The Mentality of a Point Guard
Part 2 or 2
In my last post, we discussed the first 4 of the 8 most important characteristics that all successful point guards must have. Today, I’ll be finishing the list by talking about the last four characteristics of great point guards. Here they are:
#5 – Knowledge of Each Possible Situation On the Floor.
Basketball is fast-paced and loud so directions from the coach may not always be possible. So, it’s the point guards job to know what to do at all times. Do you slow the game down? Do you pick up the pace and be aggressive offensively? The point guard needs to be in control the tempo and not get carried away by the flow of the game. You must also be able to see the entire floor and quickly analyze the situation. You must always be aware of how the game is progressing and what the team specifically needs in each situation – whether it be feeding a teammate that’s hot or isolating a mismatch on the wing. You must know which teammates are in the game and what their each capable of doing. You must always know the score, how much time is left in the game, and how many time outs are remaining. Simply put, you are the coach on the floor.
#6 – Defensive Leadership.
Calling plays, setting up teammates, and getting assists are all fine qualities for a good point guard to have, but a great point guard will also have an impact on the defensive end of the floor. A good point guard has to be able to play extremely intense defense. You must be the one who gets everybody in that low“defensive stance” with your “hands up.” You must be able to call out defensive assignments and make sure everyone is guarding the correct man. Though stealing the ball is NOT your goal or responsibility, applying extreme defensive pressure to the dribbler is. Point guards should be the leader on their team – both on offense and on defense.
#7 – Handle Success and Keep Defeat In Perspective.
Basketball is a very competitive sport with emotional highs and lows. Players, especially young players, are prone to be affected by the result of each game. Great point guards can keep their team on an even keel. You can make sure that teammates don’t become too complacent after winning games, and not too down after a loss. You need to be the guy who keeps the team grounded and focused. This is one of the most important characteristics of a true point guard, and though it does take maturity, it is the foundation of all great leaders.
#8 – Must Be Able To Control the Ball.
Point Guards have to take care of the ball. They need to know when to dribble and when to pass. The best point guards don’t put the ball on the floor right away when they receive a pass, but instead, they analyze what’s going on, call out the play, and then they dribble or pass. Point guards must not make careless turnovers. They must be able to dribble with both hands, as well as with their head up and eyes on the court. Dribbling needs to be second nature and the ball needs to feel like it’s an extension of your body. And the only way to become a great ball handler is to practice. 15 minutes of doing some intense ball handling drills a few days a week will turn you into a point guard with exceptional ball control.
These are the last four of the 8 characteristics that each point guard must have to be successful. Most players will tell you that the hardest position to play in the game is the point guard position, because they are the ones that carry the most responsibility. Great point guards are mentally tough, unselfish, and they have an understanding of the game. When the game is on the line, they’re the ones that have to be able to lead a team on the court and motivate them to be better.