Often - the "general of the team", the player that calls the plays, the Point Guard is a position that requires a thorough skill set across all areas of Basketball, along with the need to lead by example and prove that your team is a force to be reckoned with. If you play the Point Guard position, whether it be for your under 8’s little league team, or at the highest possible level, the tips below will help you become the best player you can be, and at the same time, everything that your team currently needs.
The first trait we will talk about, in my opinion the most important skill a Point Guard needs, is to be coachable. The coach draws up the plays that they want the team partaking in during training and matches, and come game day, it’s up to the Point Guard out there to run these plays, so every Point Guard needs to have listening skills and be able to work well with his/her coach. Basketball is an ever evolving game, and new ways to use teammates and score are always needed, so critical and creative thinking is also a must have ability if you want to be the go-to Point Guard for your team.
Communication is the next skill that needs to be perfected. As a Point Guard, you must always speak with your teammates before, during and after games, and you must be able to handle constructive criticism, and give it at the same time. You must always be aware of the current game situation and be able to communicate with teammates on how to handle these situations in order to get the best out of your entire team.
The most important ball skill a Point Guard can demonstrate is passing. Being "the general", you need to set an example for your teammates and be able to bring them into the game, which means getting them into good positions to shoot and rewarding their effort by passing them the ball when they get into these positions. Always keep your eyes up looking for teammates in better positions, and to potentially see if there is an open space to drive into for an easy layup. Look for mismatches on offence that you can exploit e.g. one of your teammates is matched with a player well below their ability level. If you’re not confident with flashy passes, keeping them simple yet effective will do the job.
As a Point Guard, you control the speed and movement of the game, so you can exploit this by using it to your team's advantage. If you have a bigger sized team on average, then slow the game down to let them get down the court, but if you have smaller, yet faster players, then you can pick up the pace and trouble the opposition that way.
The last bit of advice I will give you as a Point Guard, is to have a bit of ticker about you. No need to cross the line, but don't go out there to lose. Have a hint of aggression if your opponent is getting on top of you, as it can be used as a viable tactic to throw them off their game. Part of being a leader is taking a game by the horns when needed, which involves being a bit aggressive and doing anything to get the job done.
If you are a Point Guard at any level of Basketball, implement these tips into your next training sessions and games, and let us know how much you improve, we would love to hear from you!