You don’t need basketball tips from a basketball performance expert to understand the difference between a great shooter versus a great rebounder. Even a coach knows it’s hard to find players who are good everywhere on the court. It’s uncommon for a tall center to have a guard player’s quick ball handling skills and footwork ability.
There are expectations and typical roles for the different positions on the court. Smaller guards tend to handle the ball well, dish it out and drive the lane or step back and shoot.
A tall center usually plays close to the basket for rebounds or easy layups. Forward positions are somewhat tall versatile players who usually have ball handling plus shooting and rebounding capabilities. Every position on the court has traditional skill sets that their size will dictate.
Big players are usually slower than smaller players. On the other hand, a smaller player will really struggle against a much taller player fighting for a rebound. There are players that have been breaking tradition, however, by being tall like a center but controlling their dribble much like a guard.
Room For Improvement
There are always ways to improve your abilities out on the court. Just because your height says you’re a guard doesn’t mean you can’t time a rebound perfectly and grab before the other team’s center. Being a versatile player is valuable for your team and a headache for the other team to prepare for. Playing to your strength is always beneficial but developing the weakness in your game is priceless.
No matter if you think you don’t have the body type to be a ball handler you can overcome this with dedication and practice. If you have great vision and anticipate team mates’ next move and set them up with an assist but are gun shy with the open shot, then developing your shot adds another wrinkle to your game. Work on your weakness to become well rounded and impactful.
Drills Improve Skills
To work on drills to improve your game you can do partner drills or work on your own. The biggest example might be free throws. Everyone needs to be good at free throws. Sometimes a game can come down to late game free throws.
By putting yourself on the free throw line outside of practice on your own time and going through your breathing, concentration, and technique, you will dramatically improve game time performance.
There are cone drills for dribbling skills, weaving in and out, back, and forth. Over and over. Practice dribbling with your off hand and driving the opposite way you normally drive the lane. Break tendencies and teams won’t know how to plan for you.
If you are a tall slower player, practicing agility with smaller quicker players can pay off during a game situation. Footwork drills, shuttle runs from line to line on the court, lateral quickness drills to cover ground on defense. Maybe if you are a taller player you want to improve ball handling skills for when you need to dribble out of a rebound. The drills you use don’t always have to be typical, you could even practice going to the floor for a loose ball scramble to win possession.
Even though shooting is important, it is also a hard skill to master. It seems some players can shoot, and other players just can’t shoot at all. Either you can or you can’t shoot. Not so fast…you can become a solid shooter with practice.
Most decent players can shoot with no pressure from a defender but struggle with a hand in their face. There are players who shoot great from inside the three point line but lack the range to shoot from deep. Whether you are a mid-range or turn around jump shooter, there is always a shot to get better at.
If you are better at shooting from the perimeter but are no good at a post up turn around then grab a tall friend and get to work going against someone with height and length in your face. If you are unreliable from beyond the three point line, then spend time after practice working all angles from beyond the arc.
Another way to up your game is to work on and develop a layup with your weak side hand. If you normally go the same way, then crossing over and doing something unexpected automatically improves your skills and your play making ability. Whatever you shy away from as a shooter is what you need to double down on outside of practice so you can then try it at the next team practice and ultimately use the new skill in a game.
Beyond the basic fundamentals and mechanics of passing is the ability to read defenses and anticipate when and where to place a pass. Study great players with next level passing. Players that seem to know where their teammate is going to be before the other team realizes what just happened. Having an unspoken form of trust is one thing but being able to read a defense is another.
Even during a pick-up game at the park with strangers you still leave them guessing how you knew where to go with the perfect pass. This skill relies on your vision by seeing everything on the court. You process each series and assess what players tend to do in certain scenarios. Process and save this data for the next time you see the same formation or positioning of a defense.
Communicate with teammates or even just give a nod or look to clue them in. It doesn’t take much when you are on the same page. Overselling a look is another way to get a defense out of position.
Another way to open a passing lane is to overload one side and have a player sneak out and get behind a defense. You can break a team’s will with ridiculously skillful passing that seems unstoppable.
No matter how far you improve your game, adopt the mindset of never being satisfied. Never settle and never stop trying to get better, especially in areas of your game that are lacking. More and more we are seeing unconventional players that are doing things they necessarily shouldn’t be able to do.
Just look at basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greek Freak. He handles the ball like a guard and covers the court from baseline to baseline with ease. He is one of many current examples of not letting your position or body type define what you can or cannot do on a basketball court. The best way to improve your game is to turn your weakness into a strength and inspire others to do the same.