During the preseason, as basketball coaches are introducing the offensive and defensive game plans, philosophies, and strategies, it is easy to forget some basic actions that can improve players and the team. There are some fundamental things that ANY player can commit to doing, simply by putting their mind to it, without needing to get better at any "basketball fundamentals". These "commitments" can make the player more effective IMMEDIATELY without getting any better at “basketball skills”.
➢ PLAY WITH YOUR KNEES BENT
Always stay in an athletic stance. It is your point of maximum explosion. Be just like a track sprinter coming out of the blocks. Have your knees bent. Be on balance. Be ready to move. You will get open on offense more often. You will guard your man on defense easier. The player with the lowest active stance usually wins.
➢ GET A HAND UP ON EVERY SHOOTER
The only person who can score is the one with the ball. Go guard him even if he is not your man. Help your teammates when their man is open. Go guard him. Contest the shot even if it means leaving your feet, but don’t fall for a head fake too easily!
➢ GAIN POSSESSION WITH TWO HANDS
Always catch the ball with 2 hands--concentrate on the catch before you do anything else. Rebound with 2 hands--and try for every one. Pick up a loose ball with 2 hands--pick it up, don’t dribble it. You will get more possessions for your team and each possession is another chance to score.
➢ TRY TO OUT RUN YOUR OPPONENT EVERY TIME
You will usually break their will with your first three steps. Get ahead of the defense and your teammates will throw you the ball. It will help you get easy shots on offense with your fast break. If you beat the offense back, they may not even try to run their fast break. Getting back on defense will help stop their fast break and cut down on their easy shot attempts.
➢ PASS TO THE FIRST OPEN PERSON
Passing the ball is faster than dribbling it. If you move the ball, you make the defense adjust and they might make a mistake and leave someone (maybe you!) open. If you see an open teammate--throw them the ball. Don’t wait for a better pass. Remember - "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
Read this entire post which includes "Offensive Extras" and "Defensive Extras" at: http://basketball4all.blogspot.com/2009/07/be-big-on-little-things.html