Passing: Open teammates vs. Friends

Basketball is a fast-paced sport with decisions that have to be made in an instant. Always strive to make the best pass no-matter who the recipient.

The sport of basketball is a great thing for friendship development. It allows new friendships to be formed and old friendships to be strengthened. However, it is not a given that you will always get along with your teammates.

Teamwork is very important, so if there is a rift in the relationship between yourself and a teammate, you must do whatever you can to mend it. In the meantime, you're still going to need to be willing to give them the ball if it puts your team in the ideal situation on the floor.

Picture this: Your close friend is a simple pass away behind the three point line, but they may not be able to get their shot off before the defense closes. Below the basket, a teammate you don't always get along with has slipped his/her defender and is wide open. Who deserves the ball?

I think you already see where this is going. You must put your personal feelings aside for the betterment of the team. The best pass and the best decisions must be attempted at all times if you want to be on a successful, winning squad. Again, if there is an issue between yourself and a teammate, the best thing to do is to try and mend the relationship before a game-scenario.

The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.
— Bill Russell

Understanding your teammate's skillset

Take the above situation and remember that there are other aspects of the game that must be considered. Maybe your friend is the best scoring option on the team. Maybe the open player under the basket hasn't made a left-handed layup in all the years that you have played together.

The point is, we aren't telling you to make a point to deliver the ball to someone just to "extend an olive branch". Always make the best basketball decision. If your friend is the most efficient scorer: feed him or her the rock. If someone you don't get along with is the most efficient scorer: feed him or her the rock.

It is not always easy, especially in such a fast-paced game, but do your best to not let your prejudices affect your decisions. If you are playing hard, keeping your head up, and being a willing passer, the game will come to you and you'll likely make the right call.

To “play the right way” means play unselfishly, respect other’s achievements, play hard, fulfill your role.
— Gregg Popovich

This line of thinking is important in other team sports such as football and volleyball and even in the workplace. Constantly have a team-first mentality.

For more on being a better teammate as well as skill development and more, keep scrolling through our blog or reach out to us here. The Basketball Movement is all about the sport we all love, but is also passionate abut developing better teammates and people. Hit us up!