The Question is: Where do I fit in?
When a person is going to play a pick up game of any sport, a few questions should be asked. This will assure the participant that there will be no conflict with the other players, and also prove that they belong there. No matter what sport you plan on playing (Basketball and Hockey will be talked about it this article). Asking yourself these simple questions is a must.
The first question is: Do I belong playing with this group?
If you have never played that particular sport its probably not the best idea to go. No matter how good your understanding of the game is, playing the game and watching/studying the game is a whole new ball game. Just because you watch hockey does not mean you can get out there on the ice and play how they do on t.v. Same thing with basketball, sure you can sit down and watch a NBA game every night of the week, but when you’re out on the court yourself its definitely not the same. As a person that have never played hockey in my life, I would never think of going to drop-in and playing. For starters, I’m like Luis Mendoza on skates, I cant stop to save my life, and I feel like i would piss off everyone else that was out on the ice. I feel like playing pick-up basketball, I am that pissed of guy sometimes. By no means am I saying that i am a great basketball player, I do have a great understanding of the game though. If you stand out on the court and do not move around at all, or even come close to breaking a sweat, trust me you should not be playing a pick-up game.
Second Question: Am I properly dressed for the sport?
Trust me, showing up in jeans, jean shorts, cargo shorts, or any other type of clothing that is not gym shorts, you cant be taken seriously. I mean lets be honest, who even wears jorts anymore? In all honesty though, if you show up like that, probably not the best idea. I would try and talk about hockey in this question, but I have no clue what would be unacceptable to show up in.
Third Question: Do i have the right equipment to participate?
Again, the right articles of clothing are the top priority, but please do not show up to play a pick up game in Converse or any non-support shoe. Not only do you look silly, there is a potential injury right around the corner. Also, unless you are just messing around with your buddies, try and stay away from the headbands and the Arm-Sleeves. This is not the NBA.
Fourth Question: When is the right time to shoot?
Basketball is a team sport, and I emphasize the word team. Everyone has to do there job on the floor whether it is to rebound, play defense, set screens, or score. These roles should be determined quickly in a pick up game to avoid any type of frustration between teammates. With that being said, anyone can score though. Quick rule of thumb, if you have taken a few shots with all of them being misses it is probably a good idea to start passing more. Otherwise the consequences could result in being cut-off from the even touching the ball.
Authors Note: If this article seems to be a lashing out, it is in a way. That was not my intention when i began writing this article though, the juices got flowing and it was hard to contain them. It is just a result of playing pick-up sports and I am sure after reading this, everyone can relate to exactly what was said in this article.
Author: Zach Tanton