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  • Everyone, even below-average players, will make one good play every once in a while.

    Your worst shooter will make a three pointer, your worst defender will steal the ball from their best ball handler, etc.

    One-off plays do not impress good coaches or players because they know that it’s not likely to happen again.

    Think about it…

    If you’re guarding a bad shooter and the scouting report says to let them shoot, would your entire defensive strategy change if they made one three-pointer?

    Of course not!

    However, what if they hit a second three-pointer, and then a third? Would that potentially cause a timeout by your coach and a change in the game plan?


    The moral of the story is that nobody is scared if you do something once – they’re scared if they think you can do it again.

    So why should that matter to you?

    Well with all the showcases, AAU tournaments, elite camps, etc. there are a lot of situations where there are no real scouting reports upon entry. Not many opponents or potential recruiters will know your strengths and weaknesses. This may seem like a disadvantage, but it’s actually a huge advantage.

    How so?

    Because in these situations you can actually sell your weaknesses as strengths.

    Let’s say, for example, that you aren’t the best shooter. Your strength is driving to the basket, particularly with your right hand. In a regular season game the opposing coach may have written in the scouting report to force you left and let you shoot the open 3.

    In this situation, even if you hit an open shot, the defense is still probably going to keep letting you shoot and take away your greatest strength (the right hand drive) until you’ve hit a couple more open shots and proven that you are a threat shooting the ball.

    However, in a tournament or showcase setting, there is no scouting report. So if you make your first jumper, just one shot, now the opponents may start yelling things like, “They’re a shooter! Gotta close out on them next time!”

    On the next catch, you can fake the shot, get the defense off balance, and boom! There goes your right hand drive – wide open. Now the defense is confused, “They’re a shooter! Wait, but they’re also a driver? They can do everything!”

    Not only does this confuse your opponent, but it also impresses any scouts/recruiters watching the game.

    Unfortunately, many players ruin this golden opportunity by telling everyone in the gym that the play they just made is, indeed, not something they do often.


    They act like they’ve never been there before.

    You see it all the time.

    Make someone fall on a dribble move – stop, stare, point at the person, and miss the shot attempt.

    Hit a big three-pointer – pull out the imaginary bow and arrow, 3 fingers to the head, yells “BOOOOM!” as they run down the court.

    Dunk on someone – taps their own head, stares down the defender, steps over them and picks up a technical foul.

    All these actions essentially say the same thing, “Hey, look at me, I just did something that I rarely ever do, and I’m going to celebrate it because I probably won’t do it again for a long time.”

    What. A. Stupid. Move.

    Instead of using this play to your advantage, you give everyone an immediate sign that they shouldn’t expect that to happen again.

    The opponents (at least the good ones) know that it was a fluke play and they don’t need to worry about changing the scouting report. Recruiters can see that you clearly don’t expect to make those plays often, so they shouldn’t either.

    A golden opportunity ruined all because you simply acted like you hadn’t been there before.

    The advice here is simple: any positive play you make, especially the impressive ones that may be outside of your usual strengths as a basketball player, ACT LIKE YOU’VE BEEN THERE BEFORE.

    Let the crowd do the celebrating for you. Let your bench go crazy. You just stay calm, act like there’s nothing to see here, like the big play you made was as easy as a walk through the park.

    There is nothing scarier to your opponent than when you make a great play and give the impression that nothing great happened.

    You’re essentially telling your opponents, “This is normal to me. I’m going to do it again, very soon.” You’re also telling recruiters, “You can count on me to make plays like this all the time.”

    Remember, no one cares if you can do something once – they care if you can do it over, and over, and over again.

    So be clever, be smart, and when you make a great play – act like you’ve been there before.

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    About PGC

    PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.

    We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.

    Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.

    To learn more about PGC Basketball, including additional basketball training tips and videos, visit our YouTube Channel or find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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