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3 on 3 Basketball As A Development Tool

Obviously, 3 on 3 basketball is a lot of fun. And there are lots of reasons to play. But have you considered how you can use 3 on 3 basketball to develop your all around game for future success?

Here are four ways that 3 on 3 basketball develops players.

Teaches you to react and make quick decisions. 
At BAM Jam, games are played to 20 or are done with a 25 minute max per game. That means you don't have a lot of time to mess around. Players that compete each spring and summer have learned out to quickly asses different situations, whether it is identifying a match up advantage, managing possessions toward the end of a game or adjusting to fatigue.
3 on 3 basketball development
In 3 on 3 basketball, players are often isolated, requiring them to develop 1 on 1 skills and the ability to defend on the ball

Builds your individual skills.
With only 6 people in a half court, there is almost 50% more open space then in a traditional 5 on 5 game. A lot of times this puts players on an island by themselves. This is a great chance to work on your skills as an individual. Players will need to learn how to create their own shots, draw helpside defenders to them so they can kick out to an open teammate and how to play lock down defense on the ball. Offensively, players get a lot more touches then a 5 on 5 game. Defensively, man to man fundamentals have to be solid. Here's a link and a cool study on small surface development from the Steve Nash Youth Basketball blog. Click here.

Exposes areas that might need some work.
With only 3 players and, at most, 1 sub opposing teams are going to learn pretty quickly where you and your team's weaknesses are. Players often find themselves in strange and uncomfortable positions on defense or in situations where they are expected to make a play on offense. But from a developmental side, this is great information players can take away from BAM Jam and work on improving on their own. The next time they play, they will be ready.
3 on 3 basketball development
Playing 3 on 3 basketball in the streets forces players to develop their mental toughness
Toughens up your mental approach.
Most of the time, 3 on 3 games are "call your own foul" with no officials. In the heat of the summer, games might be played in 90 degree weather. And when you play in the streets, you'll always be playing on a surface that has some rough patches. But the best players embrace these challenges and take them as a chance to test out how tough they can be mentally. Didn't get a call you wanted? Play on. Getting thirsty? Play on. Ball took a weird bounce? Play on.

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