Defining roles & responsibilities is one of the most important aspects of coaching, and the center may be the most important position on the floor. That’s why clearly defining your center’s role should be first on your to do list at the beginning of every season.
There is no denying it – having a great center to protect the paint can make even a mediocre team fantastic defensively. And it’s not just by blocking shots.
Since the center is usually positioned at the back of the defense underneath the rim, it fall on them to communicate everything that is going on – screens, backdoor cuts, anything the rest of team might not be able to see.
Yes, if your center can block shots that is a huge bonus, but if you’re not blessed with a player with that kind of athletic ability, a smart player will step in and take the charge.
After defense, the second most important part of the game for centers is rebounding. No matter how good your team is defensively, if you can’t clean up the glass after a missed shot, you’re going to give up points to your opponent.
Your starting center should always be aiming to grab 10+ rebounds a game, and to take it as their personal responsibility to allow zero offensive rebounds for the opposing team.
On offensive it falls on your center to get good, high percentage shots for your team, helping them to break out of a rut when the offense is struggling. A center with the ability to back down his man on the block and draw either a foul or a double team is a huge asset to any team.
They don’t need to dominate on this end, but they should definitely be shooting high 50s percentage wise, and grabbing 2-4 offensive rebounds a game. Those extra possessions can be more valuable than steals, as they often lead immediately to easy baskets.
If you’re looking for more drills to help improve your centers key skills, check out these post drills!