What if I told you:
- There is a simple way to increase your chances of scoring easy baskets.
- There is a simple way to prevent the other team from scoring easy baskets.
- There is a simple way to help your team win more games.
What if I told you:
- This one simple thing requires no talent.
- This one simple thing is effective at every level of basketball from youth leagues to the NBA.
- This one simple thing can become a part of your game the next time you step on the court.
Would you want to learn this one simple thing? Of course you would. Something this simple and effective must be like the basketball Holy Grail!
Ok. Here goes. Run the floor harder than your opponent. Do that and you’ll score more easy baskets for yourself and your team. Do that and you’ll prevent lots of easy baskets by the other team. Do that and you’ll win more games. It’s that simple.
Another player might run faster than you in a 40 yard dash at a scouting combine, but in a game the player that runs harder is almost always the faster player. Why don’t more players commit to running the floor harder than their opponents? It doesn’t require great talent to run hard does it?
- Why? Because most players aren’t willing to run hard on every change of possession. They are content to jog next to their man, when if they just ran hard they could to fill the open lane for their team on a fast break and get easy baskets.
- Why? Because you need to be in great physical condition to sprint up and down the floor. That takes hard work on your conditioning year round to have the stamina to outrun your opponent consistently.
- Why? Because most players are not mentally tough enough to push through their fatigue and run hard every possession.
What advantages are gained by running the floor harder than your opponent?
- You are able to fill the open lane on a fast break and get an easy layup before your opponent gets back. I cringe every time I coach or watch a game and a player has an opportunity to run ahead of their defender and they just jog next to them. Don’t you want those points?
- If you beat your opponent down the court you’ll be in great position to rebound. On the offensive end you might get a cheap put-back basket. On the defensive end you’ll prevent your opponent from snaring the rebound and getting a garbage basket. We have all seen situations where a player with the ball is ahead of the field and players on both teams are casually jogging at mid-court because they expect the layup to be made. The only trouble is, the layup is missed and the one player that ran the floor hard got the rebound and scored or got the rebound and prevented an easy basket. When coaches have to yell “Run!” to get you moving down the court at top speed you are not taking advantage of numerous opportunities to help your team win.
- Maybe you are jogging right next to your “man” at half-court so technically your “man” didn’t score, but imagine if you had run the floor harder than your “man”. Maybe you would have been in position to help a teammate that got beat off the dribble in transition. Maybe you would have been in the paint to deter their drive. Maybe you could have gotten a steal or double teamed a weak ballhandler. The point is, just by being down-court ahead of your “man” good things happen.
- When you just keep running past, around, and by your opponent, it gets in their head. They know you won’t stop and jog or take a possession off. They can’t or won’t keep up. You’ll win the mental battle. Your opponent won’t want to chase you everywhere. It’s demoralizing to play against a player or a team that just keeps coming at you.
Make a commitment that you’ll run hard on every change of possession. Push yourself to the limit. Your coach will notice. Your teammates will notice. Your opponents will notice. Run the floor harder than your opponent. Do that and you’ll score more easy baskets for yourself and your team. Do that and you’ll prevent lots of easy baskets by the other team. Do that and you’ll win more games. It’s that simple.
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