Guards are very important to any basketball team. It is my opinion that guards are even more important than the center of any team. Why are guards so important? They are the foundation of any great basketball team. Guards tend to become the leaders of teams with controlling the basketball as well as assisting other players to score.

Guards are the core of any basketball team
The skill expectations of any average guard are very high. Guards are typically the smaller players on the team therefore; they must be able to handle the basketball. Guards must be team players as well as good shooters. Guards typically shoot outside of the box therefore, if a guard cannot shoot, they are not much of an asset to any basketball team. Show me a guard on any basketball who cannot shoot the basketball and score and I can guarantee that particular guard will be sitting on the bench.

Point guards are the leaders
There are different positions guards can play. One is the very important position of “point guard”. This is the position which is given to a player who can do it all. The point guard brings the ball up the court, calls plays as well as proves their speed capabilities. Point guards must be able to dribble the basketball as fast as they can run. Not everyone can perform this feat which is why the position of point guard is very important yet hard to fill sometimes for coaches.
Wingmen and their importance to the team

The other positions associated with guards are the position of “wing”. Wingmen are the other two guard positions and its imperative the wingmen can shoot. Unfortunately, for any position associated with guards, one cannot be average. These positions are literally “high-speed” and “low-drag” with the game of basketball.

Work with what you have
If you find that you are having a hard time filling the position of guard on your team you might need to work with some of the players who show talent for this particular position. Focus initially on ball handling with having the players simply perform dribbling exercises. Set up obstacles for them to dribble around while protecting the basketball. Another great exercise for increasing speed and confidence with ball handling is having your guards dribble up and down the court with someone on defense. This ball handling exercise not only builds up endurance but confidence.

Average and guard are two words which cannot go together
Coaches will find that they cannot settle for “average” guards because this position is very important to any basketball team. There is literally no room for “average” with guards and it is imperative that coaches work with their guards in improving not only their ball handling skills but their shooting skills.

Picture credit: Monica’s DadCreative Commons Attribution