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The Ultimate Guide to Playing Small Forward

Small forwards need to have an all-around ability that makes them valuable to the team in a variety of ways. Though they're not the primary ball handler, small forwards need dribbling skills. Though they're not expected to be great post players, they need to be able to post up. Though they're often not the top scoring option, they need to be able to score.

Don't underestimate what you, as a small forward, mean to your team. And never turn down an opportunity to get better.

Here is your guide to some of the basics of the small forward position, with resources that specifically target what you need to work on:

Shooting

Whether it's from 3-point range, driving to the basket or something in between, small forwards are valuable if they can be versatile scorers. Here are tips to get you started:

How to Master the Mid-Range Shot: Footwork is as important to mid-range shooting as anything. When you don't have a 3-point line to gauge your shot, use these tips.

Video: 2 Drills for Attacking the Basket: Driving the lane is a difficult, courageous move. Make sure it's beneficial by practicing these two drills.

1-on-1 Offense: Taking a defender 1-on-1 is common with small forwards. Sports Learning Edge offers this comprehensive breakdown to winning the battle.


Defense

Small forwards need to be versatile enough to cover both bigger and smaller players. Here are some tips to make sure your defense is reliable in clutch situations.

The Art of Overplaying: A versatile opponent can beat you in a number of ways, so here's how to "overplay" and cut down his opportunities.

Defending a Player With All the Right Moves: Here are three tips for taking on a smart opponent out on the perimeter.

Kobe Bryant's 3 Tips for Defensive Slides: Though Kobe is a shooting guard, his tips for staying with a man on defense is crucial for all perimeter players.


Strength and Conditioning

A power forward being asked to rebound, play physical defense and run the floor needs to be in tremendous physical shape. Here are strength and conditioning resources that will get you game-ready.

How to Improve Your Court Speed: Small forwards must be able to run the floor effectively. Here are ways to improve your speed on the court.

4 Line Drills for Quick Feet: A 1-on-1 situation requires quick movements, so speed up your feet with these easy drills.

Play a different position? We have similar guides for all five spots on the court. Find the one that you play and get better!

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