Quick Fix: How to Elevate Your Game With One Small Change

Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz - Game Three

Almost every level of basketball I have experienced, I have seen players of all abilities, myself included, make this slight fundamental error…

When driving to the basket, we avoid contact.

We contort our bodies, fade-away, double pump and attempt all sorts ridiculous looking shots just to avoid a bit of contact. But why??

The worst case scenario is that we’ll get fouled. So what? We sink our free throws and have our defender more likely to be out of the game. Best case, we get the and-one. Instead, by avoiding this contact, we miss out on all that and even worse, we’ve just trebled the difficulty of our shot. By doing this, more times than not, we’ll end up with absolutely nothing.

We’ve done the hard work by beating our man off the dribble to get to the rim- why go away empty handed?

The way to avoid that is as soon as you make your move, go straight to the basket without any hesitation. If you’re going to take a lay-up, commit to it and take it strong to the rack! If the defender wants to give you the gift of a foul, then be happy to take it!

A reason why many people don’t follow this simple guideline is because of the fear of getting blocked. But what’s so bad about that? If the defense makes a good play, then hats off to them, but more likely than not you’re getting the ball back when it goes out of bounds.

Lastly, why not take it one step further… When you can embrace the contact, why not draw it?

Adding this to your game is the difference between great and average players. It’s no coincidence that players like Durant, Harden, Kobe and Melo averaged 8.38, 8.64, 6.73 and 6.34 points per game just from free throws during the 2012/13 season…

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