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Basketball Strategies: Playing Fast
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One of the best basketball strategies that I have discovered is what I call "playing fast". This involves speeding up the pace of the game when on offense in certain situations. The purpose of this strategy is to create scoring opportunities by increasing the number of makeable shots taken by your team. This article describes situations in which your team can play fast during the game, and it offers suggestions on how your team can work on playing fast during practice.

The first situation in which it is good to play fast is right after your defense creates a turnover. Get the loose ball and go! Your player closest to the ball picks it up and starts moving the ball quickly up the court, with the dribble. Your 4 other players quickly fill the left and right lanes. The ball is moved until a makeable shot is open, and all of your other players follow the shot. This puts tremendous pressure on your opponent's defense to get back, to cover your players, and keep them from getting offensive rebounds.

The next situation is to play fast following long rebounds. Your guard will usually secure the rebound and will have a head start over some of opponents on the court. It is important that your other 4 players run fast down the court in order to be a pass target for your ball possessor. The key is to train your players to react automatically and quickly to long rebounds every time these occur.

Another situation in which to play fast is when your tallest player gets a rebound and can dribble quickly out of the crowd in the lane. When this is done quickly, it is hard for your opponent's defense to get back in time, especially if your other 4 players are alert in filling the lanes and getting ahead of your ball possessor. I find that my tallest player likes being in the role of ball possessor and getting to play like a guard for awhile.

In practice it is helpful to commit some time to practicing playing fast. I like to simulate the above 3 situations repetitively so that my players get a lot of experience with it. As they complete the plays with more and more scores, their confidence builds. I look at playing fast as conscious fast breaking. What I mean is that my players are aware of when we want to do it, and they look to create those opportunities. With practice and game experience, your players can become alert to playing fast and following through on it. Then your team score is likely to go up.


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