Playing from the Neck Up: 4 Tips for High IQ Point Guards
Outside of playing quarterback in football I believe the point guard position is the hardest position to play in sports. I could be a little biased with that statement due to the fact that I played point guard. The reason for this a point guard has to process so much information in such a small amount of time. They have to understand what their team wants to do on offense to have an advantage while knowing what the defense is doing to combat that. You have to know your teammates. Things like who can catch in traffic, who can handle the ball vs pressure, what are players tendencies, or what match up can you expose.
So I have 4 tips for point guards to be able to play at a high level.
Understand foul situation - A high IQ point guard knows the foul situation. They know how many fouls your opponent has and how many fouls is your team away from the bonus. Knowing this can keep your team in attack mode and keeping the defense on their heels. Using the dribble as a weapon can create foul trouble for your opponent and give you the opportunity to score with the clock stopped.
Know the tempo of the game - When do you force the tempo and when do you slow it down? This can depend on if you are playing at home or on the road. To answer those questions will depend on how your team is performing. Are we getting good or great looks that aren’t rushed? Or is the team forcing quick shots and playing out of control? The point guard has to be able to sense this figure out the best solution.
Understand time and score - Time and score. Are you winning? Are you behind? Is it approaching the end of the quarter, half, or the game? Understanding time and score will have a huge effect on tempo, plays called, defensive schemes and foul situations. A point guard is an extension of the coach. They have to make sure everyone is on the same page and the expectations of what a good shot is and what they want to accomplish on offense.
Know when to trust offense and when to be aggressive - When I played in college I averaged around 15 pts a game. Since I was called upon to score the ball I had to know when to trust the offense and when to be aggressive. This can be tough at times since the point guard is also called upon to get other players involved and create scoring opportunities for their teammates. If a scoring point guard understands the foul situation, tempo, and time and score they should have a good read on the game and be able to determine when to be aggressive and when to trust the offense and get others involved.
Be on the lookout for my next podcast episode as discuss in more detail about this topic. Be sure to find the SDP Podcast on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Google Podcast. The podcast will also be available on my website HERE.