I have always liked the idea of “playing loudly”. By this I mean, simply, make some noise out there, and by making noise, show confidence in yourself and make your presence felt. I don’t just mean “talk” either, although, communicating on the basketball floor is critical. Defensive talking, yelling “outlet”, calling out fast break numbers, etc., are all fundamentals and contribute to good basketball and to what “loud” playing is. But, I also think that dribbling hard off the floor or smacking the ball with your off-hand on rebounds and on post catches and dribble pick-ups in the post, or letting loose with primal screams when securing a rebound or even letting a ref or teammate or opponent know how you feel about a particular play can focus some player’s energies, raise the stakes, and motivate you to play even better basketball.
I remember going to a Celtics’ game a few years ago when M.L. Carr was coaching them and they were a terrible team. The Fleet Center was empty and they were playing the Orlando Magic. Scott Skiles was running the point for the Magic and because the place was empty, you could hear every little thing. He, literally, did not shut-up the whole game; he directed the team and every player on almost every play on offense AND defense. He pounded the ball into the floor and grunted on rebounds and when he took charges. It was impossible to ignore the impact of the smallest, slowest man on the floor. In fact, I left the “gym” that night thinking Skiles actually won that game with his mouth (and his head) and all his loud actions. Play loud and play a big part in the game.