Interested in becoming a better basketball player? Regardless of whether you're a beginner or waiting to get off the bench, there are many ways to improve your skills. After all, even the most competitive players train hard every day! Try to build up your stamina, or dribble more easily, and you're on your way to the NBA!
Method 1 of 7: Part One: Dribbling Exercises (Basic)
Step 1. Use correct dribbling postures
Your knees should be bent and in line with your shoulders. You should shift your body weight slightly on your toes to remain mobile. Don't keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees together. When dribbling, bounce the ball at your waist. In a defensive position, the ball cannot go past your knee or thigh.
Step 2. Learn to dribble with each hand
When starting out, you will need to learn to feel how the ball moves and responds to the force exerted on it. It's also a good idea to exercise each hand uniquely to get comfortable with both your left and right. Alternatingly, bouncing the ball is quite difficult and very thorough.
- A good dribbling exercise for beginners is to dribble twenty times in a row with your right hand and then do the same with your left. Do three sets of this when you start your exercise routine and three more when you finish.
- Stay still at first, but keep your knees bent and bounce on your toes to stay mobile. When you feel comfortable dribbling from a stable position, do the same exercise while walking. When you're comfortable with walking, start running.
Step 3. Switch hands while moving
Start dribbling in a straight or zigzag pattern: go forward and to the right for two steps, sending the ball to your left hand while taking two steps to the left. When you get the hang of it, do the same thing by stepping back.
Place a row of clones in a straight line to dodge them
Step 4. Keep your eyes up
One of the most important skills to learn in the early stages of learning is dribbling without looking at the ball. It's hard at first, but you'll eventually need to feel the ball without having to see it. Pick a spot (like the edge of the basketball hoop) and fix your eyes on it as you start dribbling and doing your drills.
Step 5. Dribble constantly
Learn to 'feel' where the ball is at all times. Get control over her. Get to do anything you want.
- Try not to let the ball touch your palm. A good dribble part of the fingers.
- Spend any free time you have dribbling the ball. Dribble when practicing. Dribble when walking to school or to your friends' houses. Turn on the TV and, while watching it, practice dribbling.
Method 2 of 7: Part Two: Dribbling exercises (advanced)
Step 1. Develop your powerful dribble
Think of power dribbling as the “run” part of “crouch-walk-run”. When you're just starting out, your biggest concern is making sure the ball returns close to your hand. Eventually, however, you'll need to get the ball back to hand as quickly, forcefully and in a controlled manner as possible.
- The secret is in the wrist. To develop powerful dribbling, alternate bouncing the ball in the normal way and then applying a little more force. Don't bounce it hard enough to lose control – bounce it firmly several times without allowing your arm to come up when you have to throw it down. Then go back to casual dribbling.
- Try to dribble on the ground. You'll have to bounce the ball harder to make it come back at the same speed as usual. When you get used to this, go back to the field and dribble as before.
Step 2. Practice your powerful crossovers
A crossover is the dribble that alternates the ball between hands. An agile crossover makes it difficult for the defender, who wants to steal the ball or impede its movement. In the 1990s, Allen Iverson was known for his extremely fast and powerful crossovers.
Start by using powerful dribbling four times with your right hand. Make the fifth dribble a strong crossover for the left hand. Do the same thing with your left hand. Then bounce the ball three times before the crossover – then twice. Eventually keep switching between hands a few times with powerful dribbling, always returning to crossover practice
Step 3. Dribble races
Make suicidal sprints on the field while dribbling. Dribble from baseline to throw and return. Then dribble up to the three-point line and come back. Then go to midfield and return. Then go through the entire field.
Step 4. Dribble two balls
When you're starting to feel confident with your powerful dribbling, try dribbling two balls simultaneously. This helps you master dribbling and makes you subconscious. If you can apply powerful dribbling with two balls simultaneously as you cross the field, you'll end up in great shape.
Method 3 of 7: Part Three: Throwing Exercises (Mechanics)
Step 1. Remember the pitching pillars
The following elements will remind you of the fundamentals of basketball toss:
- Balance. Be well balanced before throwing the ball. Your feet should be planted at shoulder height. Your knees should be bent, and you need to be ready to jump.
- Eyes. Keep your eyes on the target while shooting. Imagine there is a light dangling in front of the edge of the basket and you want to knock it down with the throw.
- Elbows. Keep your throwing elbow close to your body as you throw.
- Continuation. Continue shooting. The hand should be in a position similar to reaching for a cookie jar on a high shelf.
- Concentration. This is the most important part of the pitch. Focus on where the ball will land. Once you've made the decision to shoot, stand firm and focus on making the shot.
Step 2. Practice “one-handed” shooting
The throwing movement is almost always the responsibility of the dominant hand – so practice with it. If you are right-handed, the purpose of the left hand is to stabilize the ball while preparing for the shot. The left hand will only be there to keep the ball from slipping.
- Use your fingertips and hold the ball so you can see the light passing through your hand. When firing, throw the ball toward your target while pulling your hand back toward you. This is called “English Movement” or “Giro”.
