basketball training drillsBasketball coaches have coined a term that is all the rage these days: the “combo guard.” The combo guard is supposedly a combination of a point guard and a shooting guard in that they create for others, but also have the ability to score.

I say supposedly because the combo guard is really a guy who isn’t big enough to defend traditional shooting guards, and is selfish. Combo guards don’t make the players around them better, but they can’t play without the ball in their hands. You do NOT want to be a combo guard. Let me repeat that: YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE A COMBO GUARD.

What you want to be, and what your basketball training drills should be focused on, is making you into an elite point guard who makes his teammates better and can score when his team needs a basket.

If you are a point guard, your basketball training drills should focus on improving your ballhandling, passing, finishing, and shooting. You have to be able to do it all. It is a blessing and a curse to be a point guard, but we’re going to give you the tools to become elite.

Pick-and-Roll – The pick-and-roll (or pick-and-pop) is the point guard’s bread and butter. You need to understand the angles involved, so grab your team’s post player to help you with your basketball training drills, because using the pick-and-roll is about familiarity.

You want to rub off the screeners hip (not his shoulder, his hip. This means you are staying low to the ground) and try to turn the corner and get a piece of the paint. If you get into the paint, this draws the defense and you can kick to shooters. You need to know EXACTLY where and when the screener is going to go so that you can anticipate when they will come open on their roll or their pop. The only way to know this is to spend time working with your picking partner in your basketball training drills.

Transition – Transition is where point guards get their teams easy points. You need to push the ball as fast as you can while remaining under control, and you need to be able to make a bounce pass or a lob with either hand on the move, so grab a couple more teammates and work on 3-on-2, 2-on-1 transition in your basketball training drills. You also need to be able to pullup from 3 or from the foul line to hit a jumper. These skills are also important when working out of the pick and roll. A point guard who is a threat to shoot off the dribble and also make a pass with either hand is a devastating weapon.

Finishing – Point guards are likely the smallest players on the court, so it is important to have a variety of crafty finishes around the basket. Steve Nash has the wrong-foot layup, Tony Parker has the floater, and Steph Curry has the 12-foot scoop shot. The key is getting these shots off quickly and getting them up high enough that they clear any defenders who could try to block them. These are all difficult shots that need to be perfected in your basketball training drills.

Drive and Kick – This is the one thing that separates point guards from combo guards the most. A true point guard tries to get a piece of the paint every time they put the ball on the floor, because getting into the paint creates open looks for teammates. If a point guard has an open layup they take it, but they are looking to get a teammate a jump shot or a layup. A combo guard is putting their head down and chucking up an awful shot. Lets go over this again: You don’t want to be a combo guard! In your basketball training drills, work on getting into the paint and kicking to shooters at all the different spots on the floor.

If you can perfect all four of these areas of your game, your game will flourish and you will become one of the truly elite point guards at your level.

To your success,
Coach Tates Signature
Coach Tate