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How To Improve Guard Play Tips

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Guard Play Tips © 2000 by Sidney Goldstein

1. While dribbling keep the head up, constantly looking for an opening.
2. Always look long first. Always look inside during half court play.
3. Never stop dribbling until you pass the ball.
4. Never dribble into a trap; when you recognize a trap pass, do not dribble.
5. Never dribble in place, only dribble when you are going somewhere fast.
6. Start the half court offense as soon as possible, even from midcourt.
7. Without the ball point guards, in particular, must always be in position to receive a pass.
8. Without the ball points guards, in particular, must always be back, or make sure another player is back to defend against the fast break.
9. Don't be caught in never-never land: on the shot either go towards the basket for the rebound (if another player is back) or move towards the other basket as a defense against the fast break.
10. You beat the defense with looking, passing, and communication skills.

Counterproductive Beliefs
1. Standing around dribbling the ball in a half court situation is cool; the pros do it. Standing around gives the defense a chance to rest, and takes away the offensive advantage, thus destroying the offense. I find it unbelievable that so many pro and college teams are in this situation so often.
2. Half court offenses should start when all players are down court. Hardly. Half court offense, if there is such a thing as half court offense, starts immediately when your team gets the ball. You do not have time to scratch yourself, to waste steps, or to check your shoelaces.
3. You beat the other team by running previously rehearsed plays. One great play could get the offense going. NO, NO, NO. I could write a book on this one. In brief, the goal of the offense is to take advantage of the defense (defensive weaknesses). Predetermined plays cannot determine where the openings are. Only players can do that by looking and moving sensibly. This is why coaches must practice and teach the principles of offense, which include cutting, faking, passing, looking, communication and so on, not offensive plays.

Your comments are welcome.
Sidney Goldstein, author of The Basketball Coach's Bible and The Basketball Player's Bible, has successfully coached both men's and women's teams over a period of 15 years.

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