A point guard in basketball often is referred to as a floor general or quarterback, and those are apt descriptions. Whether it's Steve Nash, Derrick Rose or Chris Paul, the point guard mixes an array of individual skills -- dribbling, scoring, passing -- with the ability to bring out the best in his teammates. Although the role of the point guard is complex, it starts with the basic fundamentals.
The Coaches Clipboard suggests a number of dribbling drills that a point guard should do on a daily basis. Do each drill for 30 to 60 seconds and flow right into the next drill. You begin with a Pound Dribble bouncing the ball harder and harder until you're dribbling it as high as possible while keeping your feet on the ground. Then go lower and lower until you're on one knee with the ball as low as it can go. You have to pound the dribble to keep it going. Then proceed to dribbling around each leg, crossover dribbles, dribbling the ball in a figure-eight and under the legs
For most point guards, scoring is secondary to setting up your teammates. However, a point guard who can score opens up the floor and enables his team to exploit the holes in the defense created by his ability to put the ball in the hole. Since a key weapon for a point guard is his ability to drive past defenders and get to the rim, he needs to be able to finish with either hand and maneuver shots over and around bigger players. The iHoops website advocates a comprehensive lay-up drill with lots of reps. The drill includes layups and reverse layups with either hand, as well as layups driving the baseline and from an array of angles.
Point guards must deliver the ball to the right location at the right moment with the right pass. However, it's important to master the basics before the flashy behind-the-back and no-look passes. A basic half-court passing drill from the Coaches Clipboard starts out with each player facing a solid wall 2 feet away. Using proper technique, step into the pass, throw it against the wall and catch it. Move 2 feet farther back with each successive pass until you are 10 feet from the wall. Then move closer in 2-foot increments until you are back to your starting position. Repeat for a total of 20 passes
Individual drills will give you the skills to make the right play. As those are mastered, team skills become paramount. Most point guard drills involve other players, enabling you to practice in situations that simulate game conditions. For example, you'll need to master the pass and screen on an teammate's defender, learn how to beat the press with a dribble and/or pass and develop the leadership skills that successful point guards possess.
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.