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Developing Guards Who Are Strong With the Ball

Having been a guard during his playing days, Allen Bostick knows a thing or two about controlling the basketball. Now a coach, Bostick emphasizes protecting the ball and limiting turnovers when the game is on the line.

Bostick has been a basketball coach for nine years and currently serves as a coach at Canterbury Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida. Throughout all of his stops, the two-ball dribbling drill has been an effective teaching tool for guards. The hope is that when the game is on the line, players will dribble the ball with confidence.

The two-ball dribbling drill starts with the players getting into three lines. The players at the front of each line should have two basketballs. The players at the front of the line dribble two balls simultaneously with each hand. The players dribbling need to dribble the ball hard into the floor all while keeping their head up and chest high.

Ideally, players will be comfortable using either hand while executing this drill. This means Bostick can put his guards in the best situations to succeed on the court.

“They improve by taking the intimidation away from using their off-ball hand,” Bostick said. “A lot of kids hate to use their weak hand. So by working both hands you can take the intimidation factor away from the kid.”

To help further the guards' development, coaches can transition from this two-ball drill to the three-man weave. This will help the team work on floor spacing and passing.

In the three-man weave, one player begins under the basket and one player is on each wing.  The player under the basket (and in the middle of the two wings) passes to one of the players on the wing. Then, the player who just passed the ball goes behind the player who received the pass. The player who received the pass then passes it to the other wing player and goes behind him. The players should be moving down the court with each pass. This continues until the three players get to the other side of the court and one of the three players makes a layup on the opposite basket.

This drill helps players with spacing on the court, communication and going efficiently from baseline-to-baseline.

“The more you do it the faster you get,” Bostick said. “Then, they get more comfortable and we can pick up the pace and our speed increases during games.”

These drills can help speed up all players, but Bostick believes they are especially helpful for guards.

Point guards need to be especially adept at drills like the three-man weave and two-ball dribbling. When a point guard is on the same page and serving as an extension of the coaching staff, Bostick believes success is likely to follow.

“A point guard has to be the coach on the court and helps save the coach from having a heart attack,” Bostick said jokingly. “If you have a smart point guard that can control your game they can make other kids better.”

From GameChanger and Rolando Rosa

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