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How Important Is Playing Pickup Basketball?

Published: 2020-11-17
How Important Is Playing Pickup Basketball?
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Good day, Parents and Players. This is Coach Cam coming at you again with another edition to the blog for SportsEdTV Basketball. Today, I would like to talk to you about playing pickup in today's basketball culture. Pickup basketball is an important part of your game in helping you learn the game and playing with nine other players on the floor. Pickup is an important time to see what you have added to your bag, from training and pieces to your game.

Players, it’s this simple: you have to play pickup basketball in today's world. It's more than your season, AAU, and training. Pickup, in a lot of cases, can help you play with other players on your time who are just as good or better than you. It's a time to learn movement, passing, and defense without a parent or coach yelling instructions at you. It's a time to gel with players you may not know and play basketball at the spur of the moment. You may ask, what do I mean by the spur of the moment? It means being put on the floor with no offensive set or structure and the excitement of winning and staying on the floor!
Players in the 80’s and 90’s were not found in the gym with a trainer; they were few and far apart and the biggest way to get better was to go to the gym or park. In my situation, my older brothers, neighbors and dad took me to the park and told me to try and get on the floor. When I did, I had to learn to pass to the hot player, or play defense, and most importantly, make a name for myself.
See, if you weren't good enough, you may not play with the big dawgs. And If you lose, your team may have to wait all day to get another chance to play. At that time, players took pickup very seriously and went hard in the games. It wasn't about your name but your game, and people played hard each game. I can remember being dropped off by my dad when I was about 13 years old, and he told me, “Go in the gym and play.” I had to show the older men in the gym that I understood how to play the game and that I deserved to be on the court.
In today's society, everyone has a trainer who trains them using drills. That is a great way to build your confidence and individual game. Playing pickup is a need in your game to try and use the moves you have learned, in addition to learning how to play with four other guys to win. My biggest thing to players is to find a balance between training and pick up in their every week sessions. Lastly, if you walk into a gym and you're the best player... find another gym! Pickup should be challenging and game-like in every rep you play! If you do both -individual training and pickup basketball- and do it the right way, you will be one step closer to becoming a better player. Good luck on the pavement!