Pick up basketball is not like regular basketball because it has no coaches and no referees. Thus, you have to carry yourself really well in this kind of game to fit in and to stay in the game. This is also a street game so you have to be fair and be a gentleman so that you can get along with your buddies all throughout the game.
Gaining skills in this sport is not the only thing that you need to learn in this kind of basketball. You should also know how to dress the part and how to act properly so that you won’t seem like a loser or a show-off. Just like in any kind of sport, you need to know where you stand and how you should play the game so that you won’t be hated by your rivals and also your teammates.
Carrying Yourself in Pick Up Basketball
Playing street basketball is not all about skills. It is also about how you carry and present yourself. Because there are no coaches and no referees in this game, you should know how the players are going to accept you so that you can also play with them. This means that you should show confidence without being a show-off so that other players will give you the chance to play.
Dress the Part
When going out to play this sport, you should learn how to dress properly. Don’t be that guy who goes to the park wearing knee pads, goggles, head band, arm band, compression shorts, and all that jazz. You’ll be a laughing stock and may as well have a target on your back.
Keep it casual with shorts and a t-shirt. Don’t be that weird guy who wears jeans or construction boots to play a game of full-court basketball.
When you go to the court, make sure that you have enough confidence to be noticed without being too flashy. Shouting ‘next!’ so that you can play next and being aggressive to get a rebound during a shoot-around to get your own shot will show you mean business without being a ****.
Don’t be too courteous as this is a street game. At the same time, you should be respectful. Sounds contradictory, but there is a big difference between having to say “please” to get a shot and having to say “sorry” for setting a tough pick.
Pass the Ball
Once you are in the game, learn to pass the ball even if you know that you always have the opportunity to take the shot. Pick up basketball is a game for a team and not just for one person. Be the scrappy hustler who gets rebound, assists, and plays tough defense and you’ll be asked to play every game. Set picks and play transition defense that will get your teammates scoring opportunities.
Don’t Talk Trash
If you suck in the game, never talk trash. You’re not going to win new sponsors or be the highlight of a press conference for talking smack. Pick up basketball is a great way to make new friends, but it can also lead to arguments and conflicts.
Work on your skill so that you don’t have to argue about fouls because you’re already up by 10 points. You’re not there to have an undefeated record, you’re there to have fun, get a great workout, and make some new friends.