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Become the Point Guard Your Team Needs With These Drills

May 14, 2013 | Shaquala Williams

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Ever played against a basketball team that seemed out of sync, fumbling passes and messing up schemes? They probably lacked a talented point guard.

Point guards are the heart and soul of a basketball team. On-court extensions of their coaches, they are responsible for making sure everyone is where they're supposed to be and doing what the team needs. (See How to Become a Better Point Guard.)

To be a championship team, you must have a truly talented point guard on your roster. But becoming a complete point guard is a never-ending challenge. (See also Develop Explosive Basketball Court Skills.) You must master several areas of your game. Step up next season by performing the following drills for ball handling, passing, shooting and finishing at the basket.

Workout Keys

  • Go at game speed with maximum intensity on every repetition.
  • Focus on the process and details of every repetition.
  • Work on two or three areas every day.
  • Write down the results of every workout and drill and set goals to improve.

Point Guard Ball-Handling Drills

A point guard must always control the dribble. The ball should be an extension of his or her hand. (See Women's Basketball Summer Homework: Ball Control.)

In my opinion, an elite point guard:

  • Must have ambidextrous feet and hands
  • Pound the ball to the floor
  • Be able to play at different speeds
  • Be able to separate off the dribble and create shots or penetrate the defense

Two Ball Stationary Ball Handling

Sets/Duration: 1-2x10 to 15 seconds each hand

Points of Emphasis

  • Feet shoulder-width apart
  • Keep back straight
  • Drop hips like sitting in a chair (knees @ 90 degrees)
  • Eyes up
  • Pound ball hard (dent the floor)

Series

  • Ankle high simultaneously
  • Alternating waist height
  • Alternating ankle height
  • Right hand high/ left hand low (switch)
  • Side to side
  • Front to back

Tennis Ball Toss

This is a great drill for developing ball handling, hand eye coordination, reaction time and communication skills.

Sets/Reps: 1-2x down and back x 2 (4 baselines)

Points of Emphasis

  • Eyes up while dribbling
  • Stay low with back straight and chair sit @ 90 degrees
  • Partners 3-4 feet apart
  • Pound basketball (dent the floor)
  • Soft tennis ball toss
  • Walk forward down to one baseline and walk back backwards @ a slow pace
  • Every move should be double (1 toss = 2 crossovers)

Pick two of the following moves:

  • Crossovers
  • Treadmill (between the legs)
  • Behind the back
  • Reverse treadmill (between the legs)

Point Guard Passing Drills

Point guards must be great playmakers. They must have a fundamental understanding of, and be able to execute, all the basic basketball passes at the right time, place, speed and angle.

Nash Single-Hand Passing Partner Drill

This partner drill emphasizes ball handling, hand-eye coordination, catching, ambidexterity and passing. If you are by yourself, you can use a wall.

Sets/Reps: 1x20 each pass, or for time

Points of Emphasis

  • Players pair up facing each other (two balls for each pair)
  • Focus on passing and catching with your finger tips
  • Be precise and accurate with each pass
  • Progressively speed up your passes and increase the distance

Series

  • One hand alternating pass and catch
  • One hand high pass, one hand bounce pass
  • One hand alternating bounce pass and catch
  • Two hand alternating chest pass and bounce pass

Variations off the Dribble

  • Catch - dribble - pass
  • Catch - crossover dribble - pass
  • Catch - behind the back dribble - pass
  • Catch - between the legs dribble - pass

Thread Pass

A point guard must be able to easily make accurate and precise passes while on the move.

Sets/Reps: 2-3 trips (1 trip = back and forth)

Points of Emphasis

  • Keep eyes up
  • Start with five chairs, cones or garbage cans (increase as you progress)
  • Be accurate (don't hit object)
  • Make sure ball bounces lower than chair seat
  • Release ball from hip level

Series

  • Outside hand bounce pass (across body)
  • Drop pass (inside hand)
  • Two-hand chest pass
  • Behind the back pass

Get creative and make up your own passes, or end the drill with a different shot or finish.

Point Guard Shooting Drills

Good point guards can make a variety of shots from different areas of the court.

Star Shooting On the Move Drill

Trains you for shooting on the move while working on early shot preparation.

Sets/Reps: Do for time (30 to 60 seconds) or total makes (10)

Set-up

  • 5 spots (corners, wings, top of key)
  • Start at 15 feet from basket (vary distance)

Points of Emphasis

  • Hands ready and chair sit on turns
  • Square feet, hips, shoulders to basket on catch (10 toes toward rim)
  • Feet shoulder-width apart for balance
  • Catch ball with ball placement in an "L" with wrist and forearm
  • Place ball somewhere between shoulder and hip (shooting pocket)
  • Release in one motion keeping ball on finger tips
  • Follow through
  • Vary distance, cone positions and time as you progress

Warrior Pull-Up Shooting Drill

Work on your footwork coming into your shot and selling your shot fake.

Sets/Duration: 2 x right/left for time or reps

Points of Emphasis

  • Come into your shot fake the right way every time (mainly footwork)
  • Sell your shot fake and visualize the defender leaving her feet
  • Separate with your dribble and get past the imaginary defender
  • Hold your follow through and wait till your shot goes in or misses before running to the next spot

Movement

  • Shot fake, one dribble to the left, pull up for a shot (elbow)
  • Run to the corner, fill up to the elbow from the corner and do the same move
  • Go to the sideline, fill into the corner and do the same move
  • Run to half court, fill in from the top for shot fake to the left and pull up for shot

Two-Minute Finisher Drill

Work on your combo-move ball handling and finishing at the basket with your weak hand.

Sets/Duration: 2x2 minutes

Points of Emphasis

  • Be creative with your finishes
  • Push yourself and work on your conditioning
  • Sell your combo move on the wing and then explode to the basket.

Directions

  • Begin dribbling, make 2-3 combo moves
  • Drive to the basket and use a weak hand finish (floater, runner, scoop shot, Euro step, etc.).
  • Get the ball as quickly as you can and go out to the 3-point line in a new spot
  • Repeat using different moves
  • Make it competitive and see who can complete the most finishes
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