Playing basketball not only kept me in shape, But the fast paced nature of the game was so exhilarating. I loved the action of every play. Watching the ball go from one person to another then finally in the net or unfortunately sometimes into one of your opponents hands. But win or lose to me it was more about being out there on that court playing a game that I loved. Now don’t get me wrong I loved winning and my team was definitely always out for the win, but we were not sore losers when we lost. We had a great coach that made sure he not only taught us the game of basketball but taught us human kindness to. He taught us that loving the game does not always mean winning the game.
I’m not going to say I ever became a master B-Ball player, but I did everything I could to improve my performance at ever game. I worked my butt off on and off the court.
I have come up with 15 tips I used and may help you as well.
Improving your skills.
- Get in shape. Basketball can be a physical challenge. If, are not in good shape you can cause injury to yourself. There is a lot of running and jumping in basketball and it is all very fast paced. I road my bike or ran every day that I wasn’t at practice to build and strengthen my leg muscles. I also did High knee running in place. For arm strength I worked out with light weights only 5lbs. Arm strength is important for dribbling and passing the ball, but you don’t need to be bulked up.
- Dribbling. I practiced dribbling both standing in place and running. I also taught myself to dribble with both my dominant right hand and my left hand.learning to dribble with your weak hand is important in case your opponent is on the outside you can dribble on the inside. But don’t dribble with one then switch. Although I think this is legal in youth basketball I do not believe it is in college or pro so better to not even get into that habit. Remember you have better control of the ball if you don’t dribble to hard.
- Jumping. Start out jumping in place jump up on a curb first with your legs together then slightly apart. Then practice jumping as you make a shot.
- Rebounding. Bounce the ball as hard as you can and jump to catch it. See if you can catch it before it drops half the distance of the bounce. You can also throw the ball at a wall in the opposite direction from where you are standing and try to get it before it bounces or at least before the second bounce.
- Shooting. Practice shooting from different spots on the court. Do this first in a standing position then try it running at the hoop.
- Defending. Work on your defense. If, don’t have someone to help you with this one use your shadow. Place the ball on a chair in front of you. With your arms out watch the ball as you move from side to side also watch your arm and leg position of your shadow. Could an opponent get the ball under or through your legs? or past your arms?
- Passing. Again if you don’t have another person to pass to use an object. This can be a chair. A dot on the garage, or just about anything. Try from different positions to pass the ball to that object.
- Passing Positions. Work on passing behind your back, directly in front of you, through your legs ETC.
- Work on your hand alignment on the ball. How you handle the ball effects becoming a consistent shooter, and passer.
- Game speed. Try doing all the above at game speed. It is always easier doing things on your own at a slower speed, but doing them at game speed and under pressure it completely different. That is why coaches have scrimmage games.
- Weaknesses. Identify, understand and work on your weaknesses.
- Get to know your teammates strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what your teammates strengths and weaknesses as well as your own will help your game play. It will help you during a game with knowing who to pass the ball to, who may want to pass the ball to you etc. Also if possible get to know the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents.
- Try to make every team practice. Being at practice is not only important for you but for your team as well. This is wear you get to know one another not only on a teammate perspective but as individuals.
- Never feel like you are the only one. No matter how good you get ALWAYS remember you are part of a team. No one is the only one. And not everyone is good at everything. Help teammates if they need improvement with something you are good at and never be afraid to ask if you need help.
- Most important skill you could probably have is kindness. Be kind and respectful. Not only to your team, but the other team as well. Just enjoy the game win or lose. As I mentioned in a previous post my coach always taught us we are humans before we are basketball players.
Some things to Remember.
Some people just have natural skills so don’t get discouraged if someone else is better than you at first. Most people have to work at their skills and it takes time. Don’t give up. Work hard and make the best of the skills you are good at.
Wear Properly fitting shoes to help avoid injuries and sliding on the court.
Never lose your temper.