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Basketball: The Shooting Guard

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Shooting guard preparing to shoot three pointer
Source: US Navy
The Scorer

You can tell from the name that the shooting guard's main job is to shoot the ball. This has become especially important since the three point line was added. Getting scoring from the shooting guard is a key to a good offense. A strong shooting guard can force the defense to play on the perimeter, opening up passing lanes to get the ball inside.

Skills Needed

Shooting: The number one skill you need to be a good shooting guard is a pure jump shot and the ability to make three pointers. You have to be able to sink open shots consistently and be willing to take them when the game is on the line. If you want to be a shooting guard you should shoot lots of jump shots, work on taking shots with a quick release as well as taking shots directly after receiving a pass without dribbling.

Move Without the Ball: Since the point guard will have the ball more, shooting guards need to learn how to move without the ball. This means moving around the court and working off of screens to get open.

Defense: A strong defense helps all players, but the shooting guard will likely be playing the best shooter from the other team as well. A strong defense can shut down their best player and give your team an advantage.

Ball Handling: Although not the primary ball handler (that is the point guard), the shooting guard still needs to be an excellent ball handler. Handling the ball well can help when trying to get the ball up the court against the press. It can also help when creating your own shot off of the dribble.

Important Statistics

Field goal percentage and points per game are the top stats for measuring the performance of a shooting guard. Three point field goal percentage is important as well. A well rounded shooting guard will also have decent assist and rebound stats, too.

Top Shooting Guards of All Time Michael Jordan was not only the greatest shooting guard of all time, but also the best basketball player of all time. This shows you how important a position the shooting guard can be.

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