The Perfect Point Guard

Basketball like other team sports involves many moving parts during a contest. Players, coaches, the crowd, and officials are such parts.  The objective of being successful in the game of basketball is the ability to orchestrate and organize those moving parts to achieve a common goal. Achieving the goal increases when a team has an effective point guard on the court. The point guard position is the most important on a team. Most successful basketball teams on any level have in addition to a good coach, a dominant point guard. Ideal point guards possess four characteristics:

o    Communication
o    Awareness
o    Ball handling and passing skills.
o    Effective leadership abilities.

Point guards must be effective communicators. They must have the ability to effectively communicate the coach’s philosophy and strategy. Point guards must be an extension of the head coach on the floor during games and practice. Effective communication for an ideal point guard means knowing how to communicate with individuals on the team. Communicating on and off the court, knowing what style or approach to take with certain players is important for team chemistry. The goal in communicating for the point guard is getting the team on the same page in implementing the coaches game plan and adjustments.

Another important attribute for an ideal point guard is awareness. The point guard is the floor general. The ability to be aware of what’s going on at all times is paramount. The point guard must have the ability to recognize situations and make appropriate decisions. In addition, being able to facilitate the offense to maximize possessions. They must be able if allowed to do so by the coach, to make adjustments as they see fit. The ability to do so only comes from an aware and basketball smart point guard.

The skills of ball handling and passing are needed to be an ideal point guard. Most of the time the basketball is in the point guard’s hands. Offensive possessions are initiated by the point guard. Point guards must be effective passers, ball handlers, and have the ability to handle pressure situations. Basketball offenses are only as good as the ability of the point guard to initiate and sustain them. They must take care of the basketball, control the tempo, and limit turnovers. Good point guards spend hours working on ball handling and passing skills to give themselves better opportunities in limiting turnovers. 

The most important attribute in becoming an ideal point guard is leadership. The point guard position is like a conductor in a symphony. The symphony will play as the conductor conducts. The team plays as the point guard leads and plays. Ideal point guards must lead by example on and off the court. Point guards expecting hard work from their teammates must also demonstrate work ethic and hard work. Point guards must hold teammates accountable. Ideal point guards are motivators and even peacemakers when problems arise. The coach must be able to trust their point guards. Trust results from demonstrated leadership and hard work by the point guard. Point guards can’t be effective without first being an effective leader.


Julian Kan