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DeMarcus Cousins Anthony Davis

The Ultimate Guide to Playing Center

  • Date:
    Jan 25, 2016

Perhaps no player is more important to getting results than the center.

Centers need to be physical and tough. They are close to the basket, so they're counted on for high-percentage shots. Their rebounding skills are crucial, and they need to play strong defense to prevent easy baskets by the opposing team. They are the last line of defense and, often, a team's best chance on offense.

If you're the center on your basketball team, you have a unique skill set to work on. So start here -- this is a collection of tips, drills and advice that will help you achieve your maximum potential at an intensely demanding position.

Defense and Shot Blocking

You are the most important defender on the floor because you stand between an opponent and two points. Here's how to make the most of your presence inside.

8 Drills to Create a Great Shot Blocker: These practice drills will help you better anticipate shot-blocking opportunities.

• VIDEO: Defensive Slides -- Strong footwork is the difference between frustrating your opponent and giving up easy points all game long.

Shooting

Banging around inside offers chances at close-range shots, which your team needs. Here are tips for taking advantage of your size and position.

• VIDEO: The Mikan Drill

• VIDEO: The Reverse Mikan Drill

• VIDEO: Shooting Tips

Rebounding

A simple rebound can be the difference between a big win and a heartbreaking loss. Finish every play by crashing the glass, grabbing caroms and giving your team crucial possessions.

• 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Rebounding: Here are five ways to improve rebounding that you probably never thought about.

• VIDEO: Boxing Out

Strength and Conditioning

Centers play the most physical position on the floor. Make sure you're in top shape by taking care of business away from the court.

• 5 Exercises to Improve Power: Building strength is key to gaining an advantage inside. Here are five ways to do that.

• 3 Best Exercises For The Vertical Jump

Related Videos

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) discuss the four stages of progressive player development.

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) break down the Philosophy for Player Development in this podcast.

The 1 Percent Club is that small group of players who go the extra mile in their training -- stay late after practice, do more than is required. That's what it takes to make it to the next level.

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