Play Practice

Play Practice Basketball

Portsmouth, NH's Premier Basketball Confidence Training Program

What's Your Player's "Wedge"?

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

What's Your Player's "Wedge"?

I had a great interview with Joe Manzi last week (podcast episode coming soon!), and he said something that made me pause...

"There is a difference between skill, and the capability to help your team win." 

I've been thinking about that idea all week, and how it relates to the upcoming tryout season for basketball. 

We are known for our ability to transform your players skill level and especially footwork, that leads to confidence.

However, a more subtle and often more powerful aspect of improvement we see is in changing your players strategic thinking, layering on principles of decision making that lead to certainty, speed, and conviction in taking action.

My most common advice to players preparing to tryout for a team they might not make, is to find a "Wedge" skill - one that is going to get them:

1) On the team - so they have a chance to compete at their next level

2) On the court - so they have a chance to develop their other skill sets
3) On the rise - demonstrate their increasing capability, and earn increased playing time!

A common example of a wedge skill is rebounding. As a tall freshman that is not very skilled, doubling down on becoming the dominant rebounding machine by thinking about it strategically, and  improving predictive ability, footwork, and timing so that your player is THE rebounder for their freshman team, means your player will be more likely to make the team, and probably score 6-8 points just because of rebound and put back opportunities - opening the door for more.

Now the part we need to bring home to your player is this:

They may be a fantastic spot up shooter, but if they are not certain that they will be THE player strongest in that area, that is not likely what the team and the coach needs from them to help the team win. 

So this preseason, I encourage you to help your player find their "wedge". Get their foot in the door, know what they will be known for, and make sure they have a chance to continue progressing at their next level of competition.

Players don't always know what that is, and as a parent you may be unsure, or your player may not take your advice. 

If you want help finding your player's "wedge" before tryout time, sign up and schedule your free evaluation here
(Recommended for 5th grade +)

For 7th grade+ advanced players we also have our Intensive Evaluation, you can find here

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Hi, I'm BJ Mumford

Founder of Play Practice Basketball and owner of the Seacoast Hoops Lab in Portsmouth, NH