Understanding purpose is important in basketball

Kobe Bryant

Similar to life, every aspect of basketball has a purpose. As we play the game and go through the motions it might not be something that crosses our mind but indeed there’s a reason behind everything we do on a basketball court.

From a specific move to practicing to playing pick-up, to warming up for a game, the word purpose needs to remain in the back of our heads. It’s a topic that’s weird to talk about but when you understand it and fully embrace it, it can elevate your game to an entirely new level.

Take the crossover for example. We think of it as a flashy and popular move but why do players use it? It’s a move to swing the defender in a direction opposite to your intended direction. It creates space and a possible lane for an open bucket.

We practice to get better; to try new moves that we can perform in games. We look to build strength, speed, and consistency in our game. We use practice as a time to gain chemistry with teammates and get a feel for how they play the game.

Pick-up is a time where we can have fun with our friends while also trying new things that we practiced. For some pick-up basketball is just something that they like to do whereas others who are truly looking to get better use pick-up as a place to work on their games as well. It’s an opportunity to do those things you can do in a game or work on a specific aspect where you feel that you’re weak in. Take ball-handling for example. If you lack ball-handling with your non-dominant hand, pick-up is the perfect place to work on that aspect. Dribble the entire game with your non-dominant hand until you become confident in it. Will it cost you a game or two? Sure, but it’s only pick-up at the end of the day.

These instances are perfect examples of understanding the purpose behind every moment on a basketball court. We often just go out there and play and while we might understand what we’re doing, there’s a huge difference in understanding why? Looking to get better every time you step out on the floor is huge. With that must come a mindset of wanting to get better but also understanding the purpose of what you’re going to do on that court and why you’re doing it.


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