Point guards have the most important job on the floor. They are responsible for running the plays, making sure their teammates are where they should be, and create scoring opportunities for themselves and their teammates. The entire offense literally flows through the point guard.
Elite points guards like Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, and Kyrie Irving all have these 8 qualities in their game that makes their job look easy.. Read on below to learn these 8 qualities and How To Be A Better Point Guard.
1. Work To Get That Handle On A Strong
Being able to handle the basketball is a very key factor in being a point guard. The reason why is because you have to be able to handle the ball on pressure defense while running the offense.
They are numerous of things a point guard have to focus during a game, and their handle shouldn’t be on of them. Your handle should be so tight that you don’t even have to think about it. Making it an unconscious act.
When great point guards like Stephen Curry or Chris Paul dribble, it seems as if they’re doing it effortlessly. They don’t never look down when dribbling, execute dribble moves with no hesitation, create scoring opportunities for themselves and teammates, and stays calm and poised while being pressured by the defense.
That’s what you want to work towards when your practicing your ball handling skills.
So don’t just go through the motions when doing your ball handling drills, do it with a purpose. You should set aside time everyday just to focus on your handles if you really want to have that basketball on a string.
If you have no clue on what drills to do which is a common problem for most basketball players. I recommend The Scoring Academy, it’s the #1 Online Basketball Training Platform In The World. It has everything all laid out for you from ball handling drills, shooting drills, basketball workouts, etc… Every you thing need as a player to take your game to the next level.
2. Dishing Out Dimes
Passing is underrated aspect in today’s game, but passing is what makes a point guard a point guard. They are supposed to find the open teammate and feed them the appropriate pass so that they can get a chance to score the basketball.
As soon as great passers like Steve Nash and Magic Johnson get the ball in their hands, their heads was up and eyes scanning the floor, looking for open teammates. Once they found the open teammate, they got them the ball quickly and accurately because scoring opportunities come and go.
Now they put points on the board for their team and got a assists out of it. Who says passing isn’t fun?
There are numerous of different passes that apply to different basketball game situations. Work on these types of passes below in your workouts and know when to use them.
Types Of Passes
- Chest Pass – standard pass to teammate
- Bounce Pass – pass to male in between payers
- Pocket Pass – a bounce pass that is made off the pick and roll
- Lob Pass – pass thrown over top of defenders
- Overhead pass – Made for long distance passing
- Hook pass – made when two or more players are crowding you
- 1-hand pass – pass to get the ball quickly out of your hands
- Behind The Back Pass – Pass made when the defender is all up in your grill
- Follow through on your passes – just like a shooter, leave a tail on the ball
- Step into your passes – adds more power and control
- End your passes with your thumb pointing downward towards the ground – creates backspin on the ball which makes for an easy catch
- Take calculated risks- all passes are not going to be easy passes so know the right situation to do them.
- Do not jump pass- once you jump with the ball in your hands and land with it, that is a travel
- Pick a target – know where you passing the ball to
3. Be Able To Knock Down Open Shots
Point guards just don’t just pass the ball all game, they score the ball too.
Sometimes in the game, your going to be left wide open to take a jump shot whether it’s a three pointer or a mid-range shot. These shots are your bread and butter, you have to be able to knock down these shots on a consistent bases. If not, defenders will not respect your jump shooting and begin to sag off on you which will restrict your ability to drive to the basket.
Rajon Rondo, an elite point guard in the NBA, had this same problem. He couldn’t knock down the open shot, so defenders started playing off of him which made his assists totals go down because he wasn’t driving to the basket as much.
If your jump shot is inconsistent and needs some work, I recommend The Scoring Academy*. They Have a great shooting program that builds your jumper from the waist-up turning you into a lights-out shooter. Defenders will be crazy to leave you open when you finish the program.
4. Be Vocal
Point guards are the extension of the coach. They are supposed to know all the plays, know exactly when and where they teammates are supposed to be at on the floor, and correct their teammates if they are not where they supposed to be. So it’s important for point guards to speak up and make sure that you and your entire team is on the same page.
This may seem uncomfortable at first, but as you progress, your confidence will grow and your teammates and coach will have confidence in you. Isn’t that Awesome, I know.
5. Stamina, Stamina, Stamina
There is no doubt about it that point guards should be the most condition or one of the most conditioned players on the team. Just think how valuable you are to your coach if your only able to play 5 hard minutes before the coach has to sub you because your tired and need a water break.
Point guards have the difficult tasks of getting the ball up the floor, running the offense, and defending other quick and crafty point guards. They cannor afford to let fatigue get the best of them.
So get up in the morning and go jog a mile or do sprints after practice at least 3 times a week, this will improve your on-court stamina.
6. Not Only Tough Physically, But Mentally Too
Point guards are constantly placed in pressure situations throughout the game whether it is being double teamed, running the offense while a defender is all their grill, breaking the press defense to start the team’s offense, or making the right play in close games.
If the team sees the point guard panicking, then they won’t be able to focus on their job because the offense starts with the point guard. The team depends on the point guards to always remain cool, calm, and collective.
The way to stay calm and poised under pressure starts with your training. In pressure situations, you always sink to the level of your training.
Meaning, that if you don’t work on game specific situations in your basketball workouts, your not going to perform so well when the game is on the line. So it’s important to be practicing game situatons in your workouts like pick and roll and one on one moves, while going game speed.
In addition, visualization techniques and meditation is also a great way to build your mental toughness. Learn how to visualize and meditate HERE.
7. Basketball IQ Is A Must
It is a major key for a point guard to have an high basketball IQ. They should always be aware of what’s going on in the game, where their teammates are, and how the defense is playing them. The best thing about having an high basketball IQ, it levels out the playing field against freakishly athletic and super tall players.
For example, look at Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving. They’re not freakishly athletic or super tall, but they have an high IQ and understand the game. So this puts them a step ahead of the competition. Their is three ways to get a higher basketball IQ:
- Making your basketball training game specific so you’ll already know what to do when it comes to the actual game.
- Playing against bigger and better players. Finding out what moves work and what doesn’t.
- Watch Film on better players that are similar to size and playing style. Learning what makes them successful and how you can implement it into your game.
Do one or more of those things, not only will your basketball IQ increase, but your on-court performance will improve as well.
8. Be A Point Guard
Point Guards are supposed to be unselfish. They’re main focus is to get the whole the whole team involved on offense and defense. That way the game becomes fun for everyone and creates a wining environment.
I see it all too often in today’s game, where point guards would dribble all cool down the court, do 20 different dribbles moves and not get no where, and then jack up a three pointer. This just leads to team losses, players standing around on offense, and bad team chemistry.
Nobody likes to play with a ball hog or showboat, unless your Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. But that’s a different article, for a different day.
The Bottom Line
Point guards carry a lot of weight on their shoulders, but the rewards can be vary promising. Becoming an elite point guard doesn’t happen overnight, it’s something that is established over time. So be patient with yourself and work hard in your basketball workouts, it will all payoff in the end. Use these tips that I share with you on How To Become A Better Point Guard.
If you don’t know what drills to do or exactly what you need to work on in your game, my #1 recommendation is The Scoring Academy. The 12-week program focuses on improving your overall game on offense and defense, transforming you into the complete basketball player that no one wants to match up against.
I hope you enjoyed this article and encourage you to share it with a friend or teammate. If you have any questions or want to share your own experience, leave an comment below. Love to hear.