- Practice this while lying down. Throw the ball into the air so that it returns to your hand. You can do this for hours while listening to music, or when you have trouble sleeping. The ball should be like an extra part of your arm, extending to the ceiling.
Step 3. Practice lay-up (tray) with both sides
Lay-up is a technique that involves dribbling, mechanics and approach. Using proper posture, you should always lay up. Practicing lay-ups focusing on your non-dominant hand is a great exercise for anyone looking to become a more versatile player.
- Dribble towards the basket from the three-point diagonal line. Your goal is to be two steps away from the basket. If you're on the right side, do one more dribble when you step onto the throw line with your right foot. Then stop and jump with your left. If you are on the left side, do the opposite.
- On the right side, lift the ball using your right hand. Raise your right knee at the same time. Imagine that your elbow has been tied to your knee with a rope. Keep the ball away from the backboard by aiming for the upper right corner present behind the edge of the basket. Don't try to bounce the ball too hard – your balance should do most of the service.
Method 4 of 7: Part Four: Throwing Exercises (Accuracy)
Step 1. Go around the world
Once you've mastered the mechanics of the throw, practice executing it from different parts of the field. For this exercise, it's helpful to have a friend or colleague who catches your rebounds and passes the ball to you quickly. The exercise involves at least seven positions – but you can change them to suit your needs. You must make each pitch before moving to the next position on the field. Do this quickly. The fewer shots the better.
- Start by throwing a lay-up. Run immediately to the baseline, at the point between the free-throw line and the three-point line. Ask your friend to pass you the ball and keep shooting until you get a point. Then run to a point between the corner of the field and the baseline, shooting straight away. Then go to the corner and to the free-throw line. Keep moving around the field until you've covered it completely.
- Expand the game by including the same points on the three-point line when you can make consistent shots on the free-throw line.
Step 2. Fire free throws until you can do it in your sleep
A defenseless throw, free throws are pure demonstrations of throwing mechanics. You cannot allow your feet to leave the ground – so you need to improve movement and accuracy.
- See how many free throws you can hit in a row.
- Practice free throws when you're cold and when you're totally worn out. If you can take free throws without breathing heavily after riding the field or practicing dribbling, your body will be in great shape for the game.
Step 3. Practice fade-aways, hooks and other close range techniques while someone marks you
It will never be easy to get a smooth shot. If you practiced alone and managed to execute all sorts of throws, it can be shocking to get into the game and not get anything right. The defender will run towards you, get in your face and try to steal or block your shot.
A turn-around or fade-away throw will require you to automatically correct your arm position when pulling back. You will lose the strength you can get from your legs
Step 4. Play “Horse”
This game is perfect for developing shooting proficiency from all corners of the court. When you choose where to shoot from, it's tempting to make the easy shots. However, when there is someone else choosing your position, things certainly get a lot more interesting.
Method 5 of 7: Part Five: Practicing Defense
Step 1. Develop your defensive posture
To be a complete player, you will not be able to practice to become a scorer. You have to learn to retreat to defense and intercept shots. The first step in developing your defensive game focuses on your posture.
- Maintain a broad base by putting weight on your toes. Keep your butt low and your hips back.
- Your arms must always be raised and apart. Don't touch or pull the opposing player too much or you will end up being fouled. Use your hands to distract the player and try to block passes and throws.
- Focus on the opponent's waist and chest, not the ball. This will give you an idea of his actions.
- Don't stare at your opponent's feet or torso. If you do, it will always go through your tag.
Step 2. Practice your lateral movement
A common practical training in basketball will be lateral movement on the court. Practice changing direction by asking a teammate to dribble left and right. Move in a defensive posture while mirroring the movements.
Step 3. Secure the opponent with your feet
Throw the opponent to the sideline by placing your dominant foot in his path. So, if he comes in the middle, push him to the left by following him with your right foot. You want to block access to the free-throw line and basket – so pushing your opponent to touch will end his offensive plan.
Ask a teammate to dribble on the court, from one line to the other. Exercise defense with your hands behind your back, using your feet to force the dribbler to change path. You will need to move sideways around the court to stay directly in front of the person with the ball
Step 4. Don't jump
A common mistake players make is jumping too much to try to block a shot. When you are not grounded, your actions will be less efficient. If you think the marked person will shoot, raise your hands and avoid jumping. Preventing the opponent from seeing the basket can be as effective as intercepting the shot..
Step 5. Always box out
This is the maneuver of placing the body in front of the opponent whenever a rebound occurs. use frame and leg strength to hold the position. The opponent will try to take it away from you.
Method 6 of 7: Part Six: Improving Teamwork
Step 1. Learn to pass
This may seem obvious, but making accurate and powerful passes can be the difference between a good team and a collection of individual players. Even if you are individually talented, learning to work well as a unit is necessary for success on the court. Group training will create efficient passers in the field:
- Simulate a Fast Break. In a group of five, move across the field without dribbling, without allowing the ball to touch the ground, and without moving your feet when the ball is in your hands.
