South Africa's basketball community

Day 8: Moving without the ball

By on September 8, 2010 in Resources

This article is part of the series “30 days to being a better basketball player“.


Always Be Moving

(except when your coach tells you not to)

"D Fence" by jeffbalke, via flickr

"D Fence" by jeffbalke, via flickr

When you’re watching a game, its easy to see when a team is struggling because its players aren’t moving – but its hard to know when you’re playing and its you that’s not moving.

It’s funny how we spend about 60% of our time “practicing” basketball with a ball in our hands, learning how to dribble or shoot, and when we don’t have the ball that other 40% its usually because we’re defending.

The thing is, you need movement to make things happen. Just think about it… blocks, steals, alley-oops, pick and rolls, whatever!

Moving without the ball is a skill! It doesn’t just happen by itself, as much as we would like it to. Don’t stand on the court wondering what everyone else is doing, just move. Don’t stand there wondering why nobody’s moving, just move. Don’t think there’s nowhere to move to, just move.

Moving without the ball takes many different forms – running around, setting picks, throwing fakes, or even just distracting the opposite team (legally, of course).

There are lots of good reasons to keep moving too, both on offence and on defence:

  • Setting screens for your teammate with the ball
  • Getting open to catch and shoot or for an alley-oop
  • Keeping your defender away from a set play running or not allowing a double-team
  • Distracting the opposite team, whether on offence or defense

Bottom line is that if you’re standing still, you better have a good reason to. And if you don’t, get moving!

"5D_2108A" by Rob Helfman, via flickr

"5D_2108A" by Rob Helfman, via flickr

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