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- Three Skills Every Guard Needs by Derek Brown
- 5 Strength Training & Plyometric Drills to Improve Rebounding by Alli Williams
- Tips for Running and Handling the Ball in Transition by Brandon Ogle
- The Art of the Outlet Pass by Frank Kilinski
- How To Play Off-The-Ball At A Young Age by Brandon Ogle
- 4 Tricky Basketball Moves That'll Keep You On Your Toes by Fran Kilinski
- Communication Between Coaches and Players by Kyle Ohman
- 56 GREAT BASKETBALL COACHES AND TRAINERS TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER by Alex Kirby
- Drills To Improve Speed And Endurance With And Without The Basketball by Fran Kilinski
- 5 Strength Training & Plyometric Methods to Improve Rebounding by Alli Williams
- Text from Parent to Coach by Derek Brown
- 13 FUNNY BASKETBALL GIFS by Alex
- Game Day Guide: How to Prepare for a Basketball Game by Brandon Ogle
- Coaching Generation Z by Derek Brown
- Top 4 Pre-Season Basketball Drills by Derek Brown
- My Failure as a Coach by Tom Kelsey
- How can I improve as a coach? by Tom Kelsey
- 3 Reasons Steph Curry Has Separated Himself in the NBA by Derek Brown
- DON’T MISS THE MOST ICONIC PHOTO IN SPORTS HISTORY by Jacob
- By Derek Brown
When I say “guard” that includes the point guard, shooting guard and with the way
today’s game is going the small forward as well. Look at some of your favorite
players at the small forward position such as Kevin Durant, Paul George and Lebron
James. Each of these guys are at least 6’8 but have the same skill set as the guys who
are 6’2. The game has changed. Coaches want nearly every player on the court to be
equipped with these three skills, therefore if you play positions 1-3, this article is for
The three skills that are the most valuable to any perimeter player are ball handling,
shooting and defense. Many will argue maybe its passing or slashing or some other
popular skill that most perimeter guards have. What they fail to realize is these are
the skills that will get you on the court and if you can specialize in them it may even
earn you a paycheck one day.
Wizard with the Handle
First and foremost you must be able to handle the basketball. I am not saying you
have to be Steph Curry or Kyrie Irving, but you must be able to dribble without
being flustered by pressure and/or able to create space and make a play.
It makes it very difficult for a coach to play a guard who is a liability whenever they
have to put the ball the floor. The opposing defense will often crowd that guard and
cause the number one killer for any team. Turnovers. Once you are know as
someone who commits turnovers, you will automatically see you time on the floor
begin to dwindle.
Now true handles don’t come from the normal drills you see being taught such as
two dribbles in one direction, crossover and then dribble the other way. Anybody
can do that. Veteran ball handling skills come from practicing advanced techniques,
being confident in the game and most of all working so hard on them in the
offseason you aren’t afraid to fail on the big stage.
Every great ball handler will tell you they dribbled off their leg, lost the handle in a
crowded space or kicked it straight out of bounds. It happens. But you learn from it
and you keep practicing at full speed so when the game does come it only gets
For any guard who likes to pass, the better your ball handling skills are the more
places you can get to on the court. That means more opportunities for you to break
down the defense and drop that dime.
For any scoring guard, handles will allow you to create that space to get your shot
off your break the defenders ankles and get to the bucket.
Whatever your strength is, great ball handling skills will only elevate it.
What is the main objective for the game of basketball? Exactly, to put the ball in the
hoop. This is why every coach LOVES a great shooter.
Having the ability to come off screens and knock down shots or create space and
make a jumper is extremely valuable for every perimeter player. Without having
good shooters on offense the opposing team is able to pack the paint and shrink the
Shooters create space, which in turn creates options for others.
If you want to get on the court as much as possible then make your jumpshot so
lethal the head coach has to play. Your specialty may be catch and shoot, which
means you are more accurate when receiving a pass from a teammate like Klay
Thompson. The alternative would be an off the dribble shooter who creates his own
shot similar to a J.R. Smith. It does not matter what kind of “shooter” you want to be
but the skill must be in your repertoire one way or another.
Building this skill is a matter of form and repetition. Find a coach who will guide you
in the right direction and give you a solid foundation with form shooting. Once your
form is correct, then it is on you to make it accurate. This may include 400-500 shots
a day depending on how great you want to be. Work on the right side, left side, down
the middle, off one screen, off two screens, in the corner and everything in between.
I guarantee you, if you put the work in the ball will go in much more often for you.
The secret to shooting is that there is no secret. The best just put the work in.
Always remember this, “Shooters aren’t born, they are made.”
Most players want to score. Most players what to make the assist that gets the
crowd on their feet. Most players want to make the sweet move that makes the
But most players don’t have what it takes to shut down the best player on the other
That leaves a huge opportunity for any player who may not be as skilled or athletic
as their teammates to get a chance to be on the floor. Finding your niche on the
defensive end of the floor does not usually get recognition in the media or by the
fans, which is why it is constantly overlooked. However, just because it sometimes
goes unnoticed does not mean it isn’t valuable.
All you need to be a good defender is toughness and the ultimate desire to get the
job done. You don’t have to spend countless hours in the gym fine tuning your craft
or making sure every step slide is perfect. You have to be ready and willing to give
your all for the entire game without every needing the ball in your hands and that is
a sacrifice most young players aren’t willing to make.
If you want to crack the starting five or play more minutes for your team, the
quickest way to do so is to prove to your coaches and teammates that nobody can
score on you. Take pride in the role of being a “lockdown defender”, because as we
mentioned earlier if the objective is to score and you’re on the floor. The other team
Check out more of our courses and drills and become a better guard: