This question comes to us from our friends at stormingthefloor.com.
Stormingthefloor: Coach, one of my readers messaged me to ask if I had any tips on how to improve as a shooting guard. I’m no coach, but I told her not to neglect her defense while striving to become a better scorer. Since I just discovered your blog, I’d love to put the question to a real expert. Thanks!
Coach Carl Parker: Thanks for stopping by! Defense is KEY! It makes a game exciting and will often mean the difference between winning and losing. I also think it’s the major factor when going to the next level of your game.
In my high school program, we train all players as guards no matter their height. We put a lot of work into ball handling, dribbling, finishing, and footwork.
Specifically for becoming a better shooting guard, learn to exploit holes in a defense — from behind — especially when playing against a zone. That means maintaining spacing on fast breaks and knowing how to play away from the ball in the half-court set. She needs to help balance the floor by being an offensive threat. That means catching the ball on balance ready to shoot or attack. She must be a master at setting screens and finding the gaps. Shooting skills mean nothing if she doesn’t know how to find the openings, draw defenders, and handle the ball pressure.
I hope that helps!
Coach Carl Parker