Probably one of the most absurd sights in a basketball game is that of watching a foot stomp or a head down or the hands grasping the head because a player has missed a shot or made a mistake. The game of basketball is filled with mistakes. Even superstars make many mistakes every game. They miss shots, get turnovers and make defensive errors every minute or so. So what’s all the fuss about a mistake?
A mistake is a common event in the game of basketball. It happens all the time. Good shooters miss shots; good passers toss the ball off legs and throw it out of bounds; good defenders get beaten backdoor or beaten to the ball. Since it happens to everyone in every game, it hardly seems like cause for footstomping or fingersnapping or headholding. When it happens to you, you should be well prepared. You make mistakes all the time. You should be used to them by now.
And by now you should have prepared a more useful response than some gesture that says to the world, “Oh look at me. I have done something wrong, and I am suffering anguish.” What a waste of time and energy. What a needless lapse. What a losing lapse.
When you make a mistake on offense, you should do exactly what you would do if you had scored on offense—make the swift, abrupt transition to defense, and play the best defense possible under the circumstances. That is the only response that makes any sense at all in a fast-moving game like basketball.
What possible excuse can you give for taking time to make some gesture of disgust or disappointment or anger? There is no time for gestures that do not help the team. Besides, even from a purely selfish point of view, these gestures are stupid. Your gestures merely tip off the fans, and the coach as well, that you made the mistake. If your particular brand of gesturing is unique or flamboyant, your mistakes are likely to be remembered not for themselves but for the gesture that always accompanies them.
A far more intelligent response to your mistakes would be to try 165 to call attention off yourself as soon as possible. Why stand there and announce to the world that you messed up? Even your own coach may forget your mistake if you quickly involve him back in the action of the game.
For example…Say you throw a long pass that is intercepted. Instead of standing there fretting over your misfortune and calling attention to your pass, call your teammate into action, the guy you were throwing to. Because, regardless of whose fault that pass was, the point now is that he, not you, is out of position. He needs to get back on defense. The ball has passed him up, and he needs to be chasing it. Therefore, by yelling and urging him to chase the ball (“Get back! Take ’im!”), you alert your coach to the fact that there is defense to be played, and no time for crying over spilt milk.
This type of reaction is “Hustle-CAT” defense. The CAT means “Call A Teammate.” Any time you make a mistake, don’t stand there and fret and gesture. Hustle-CAT. Hustle immediately, and call a teammate into action. Yell out the new situation. By doing this, you will not only be calling attention off your mistake, you will be helping your team.
From Dick’s book Stuff