My younger brother William started playing basketball pick up games with a couple of friends after his day of work. Living in another town I wasn't able to join in unless I happened to be visiting. While he wasn't completely lacking in athletic ability basketball was not his game. Their regular opponents beat them almost all the time. He let them know that when the stars aligned and big brother could be there the outcome would be different.
Of course the opportunity eventually came and he did his darndest to convince me to join in. I love the sport so it didn't take a lot of arm twisting. We had about a week from that point to prepare.
Shooting hoops in the yard he confessed to me that in their games he had never actually scored a basket. I told him I couldn't make a star out of him in a week, probably not even teach him one good move. His shot though really didn't look bad, so I showed him a spot on the court and told him to practice shooting from that spot and no where else.
He dutifully worked on the shot while I explained his importance. If his nemesis team played team ball as well as he said, they would try defending against me straight up until I proved everything he warned them about. Theoretically that wouldn't take too long. After that they would try to double team me. Double teaming me would leave someone wide open right on the spot he was practicing shooting.
“What if I miss?”
“I don't care if you miss. If you don't shoot it, when I pass to you on that spot I'm going to come over and smack you one.”
He started laughing. He got the point though. If he got the ball there, I expected him to go for it without any hesitation.
On the big day my shot was a little rusty but it didn't take long for the opposition to understand that their friend guarding me was in way over his head. Next pass comes into me and Williams man drops down for the double team. Why guard my brother when he has never scored before. I kicked it back out to William, who swished the bucket. The look on their collective faces was priceless. They tried again a little later and William proved the first one wasn't a fluke. We won handily.
We might have won with my “star” power but creating a complimentary threat made sure that they had no answer. They couldn't double team me without leaving someone else with an easy bucket. Teamwork can be a beautiful thing.