I`ve been asked at least a hundred times in the past year for "plays" to help someones` team. However, I believe that the most important things are "skills" not "systems".
A common oversight among coaches and players is spending too much time learning "plays" and not enough time learning how to play. Teams do need to have organized offenses and plays (we have tons!), but it is far more important to be able to execute the fundamentals of movement, ballhandling, dribbling, passing and shooting than it is to know how to run through a particular offense.
Here are five fundamental things that ANY player can commit to doing, simply by putting their mind to it, without needing to get better at any of the above fundamentals. These five "committments" will make the player more effective IMMEDIATELY.
#1 - Stay in Stance
PLAY WITH YOUR KNEES BENT.
Always stay in stance. It is your point of maximum explosion. Be just like a track sprinter coming out of the blocks. Be ready to move. You will get open on offense more often. You will guard your man on defense easier. The lowest person usually wins.
#2 - Contest EVERY Shot
GET A HAND UP ON EVERY SHOOTER
The only person who can score is the one with the ball. Go guard him even if he is not your man. Help your teammates when there man is open. Go guard him. Contest the shot even if it means leaving your feet, but donīt fall for a head fake too easily!
#3 - Two Hands
GAIN POSSESSION WITH TWO HANDS
Catch the ball with 2 hands--concentrate on the catch before you do anything else. Rebound with 2 hands--and try for every one. Pick up a loose ball with 2 hands--pick it up, donīt dribble it. You will get more possessions for your team and each possession is another chance to score.
#4 - Run Hard
TRY TO OUT RUN YOUR OPPONENT EVERY TIME
You will usually break their will with your first three steps. Get ahead of the defense and your teammates will throw you the ball. It will help you get easy shots on offense with your fast break. If you beat the offense back, they may not even try to run their fast break. Getting back on defense will help stop their fast break
#5 - Pass to the first Open Teammate
PASS TO THE FIRST OPEN PERSON
Passing the ball is faster than dribbling it. If you move the ball, you make the defense adjust and they might make a mistake and leave someone (maybe you!) open. If you see an open teammate--throw them the ball. Donīt wait for a better pass. Remember - "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
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