Here’s the situation: Season has begun and you find yourself wanting to bring something to your team that can immediately affect the outcome of the game. But you don’t time to acquire a new skill like shooting, or point-guard-dribbling-abilities, or ten more pounds of muscle. (Those kind of things take time – usually off-season time.)
So, what can you bring RIGHT NOW that does not take time, training, and repetition to acquire?! What can you bring to today’s practice or today’s game simply by making a focused effort to actually “bring it”?
RUN THE FLOOR ON OFFENSE!
The moment a teammate secures the ball on the defensive end, drop to a sprinters stance and put everything you have into your first 3 steps.
Clear the crowd. Either get ahead, get wide or both.
Get ahead of the ball and get where the ball can see you. How will you know? If you’re running the right side of the floor, have your chin on your left shoulder. How can you see where you’re going and see the ball at the same time? Peripheral vision. You don’t have to focus directly on both, but you have to see both.
Why is sprinting the floor important?
- It immediately stretches the defense.
- It creates spacing. Spacing is everything in terms of offense. (And yes, offense has begun in the backcourt, the moment your team gains possession!)
- The defense must react or else you’ll score a lay-up. If your team is going to win consistently, it must be able to get a handful of easy baskets. All of your points cannot come from grinding it out in the half-court. Running the floor consistently will give your team a handlful of transition points per game. Think about it, how many games are decided by 4 points or less?
- The threat of a lay-up hinders the defense from hanging around and possibly trapping the ballhandler.
- The ballhandler needs someone to pass ahead to, otherwise he/she must bring it up on the dribble. That’s slower and more susceptible to traps and turnovers.
- It’s one way to infuse energy into your teammates.
This takes no skill, no drills, and no talent! Your coach might be trying to emphasize it in certain drills, but that’s because you (and your teammates) have not yet made it a habit on your own. All this takes is a commitment and a conscious effort to RUN!