Basketball has always been an immensely popular sport among people, especially in the United States. Everyone from toddlers to teenagers to Barrack Obama plays basketball, and it is generally a sport that helps one’s fitness levels. Other than that, being a big part of varsity is very prestigious for any athlete. All these reasons show that knowing how to be good at basketball doesn’t hurt at all! Like anything else, all it requires is a lot of practice and dedication apart from the sweat-factor.
15 Tips on Improving Your Basketball Skills
The mental aspect is key to a player’s development in any sport. Thus, the first step needs to be developing the right sort of mindset to be a good athlete. Get rid of all the doubt in your mind. If you harbor any hesitation, you won’t be able to give it your all on the court, no matter how hard you train.
Feel the ball
In basketball, you need to get comfortable with the feel of the ball because the whole game relies on your handling of the ball. Keep the ball handy and dribble it as much as you can, while doing everyday tasks like walking or running. Play around with it all the time; this will give you a subconscious feel of the ball.
Raise your game IQ
Good players have a very good sense of the ball and positioning. These things fall under the game IQ. To be an intelligent player, you must know your surroundings at all times. Learn to be aware of where you are, where the ball is and where your opponents and teammates are. This will make your techniques more effective when used in play.
Stand your ground
Basketball is essentially all about this. This is part of the mental-training recipe. Not being pushed around on the court will help you impose your will and let you dictate the flow of the game. You will thus be able to snatch the initiative from your opponents. This is not to say you must push everyone around, just don’t let it happen to you.
Train your body
Needless to say, if you want to know how to be good at basketball, you are going to have a body that can keep with the demands of the game. Ask your instructor, coach or mentor about the training regimens and the diet schedule you should follow. The need to be powerful, yet fast and agile is what separates basketball players’ bodies from others.
Find your unique points
As long as we’re on the subject of a suitable body for playing, learn to make the most of what you have already got. We all have natural strengths and weaknesses: like your height or powerful thigh muscles, perhaps. You want to make the most of these quirks in order to gain that all-important edge on the court.
Film your plays
Most players have never seen themselves shoot or dribble and are pretty surprised when that happens the first time because they see so many flaws in their form and technique. Filming yourself is a great way of improving your game. Take video clips of your shot and dribbling stances. You will find new things to improve on every time.
Before taking the shot, there must be no doubt in your mind that you are going to shoot. Locate the rim early, and jump without hesitation. Also, hold your follow through as that helps maintain the shot direction and improves your shooting technique on its own. Try not to care whether the shot goes in or not, it will help you improve your shot count.
In order to know how to be good at basketball, you must have crystal clear fundamentals. Your shooting technique must be flawless, so as your stance while dribbling and your ball handling techniques. Ask your coach about the basics and practice them as much as possible. It never goes to waste and will always give you the edge in a game.
Have a counter-dribble
In case your primary dribble is blocked by your opponent, you must always keep him guessing. This is where your counter move comes into play. It gives you a second chance to get past your marker. Perfect your main move, but keep working on this as it gives you a serious edge.
Don’t resort to gimmicks
Often, players are led into believing that wearing special shooting gloves will increase their shot count. Gimmicks like that are a waste of time, money and the effort that could have been spent into practicing the move in the first place. Don’t fall prey to them! Improve your skills on your own. There is no magic medicine to get better.
Change of pace
In a game, it is essential that you are able to change your pace at will. Practice this at slow, half and full speeds. Change of pace will give a different level of dynamism on the court and help you gain an agility that cannot otherwise be acquired. Changing your pace will knock off the defender’s balance and let you get past him.
Not only must you be able to go forwards while dribbling the ball, you should be able to move in the opposite direction. Or indeed, in any direction. Practice protecting the ball while moving forwards and backwards. This will help you to get out when you run into traffic on the court.
Know your position
It is not just important to know how to do something in basketball. You must also know what to do. Learn what your position entails. You are on the court for a specific purpose and to be a good player, you will have to fulfill that role the best you can. Read up on what professionals who play with your style do.
Yes, this one was inevitable. You want to know how to be good at basketball? Shed some sweat and blood. Give it your 100% in training and maintain that on the court. The only way you’ll be one of those greats is to give it your all every single time. Good luck!