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Quiz the Coach - How Do I Play Against Tall Guys

Reviewed by on Dec 27, 2006
Rating: 1 Star Rating

Quiz the coach helps teens and kids with sports and fitness questions, as well as exercise tips and basketball drills.

So ya dig sports but need some help with your game? Don't understand some of the rules of football, basketball or hockey? Got a gripe about P.E. class, skateboarders, cheerleading, coaches, or anything? Why not ?

1Hey Coach,
Hey coach, I've been working really hard on my game. I've been playing basketball for hours every day, lifting weights every day and doing sit ups. The results are great and I've bulked up a lot. I make nearly all of my shots, which are usually all over the court since I'm a guard. After toning my muscles, I've also been able to take multiple people at once in my neighborhood. But the thing is, I'm still not that tall which isn't something I can fix, so when I play tall people that actually have some b-ball experience, I can't perform. What moves would you recommend I start practicing to fix this?

Hey mandomansion

Basketball is, has been and always will be, a sport that's dominated by the vertically gifted. As a shorter player and a guard, you can still compete against taller players by improving your conditioning, fundamental skills and basketball smarts. For example, a point guard like Steve Nash is pretty small by NBA standards but he can compete against taller players, like Kobe Bryant or Dirk Nowitzki, because he has great ball-handling skills, foot speed and court vision. Nash doesn't hit a lot of threes with Tim Duncan right in his face, but he can use his quickness to get around and under Duncan and score a reverse layup. When Nash becomes over-matched by a taller defender or is double-teamed, he knows where his teammates are and is able to dish the ball off.

Here are a few skills and moves for you to work on, which will help you perform against taller rivals.

  • Ball-handling - Strong ball-handling will put more pressure on taller players and enable you to get around them. A good ball-handler, who can dribble with their head up, will also have a better vision of the court and be able to see where their teammates are. Click here to check out ball-handling and dribbling drills.
  • Foot Speed - Increasing your foot speed will allow you to beat taller players one on one on offense and create turnovers on defence. One way to improve foot speed is by jumping rope. Practice jumping through the rope as fast as you can and alternating between feet. If you want to get really old skool, draw a hopscotch court on the ground and hop through that as fast as you can.
  • Practice Against Tougher Competion - Schooling your buddies on the playground all afternoon can definitely help build your confidence, but if you really want to push yourself, spend more time playing against taller and more-skilled players. You'll hit less shots, blow by less players and have to work harder - but you'll become a better player.
  • Do you need tips or advice on sports, fitness or health? to the Kidzworld Coach. Keep in mind peeps, the Kidzworld Coach isn't a doctor or a professional athlete or anything like that. He's just a dude who digs sports, plays 'em and knows a lot about 'em. You should always talk to your 'rents, a doctor or your school gym teacher before starting a new sport or a new exercise.

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