Players ask me all the time how to stand out. Then I watch games and see the same problem over and over, and it drives me insane. It’s not anyone’s fault. I believe players haven’t been taught what many coaches, including myself, consider the most challenging part of the game to teach, and the easiest to expose in the opponent.
It requires high levels of communication, precision, and hustle, which, frankly, most players are NOT good at.
So when players ask me what they can do to look special, they are really asking me how they can get more shots within their offense. They tend to dismiss this crucial answer, “Identify what your opponent does poorly, expose that, and you will stand out.” What do the majority of players do poorly? Execute their transition defense well.
So what does that mean for you? Put pressure on the opposing team’s transition defense by racing, not walking, from arc to arc. Don’t let your opponent off the hook. At our Point Guard College Camp we call the area between the two three-point arcs the racetrack.
Don’t walk the racetrack. SPRINT!
Don’t slowly bring the ball up the court. SPRINT!
Don’t jog to the rim. SPRINT!
Our founder, Dick Divinzio, articulates this concept beautifully in the book Stuff Good Players Should Know. He says, “if someone we’re giving away money in two stores across the street from each other, what would you do? Hang around in the street? To get the money, you’d make sure you’re in the stores. To do good things in basketball, you have to be where the action is. That means spending as little time as possible in the midcourt area.”
There typically is a moment in time during your race up court when the defense is disorganized and indecisive. It may be early in the play or during a secondary break, but that moment will reveal itself the quicker you get the ball up the court.
But understand this, race doesn’t mean rush. It’s not about getting a quick shot, it’s about getting a high percentage shot. That’s the principle. You may race the ball 100 times per game, but you won’t shoot within the first 7 seconds 100 times per game. That’d be like sending an email to 100 CEO’s asking to get coffee and all 100 saying yes. Unlikely. But if 10 say yes because you took the time to craft a well-written email that made you stand out, you’re giving yourself a competitive advantage, like racing the ball up the court does in basketball. If you don’t race, or send those emails, you give yourself no chance. And a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.
When you shift the way you think, the way you play begins to change.
Playing this way is hard. It takes superior conditioning & mental toughness.
But never forget: Everything worth having is on the other side of hard.
Join us at a PGC camp this summer to discover how to read and react to every in-game scenario and become the leader every coach wants to have on their team.
THINK THE GAME
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WNBA Legend Debbie Black and PGC Director Kyle Koszuta breakdown what a player needs to become a lockdown defender.
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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.