The dos and don’ts of fitting in
A basketball court is often like a second home for a hooper. We all grow up on our own home courts and form a strong attachment. With that being said, sometimes you have to move to a new court, for instance after relocating. It can be an intimidating experience to try and fit in somewhere new, and there are unwritten rules that exist at every court, although there are also universals that can help ease the transition.
Pickup game etiquette: We don’t all call ‘next’ in the same way around the world, but in general, it is a good idea to observe and then to ask if you can get in the next game. If you just walk onto the court and expect someone else to make way so that you can play, or you decide that the usual crowd should change their half-court 4-on-4 games into a full-court run just to accommodate you, you can be sure that you will not be invited back for another game.
Don’t be standoffish: A newcomer may be a bit shy or reserved, but if someone asks you to join in a game, just go for it! You can always work on your game another day, and you never know what kind of friends you might make. For most basketball fanatics, there is hardly anywhere better to start than the basketball court.
Don’t try too hard: We may be eager to impress once we get into a run, but this is never a good idea in the game of basketball. The best way to fit in is simply to play your usual game and to play to your strengths. Of course, passing the ball is always a good way for an outsider to become an insider, and it always helps in developing chemistry on and off the court.