- Hot Potato Toy (literally). Ask someone to control background music. The person must suddenly pause the music. Whoever is holding the ball when the music stops is out. You must pass quickly and accurately, without dribbling. Once you get the ball, find someone and pass it.
Step 2. Learn the role of your position
You will have a specific role within the team. While it can be fun to run to the three-point line every time your hand touches the ball, this is typically not the role of the center-fielder. Talk to your peers and your coach to find out where you need to be on certain plays.
- The shipowner is the general of the field. In this position, you need to see the court and set up the attack. You need to be a good passer and a good pitcher.
- The shipowner's wing is the shipowner's support. Typically, this is the best pitcher or offensive player on the team.
- The wing is the most versatile. You need to be a good pitcher. You must have the ability to catch rebounds from defense or offense. You will also need to have vision to get the ball back in order to execute another plan of attack.
- The pivot is a good defensive player. He blocks opponents and is an excellent player in the free-throw area. Perhaps, this is the most physical player on the team.
- The pivot is (among other things) probably the tallest player on the team. You must be an excellent passer and receive passes well, with the ability to control play on offense.
- Use other players for inspiration. When you watch FIBA or the NBA, look specifically at players who play in the same position as you. Where is the pivot when the guard is on the three-point line? What does the point guard do when the pivot executes a counterattack?
Step 3. Learn to establish clean blocks
Blocking happens when you're on offense and blocking a defensive player with your body to make room for a teammate who wants to score. You must keep your feet in the allowed position and remain stationary, or you will be fouled. This requires a lot of communication with your teammate, who must lead the defensive opponent in your direction.
Stand still and erect, with your hands at your waist in front of you and your feet flat on the floor. Allow your colleague to surround you. Be strong, and be prepared to absorb the beat
Step 4. Develop creative plays that leverage your team's strengths
The object of the game should be to break the defense and pass the ball to a free player. Give the strategies basic names and allow the point guard to demand them in the attack. Practice playing with cones (which will simulate defenders) and time your strategies.
The most basic play is where the pivots prepare and wait for the point guard to move. The point guard goes on the attack and moves the ball back to the pivot, which must be open or being tagged by the (probably) smallest defender
Method 7 of 7: Part Seven: Building Mental and Physical Endurance
Step 1. Run regularly
A complete basketball game includes a lot of running. Players not used to racing will get tired very quickly. You don't even have to be the best defender or pitcher if you can't keep pace with your opponents.Here are some workouts that can help your stamina grow:
- Superman training: On the field, start at a baseline and run to the nearest free-throw line. Drop down and do 5 push-ups on your fingertips. Then get up and run back to the original baseline. Then go to the three-point line, drop down and do 10 push-ups. Keep running the idea until you have covered all the lines in the field, back and forth, until you reach the starting line again. Shoot the ball at least 10 times after practice when tired.
- ”Training of Death” – this is a timed training that involves the entire field. If you're really fit, start with 4-6 “runs” (run the entire field, top to bottom) in 1 minute and 8 seconds (starting at one baseline and running to the other, returning to the original soon then). It seems like a sufficient amount of time until you've covered 50 meters. After that, do 13 runs in 68 seconds Again, practice 10 free throws when tired.
Step 2. Learn everything you can about the game
Playing smart is just as important as playing well. The official FIBA and NBA rules can be found on the internet – so study them well before playing. You may end up understanding something that used to be misleading.
Chat with other players, check websites, ask for help from coaches. Knowing the historical rules is also helpful. Watch old games and street games. Read about the invention of basketball
Step 3. Always be a team player
Look for free players and pass the ball. Don't grab the ball when you catch it and don't try shots that are unlikely to hit the target – that would be a waste of a point.
Step 4. Increase your vertical jump
If you're quick and agile and can jump, it's possible to intercept passes even from taller players. Most super tall guys don't put effort into rebounds because they don't have to. It is possible to defeat them if you work.
Try jumping rope. Jump rope as nimble, prolonged, and strong as you can. The better you can do this, the faster your feet will be on the field
Step 5. Do lots of push-ups, especially the ones with your fingertips
You will marvel at your better ball control when you have stronger fingers. Even if you feel you don't have big enough hands to palm the ball, this can be done with the help of strong fingers.
Step 6. Work the strength of your core:
sit-ups, squats, planks and lumbar extensions. If you have a strong core, it will be possible to take a shove and still manage to throw the ball.
- Practice whenever you can. You don't need a ball or a basket. You can do push-ups, run and work on eye-hand coordination. Use anything around you that can help you practice.
- Before the game, eat things that give you energy and feel good in your stomach, such as fruit or other carbohydrate-rich elements. Avoid sugary sweets.
- Do your best and get in the game.
- Juggling can improve your dexterity with both hands, your eye-hand coordination, your perception, your peripheral vision, your neuromuscular balance, your agility, and your concentration for activities like basketball.
- Avoid having too much “rear view” – “listening” to what's behind you or in your blind spots. Peripheral vision is learned and expanded through use. Like any feat/skill, it needs to be automatic in application.
- When you're stealing the ball, make sure you don't hit the opponent's hand. That would be a penalty.