Players- 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 have 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”?
Every time a shot is taken, whether you are on offense or defense (but especially defense), HIT SOMEBODY!
Now, I could put it in these terms: “Within the confines of the rules of the game and contingent upon the leniency of the officials in today’s game, make sure that you make bodily contact with an opponent – preferably the one you are responsible for guarding, but anyone in an odd-colored jersey will do.”
But, that just doesn’t carry the same sense of urgency that “HIT SOMEBODY” does! It’s a contact game. Take advantage of that fact and hinder the rebounding effectiveness of at least ONE of your oppenents.
I don’t care if you’re between them and the goal and can execute a classic block-out the way your coach has taught, or if you’re beside them or behind them and can only get a leg or a forearm on them – MAKE CONTACT! If they react and lean on you or push back, then they cannot jump or move laterally as quickly as they ordinarily could. If they don’t push back, then displace them. Don’t worry, officials talk a good game about calling “displacement”, but not really. If they do call it, then you can adjust how much you displace them on the next shot. That’s why you’re given 5 fouls – so that you can test the limits!
Here’s a side benefit of HITTING SOMEONE when you’re on defense: If the player you’re “hitting” is a good offensive rebounder, someone with a “nose for the ball”, he/she will lead you to the rebound! How nice is that?!
I’ll give you another Skill without a Drill soon!