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Establish your position

Know your strength and practice accordingly. If you are fast, don't practice post up. Concentrate on speed and ball handling instead. If you are tall and strong, focus on rebound and inside shots. Don't do fancy moves, leave it to the small guys. Know your opponent, know yourself.

Check our practice plan guide for more training information!


Point Guard

Typically the smallest player in a team. He is expected to dribble the ball and carry it to the other end of the court single-handedly. He should be fast and agile. Thus a first-rate point guard should also have a reasonably effective jump shot and should be a scoring threat from long distance to give himself room to maneuver.

Essentially, the point guard is expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right players at the right time. A good offense is said to be orchestrated by a point guard. He is most valuable if he is able to see the weak side of the team and exploit it. For this reason, passing skills and court vision are essential; great point guards are often evaluated more on their assist totals than on their scoring.

Point guards should also exert a leadership role on the floor. A true point guard's job is to create instances that lead to a field goal for his team; this includes passing, but also running the offense: setting up plays on the court, getting the ball to the teammate that he feels is in the best position to score, and also dictating the tempo of the game. Many times, the point guard is referred to by announcers as a "coach on the floor" or a "floor general".

The styles with which point guards do their job vary widely from player to player. Quickness is often cited as a necessity for the position, but this is not necessarily true. The important thing for point guards is to be able to pass and dribble the ball frequently without committing turnovers, and to keep the team under control at all times.

He is also the first to head back to the defense when the offense is blown. However, he is rather more expected to steal and/or prevent the ball down being pushed down the court than blocking the shots.

Skills needed:Dribbling, Fade-away,Reverse Lay-up, Lay-up,Free Throws,Jump Shot,Passing, Vision

Physical requirement:Agility

Renowned Point Guard: Allen Iverson, Steve Nash


Shooting Guard

He has to be a good perimeter shooter and able to handle the ball adequately. He should be very comfortable near the three point area where lots of screening and pick and roll, give and go actions are happening. The fact that Michael Jordan plays shooting guard position should tell us how important this position is.

They are often shorter, leaner, and quicker than forwards, and are frequently called upon to create a high volume of shots on offense and guard the opponent's best perimeter player on defense. Shooting guards are also known as "2-guards" (or simply "2's"), and "off guards", since they play off the ball on offense. Some teams ask their shooting guards to bring up the ball as well; these players are known colloquially as "combo guards".

A shooting guard should also be a good ball handler and be able to pass reasonably well, though passing is not their main priority it is often a bonus since a good shooting guard will often attract double-teams, shooting guards will often be the back-up ball handler to the point-guard . Most shooting guards however focus primarily on scoring, allowing the point guard to worry about distributing the ball.

Skills needed: Dribbling, Fade-away, Reverse Lay-up, Lay-up, Free Throws,Jump Shot, Three Point, Passing

Physical requirement:Agility

Renowned Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady


Small Forward

A small forward is the all round player. Versatile at both inside and outside the perimeter. If inside expects help, he will mix it up inside. If outside demands an extra man, he also can handle it well. Supposedly the hardest to guard in my opinion. They can dunk, rebound, shoot, and they are not too slow to drive to the basket.

Small forwards are typically somewhat shorter, quicker, and leaner thanpower forwards andcenters, but on occasion are just as tall. The small forward postion is considered to be perhaps the most versatile of the main five basketball positions, due to the nature of its role. Most current NBA small forwards are between 6'6" and 6'9" in height.

Small forwards are primarily responsible for scoring points and also often as secondary or third rebounders behind the Power forwards and Centers. Due to its versatility, the styles with which small forwards amass their points vary widely, as some small forwards are very accurate straight up shooters, while others like former prefered to "bang inside", initiate and/or not shy for away from physical contact with opposing players. One common thread between all kinds of small forwards is an ability to "get to the line", that is have opposing players called for committing shooting fouls against them, as fouls are frequently called on the defense when offensive players "take the ball hard" to the basket, that is, aggressively attemptpost-up plays, lay-ups. Therefore, accurate foul shooting is an imperative skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line.

Defense is often a major priority for small forwards, who are often counted on using their athleticism and size as defensive advantages. Many small forwards have been excellent defensive players including current NBA player; who is generally regarded as one of the best defensive players in the NBA today.

Skills needed: Dribbling, Change of Pace, Up and Under, Free Throws, Lay-up, Passing,Rebounding

Physical requirement: Agility, Vertical, Footwork

Renowned Small Forward: Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter


Power Forward

An offensive powerhouse and vicious rebounder. He should display certain degree of agility near the paint area and able to make short jumper when the opportunity arises. Much like the Center, he should be able to finish up close.

Power forwards play a role similar to that ofcenter. They play offensively with their back to the basket onoffense and position themselves defensively under the basket in azone defense or against the opposing power forward ondefense inman-to-man defense. In the past, power forwards were expected to have more of an impact on defense and rebounding than the center, leaving scoring to other players; however, today, with the emergence of skilled power forwards likeChris Webber,Dirk Nowitzki, andKevin Garnett, the power forward is asked to shoulder more of a scoring role and somewhat less of a defensive role than the center.

Typically, a power forward is one of the larger players on the court, not as tall as the center but more muscular. They are usually expected to be aggressive when pursuingrebounds and score most of their points on the low post, as opposed to taking jump shots from farther away. Power forwards can be imposing presences on defense, but they usually defer to the center in terms of blocking shots and general intimidation.

Skills needed: Dunk,Hook shoot,Lay-up,Rebounding

Physical requirement:Vertical, Footwork

Renowned Power Forward: Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnet, Jermaine O'neal


Center

He is the king inside the paint. Once near the hoop, his tall and strong physique should dominate the opposition. His pivot foot must be strong. A good center must also be able to draw defensive attention and pass to open teammates. Perhaps more importantly, he is the last and strongest defense inside the paint. A center typically grabs more block shots than anyone else in the team.

In many cases, the center's primary role is simply to be very large, and to use his size to score and defend from a position close to the basket. A center who possesses size along with athleticism and skill constitutes an unparalleled asset for a team.A few simple elegantly simple post maneuvers can be disastrous to the other team.

Skills needed:Hook shoot, Drop Steps, Pivot, Dunk, Free Throws, Rebounding

Physical requirement: Vertical, Footwork

Renowned Center: Yao Ming, Shaquille O'Neal, Ben Wallace


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