3 Ways Players Can Impact The Game Without The Ball


Sept 1, 2020



OKC head coach Billy Donovan talks about how 95% of basketball, on average, is played without the ball in our hands. We often judge ourselves by how many points we score or how many shots we make, but Donovan talks about not letting that 5% impact how we play the rest of the game. Taking pride in the 95% will earn you more playing time and help your team win more games. Here are three ways to impact the game without the ball.

1. Pressure Defense:

To be a complete player you need to love defense, just as much (if not more), as you love offense. Have the mentality that you are going to hold your check to 0 points by pressuring them, getting in their bubble, and making life difficult every single time they touch the ball. This sounds simple, but it’s typical for a player to let their shooting percentage affect how they play on defense. Stand out by being a tenacious defender regardless of the circumstance.

2. Offensive Rebounding:

One way to get your team more second chance opportunities is by hustling after every rebound. A lot of offensive rebounding comes down to effort and attitude. Attack every rebound with the mentality that the game is on the line, your team is down 2 points, and you need that extra shot to tie the game. Especially in big games, second chance opportunities are often the difference between winning and losing.

3. Sprinting The Floor:

Sprinting the floor is a great way to impact the game without the ball, but at the same time, will help you get the ball more often. If you want to score an extra 4 to 5 points per game you simply need to sprint the floor every single possession. This is something that you have full control over and it’s a great way to outwork your opponent.

As many of you head into the season it’s an important reminder that a large percentage of basketball is played without the ball in our hands, yet it’s often what we give the most focus to. Our challenge is to not let the 5% effect how you play the rest of the game. The 95% is often the things we have control over and will largely determine your individual and team success.



Written by Impact Hoops Owner/Head Director Jon Schmidt.

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