First, I know scoring isn’t everything. I also understand that the term “scorer” has a bad image associated to it. Some of the negative images can be “ball hogger” or “selfish”. However, I am writing for the players who simply cannot score, despite having the physical and athletic ability, the skill, the work ethic. They’re just simply lacking something.
Everyone is good at something. Everyone is also bad at something. Everyone makes mistakes, but there are those who learned from them.
In order to be a great scorer, you need to know these basic truths. If they are foreign to you, perhaps you haven’t put enough thought into them.
Now I want you to ask the following questions. If you don’t know the answers to them, take a minute before moving on.
- Do you know what your strengths are? Weaknesses?
- Do you know your mistakes?
- Do you know your habits? Have you done anything to change them?
How can you become a natural scorer?
First, you need to get rid of the superstars images in your head. Watched those video highlights of Shaq dominating the post? Scratch it. Kobe Bryant working a clinic? Delete it. LeBron James bulldozing a bunch of defenders? Pretend it didn’t happen. These images create false expectations. You are NOT Kobe Bryant. You are you. You have certain gifts and traits that others don’t. So don’t try to mimic others. Why would you when you have things they don’t’!
Main Point - Becoming a natural scorer, is to react. That’s what you do. You react to what the defense gives you. Many times, I see players trying to do crossovers 3 times before driving into the lane. They obviously don’t get it. You only do a crossover because your defender took the bait and went for the steal or tried to cheat the defense by anticipating you ahead of time.
A sample scenario if you your strengths are driving, lay ups and weak at shooting.
You catch the ball and the defender is giving you room. You know that you can’t shoot well, but let’s see what they will do if you shot fake. He can either:
- Lunge at you and try to block your shot. Awesome, I wanted to drive so this will get him off balance giving me an opportunity to pass him.
- Stay there and not move. Fine, so I have an “open shot”.
Well, the first scenario works well for you because you can now use your strength. What about scenario 2? If he won’t bite, let’s entice him to bite. I want you to jab, drive in anyway and pump fake once you get really close to the basket. He will almost fall for it giving you a open window for a close lay up or foul. This might not work when you first do it, but once you start developing counters, up and under, hop step and reverse pivot, dream shake, hook shots, you will find a way to score.
See why this method works? You utilize your strengths and you react. You’re not forcing shots, you’re not doing it without a plan, you’re just picking what they give you, which is natural.
One might ask, what if he doesn’t bite the second time? Well, one, he’s probably not defending you well so you can score regardless or you probably need to fake once or twice before attempting the bucket. However, you are aways in the advantage seat because he’s moving back. It’s physically impossible to move forward and back at the same time. Get it?
This works well with over zealous defenders (happens to me all the time).
So now that you know to become a natural scorer, you need to realize what your strengths are and learn to react to defenders. No defense is perfect and no one can take away everything. If you are having trouble with a good defender, he’s probably giving you false signals to bait you in thinking you have him. To counter that, fakes and hesitation moves gives you the illusion of taking the bait but you do the opposite.
Thanks for reading! Until next time!