I know a thing about playing out of position. I was a slender six-foot-eight-hole plugger. I was athletic enough to guard every position on D, tall enough to post smaller players, and quick enough to drive by bigger players so if anyone knows about playing out of position, it’s me.

In reality, there is no such thing as position labels in the modern game. If someone asks you what position you play, just answer with, “Wherever you need me.” You will have a longer career. These days teams mostly play a variation of 5 out on offense so everyone is facing the basket. Back when I played, 3 out in 2 sets were dominant. Back then “Point Forwards” were all the rage and then it changed to ‘Stretch 4”. Now 7 foot 5 guys are playing the 2.

If you still find yourself feeling frustrated at playing a position on the floor that you are not comfortable with, then look deeper at the advantages, rather than the disadvantages. For instance, if the coach has you playing the PG but you see yourself as more of a shooter, then remember that if at the Point, you probably have the ball in your hands more and can create more scoring opportunities for yourself. Plus, you can develop a new skill set.

I have told this story before but I played the whole second half of my season in England at the Point although I had never played it full-time in my life. Yes, I often brought the ball up and started plays, but I never had to run the show the entire 40 minutes. About 5 games into the experiment, I had my first triple-double as a pro with assists. Instead of pouting about changing positions, I decided to develop a part of my game that I never needed to do before and I saw it as a challenge.

There will always be an advantage and disadvantages to every decision a coach makes. Even playing at your “Natural” position will be the same. Do not focus on the disadvantages. Be aware and work on your weaknesses, but do not let them ruin your confidence. 

Widening your horizons is never a bad thing and it will make you more marketable as a player. I have also written about why I feel specializing is a bad thing. You can check that blog post out here:

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