1. Work Ethic – Point Guards are always among the hardest working players on the team. They are the type of players to come to practice early & leave practice late. They are in extremely good condition and are relied upon to be at the front of conditioning drills. Their job is to be both mentally and physically prepared for every practice and every game.
2. Mental Toughness – Point guards have to be mentally tough in all areas of the game. Their job is to make sure the other players on the team are playing with confidence so it is a must that they remain calm & confident at all times.
3. Passing – Point Guards must be efficient at passing out of numerous situations: passing off the dribble with each hand, passing off the catch, post-feeding, dump-offs on penetration, lobs, hit-ahead passes etc. Point Guards need to be aware of who on the team is getting the ball & who might need more touches. The mood of the team is often dictated by the point guard so they need to be acutely aware of each teammates current mood.
4. Leadership – A Point Guard must be a positive leader who commands the respect of his teammates. Point Guards must be very vocal & constantly communicating with their teammates. Point Guards are an “extension of the Coach,” meaning they have similar responsibilities such as encouraging & demanding the most of the team.
5. Shooting – Point Guards need to be good shooters from all over the floor. They need to be good 3-pt shooters, foul shooters & also have a good floater that they can use when they need to shoot over bigger players in the paint.
6. Pick & Roll – The Point Guard must be a master of the pick & roll. He must know how to read both defenders involved in the pick & roll & how each situation requires a different act. Examples: if the defender goes under the screen you shoot, if there is a switch you exploit the mis-match, if there is a hard-hedge you can split the defense, if the defender cheats you can reject the pick and so on.
7. Basketball IQ – A Point Guards job is to get the team into its plays & also know what plays the other team is running against you. On offense, a point guard must know what each position does on every play & be able to yell out instructions to each player during the play. On defense, a point guard should be able to yell out the play the other team is going to run after they pick up the verbal or hand signals used. They should know the time & score at all times and also know how many team fouls both teams have.
8. Transition Play – A point guard has to excel at pushing the ball in transition either by the pass or the dribble. Point guards that are able to get to the paint and/or rim in transition put a lot of stress on the defense and open things up for the other players on the court. On defense, the point guard must understand floor balance and make sure spots are covered in transition to prevent easy fast breaks for the other team.
9. Ball Handling – Point guards are usually the best ball handlers on the team. They excel at handling the ball in pressure situations and are adept at using their off hand.
10. Unselfish – Perhaps the most important trait of all 10. Point guards job is to be selfless and put the team first in every situation. That could mean passing up an open shot to let someone else shoot or giving up an open layup to let the trailing player score. Point guards should be the “mother of the team,” meaning everyone else views them as unselfish and willing to do anything to make sure their teammates succeed.