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Don't be good, Be great. ( At your position.)

I get tweets and emails almost daily asking, “what should I focus on if I want to be a great insert position.” This blog is designed to give players and coaches a quick look at the characteristics needed to be great at every position.


Great Point Guards:

  • Run their team.

  • Set the tone defensively. They can take a team out of their offense with great ball pressure.

  • Get paint touches.

  • Dribble and pass comfortably with both hands.

  • High basketball IQ.

  • Control tempo and pace.

  • Make their teammates better.

  • Act as an extension of the coach on the floor.

  • Huddle and compose their team.

  • Know their personal. They only put their teammates in position to succeed.

Great Shooting Guards:

  • Can create open space and score.

  • Knock down open jumpers.

  • Spread the defense.

  • Can finish strong at the rim.

  • Sprint the floor in transition.

  • Active defender.

  • Aggressive rebounder.

  • Absorb contact and get to the free throw line.

  • Be able to read and come off pin down screens correctly.

Great Forwards/Bigs:

  • Hit hooks with both shots.

  • Vocal leader on defense. They can see the whole floor.

  • Grab rebounds out of their “area.”

  • Establish position and keep it. Able to “seal” defenders.

  • Alter but does not necessarily block shots at the rim.

  • Make accurate outlet passes.

  • Accurate passes out of the post.

  • Catch and play under control.

  • Sprint the floor.

  • Be able to make their free throws.

Great Role/Bench players:

  • Always engaged and active.

  • Don’t pout or complain about playing time.

  • Ready for their opportunity.

  • Provide a spark.

  • Know every play.

  • Not a downfall in play when they come into the game.

  • Accept and excel at their role, while working for the role they desire.

If you take a close look at these lists, very few traits require exceptional talent. Most of the things listed can be perfected if a player perfects the “simple” things in basketball such as passing, dribbling, and footwork. Below is a list of other things that require ZERO talent, but if you do every one you’ll see the level of your game increase faster than you could imagine!

Things that require ZERO talent:

  • Boxing out

  • Diving on loose balls

  • Communicating

  • Knowing the scouting report

  • Sprinting the floor

  • Energy

  • Effort

  • Heart

  • Hustle

  • Being in shape

  • Getting there before practice

  • Staying after practice

  • Getting in purposeful work in the weight room

  • Being coachable

  • Being a great teammate

  • Representing your program well on and off the court

I’ve started to fill up my schedule for the spring and summer with various events. With that being said, if there is any coach or organization that would be interested in bringing Hoop Dreams to their gym this summer for a skills clinic please shoot me an email as soon as you can so we can work something out. I would love to travel to wherever you are, improve your team, and even make your programs some money while we are at it!

Thanks for reading,

Luke Cooper

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