to find your teammates on the floor for easy looks.
You should incorporate pass fakes into your arsenal to keep defenders off balance. Try to avoid making too many careless, behind-the-back, or between-the-leg passes. They are successful sometimes, but are far less accurate than traditional passing techniques.
Creating Your Shot
- Shooting is not a point guard's main job. However, it will be helpful to you and your team if you're able to create your own shot. In order to do this, you need to create a gap between you and your defender. The best way to do this is to "show him your back."
To show your back to a defender means just that, face away from him, make contact between your back and his chest, then explode off, making a move, thus creating space for you to shoot.
This method is effective when getting into the lane, however it should not been done outside the 3-point line.
As a point guard, you should have confidence in yourself and your teammates. You should be able to recognize defense and get your team in the right set. You should be vocal in games and in practice.
Let your teammates know when they do something wrong, and congratulate them when they do good. Set the tempo at practices. Make sure everyone knows that you can't slack off at practice.
Have A Good Relationship With Your Coach
This is another important part of being a point guard. Your coach must have confidence in you. In order for you to correctly perform your job, your coach must have enough faith in you to be able to trust you to call a play with the game on the line.
When the stadium is packed and noisy, a coach will not always be able to call the play. This is where the point guard comes in. He must be able to recognize defenses and set his team up.
Increasing Your Ball Handling Skills:
The best way to increase your ball handling is to practice with your head up. You should practice dribbling at full speed, scanning the floor.
My favorite ball handling drill is called "100 Trips". Here is how you perform it:
- Start on one baseline with a single ball.
- Begin dribbling down the floor and you will make a move at each foul line, and the mid-court line.
- Every 4 trips you will shoot 4 free throws afterward. Repeat this 25 times for a total of 100 trips
The 4 different moves are:
Behind the back.
Between the legs.
Each time down the floor will count as one trip, so down and back is two trips.
The final drill looks like this:
- Behind the back - 1 trip.
- Between the legs - 1 trip.
- Stutter step - 1 trip.
- Spin move - 1 trip.
- 4 free throws.
- Repeat 25 times.
How To Practice Passing, & Seeing The Floor:
The best way to improve your passing skills is to dribble with your head up, and play pick-up games. They best way to increase passing skills is without a doubt playing more.
The more you play the simpler everything gets. In time the game slows down and comes more naturally, allowing you to have better vision and whip the ball all over the floor.
Improving Your Chances Of Creating A Shot:
If you look to be better at creating your own shot, I suggest you play 1-on-1. In 1-on-1 play, you have no one to pass to. It forces you to take and make your own shots. This is the only real way to work on creating shots.
Improving Your Shooting Percentage:
The best way to improve your shot percentage is by shooting game shots. Shoot shots you would find yourself taking in a game. Go at game speed to best prepare yourself. My favorite shooting drill is this:
- Mark 5 spots on the 3-point line: one in each corner, one on each elbow and one on the top of the key.
- Shoot from each spot in a rotation. As soon as you shoot, run and get the rebound, take one dribble and finish at the rim.
This drill teaches you to follow your own shot, and practice finishing at the rim. It also allows you to get plenty of shots in.
My Tips On Being A Leader:
To be a great leader, you should:
- Encourage others—when someone makes a mistake, point it out in a nice way.
- Talk on the floor, let everyone know if someone's cutting to the basket.
- Bust your ass in practice, not just at games. Set the pace in practice and let everyone know that slacking won't be accepted.
- The leader should usually be the first one there and the last to leave, making sure equipment and everything is put away.
- Set an example for younger members of the team—on and off the court.
- Get to know your teammates and coaches. They are your brothers for the season. Solve any conflicts internally, don't bring others into team disputes.
Practicing all these things will make you a better basketball player, and increase your team's chance of winning close games. Good luck with your summer training and be sure to spend a lot of time in the gym.