Playing basketball requires natural talent, but you can become a good player if you properly condition your body, practice the correct exercises, and master the mental aspect of the game. Good basketball players work hard and train hard to get better on the field, and they have character traits that coaches appreciate.
Method 1 of 3: Improve Your Offensive Game
Step 1. Improve your ball handling skills
Some experts believe that the ability to handle the ball well is the most important skill in the game. You shouldn't think too much about dribbling the ball if you practice a lot. A good way to improve this skill is through dribbling exercises.
- Practice with circular dribbles. In this drill, you use one hand to dribble the ball in circles around your right foot. Then switch to the other hand and leg. Practice dirbles between cones or chairs.
- Try figure 8 dribbling, in which you dribble the ball in and out of your legs, using a figure 8 movement. Bounce the ball from one hand to the other. Practice your dribble with both hands so that you can change direction on the floor more easily.
- Suicidal dribbling drills condition you as you improve your skill. It starts at the baseline. He dribbles to the nearest free throw line and returns. Then, dribble to midfield and come back. He then dribbles to the farthest free throw line and returns. Finally, he dribbles to the other side of the field and returns.
- It starts at one end of the field. Dribble across the entire field and do a layup or jump shot. Pick up your own bounce and do the same, moving to the other side of the field. Do it 3 times as fast as you can.
Step 2. Improve your passing ability
Passing is a skill that basketball players must master. There are two basic ways of passing. One is a chest pass in which you throw the ball to your partner without bouncing. The second is a rebound pass, in which you bounce the ball once when you shoot your partner. This is the most difficult pass for a defender to intercept.
- Players working on passing skills can play an informal game where there is not much dribbling so they can focus more on passing. Practice the two-handed pass. This will give you more control over the ball.
- Add your weight to the pass by landing one foot. This will improve speed and ball control. Aim for your partner's hands when you make the pass. Pass to a specific team member instead of throwing the ball in the direction of their voice.
- Your thumbs should point down at the end of a pass and you should continue. Otherwise, the ball will be more difficult to catch because it does not have the proper spin.
- You don't have to pass the ball with great speed. Do not forget that the pass must be easy. If you make it too complicated, you will cause more turnovers.
- Don't jump when you pass. If you do, you cannot fall to the ground with the ball so it is more difficult. Move to the ball when they pass you. This makes it more difficult for a defender to intercept him. Try to catch it with both hands.
Step 3. Improve your pitches
Shooters get a lot of the glory and are obviously critical to the game, but no one wants to be in a situation where there are people blocking your shots or many miss. That will get them back on the bench.
- Use the tips of your fingers. This helps you maintain control of the ball when shooting.
- Bend your legs and stay hunched when you start the throw. Then, stretch out and finish high, with your body straight and your hands up in the air. When players start the shot while standing straight, they can decrease their shooting percentage. The legs are critical in shooting. What's more, you must play the entire game with your knees bent.
- Go for the highest percentage of shots. Don't always try to hit the tricky shots. Find out which shots are more difficult and focus on the easy ones. This will make you look like a better pitcher overnight.
- Point your elbow toward the middle of the hoop and hold it as well as your middle finger when tracking. Finish your shot as if you were dipping your hand into the hoop. Proper tracking also means that your fingers should hang down, not together.
- Fully extend your arm at the end of the throw, with your elbow and keep it at a height above your eyes when you release the ball.
Step 4. Condition your body
You need to do practice drills that condition your body to a mode designed for offensive play, not just drills that you would do for fun. Coaches look for players in good condition, with an explosive first step or who can jump 61 cm (2 feet) in the air.
- Use a pre-planned workout. There are many basketball conditioning plans that will help you stay in shape and improve your stamina. A workout of up to 45 minutes three times a week can make a big difference.
- Some conditioning workouts suggest exercises of jumping rope, running from the free throw lines to the net and touching the net with the hands, throwing for one minute from different places on the field and performing defensive sliding movements.
Method 2 of 3: Improve Your Defensive Game
Step 1. Keep your feet moving
A good defender must be quick on his feet and in constant motion. If you spend too long on the field, you will not be good in this position.
- Mentally visualize that you have stood on paint. Ask yourself, how many of your footprints will you see in the field? Your goal should be to "paint the floor" by moving a lot and being everywhere. Increase your activity in defense and you will be more effective.
- Fight every ball.
- Don't keep your eyes on the ball; look at the other player. Otherwise, you can be fooled by ball feints. Maintain eye contact with your opponent. Keep the player away from the baseline and force him to the front of the rim.
Step 2. Stay down
Good defenders bend their knees. They spend most of the game moving and crouching. They must also keep their head lower than their opponent's head.
- Keep your feet apart and your legs bent when defending. Constantly move your feet. It will be easier for an attacking player to pass you if your legs are together or your feet are crossed.
- Stay lower than your opponent's nose. In this way you can react quickly to the movement made by your opponent.
- Standing up straight can throw you off balance. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent.
Step 3. Put your hand on the ball
If you are careful, you can use this technique to be a better defender without missing your opponent.
- If the opponent is holding the ball in shooting position, place your hand on the ball. This will make it difficult to launch.
- If your opponent has the ball below his midsection, place your hand on the ball. This will make it difficult to launch.
Step 4. Become a better rebounder
Catching ball rebounds can determine the outcome of the game. Your team cannot score without having possession.
- Move to the inside position so you have a better chance in front of the ball.
- Don't stand up straight. If you double over, you will have more strength in your jump and a greater chance of reaching the ball. When you jump, keep both hands as stretched out as possible.
Step 5. Improve your defensive condition
Defenders need to run a lot and must stay low to properly stop another player. Defensive endurance training will improve your game.
- Squatting against the wall is a good way to improve your defensive condition. All you need is to find a wall and sit down, as if you were sitting in a chair (but not having one). Stand with your back against the wall. Slide down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle to the ground. Hold the position for about 60 seconds when you start.
- Try jumping rope with both legs and go as fast as you can. Take the time and count your jumps so you can measure your progress. It sounds simple, but jumping rope is a great way to improve your basketball fitness. This is because it improves your stamina and agility.
- Do agility exercises. Start at the baseline, right side. Run to the upper right corner of the free throw line, switch to the left corner, go back to the baseline and switch where you started. Then move to the right corner and do the same. Boys should be able to do it in 10-14 seconds and girls in 11-15 seconds.
Step 6. Train your lower body
Carrying weights will improve your overall body strength, which is good on defense when you need to rebound or block shots. Vary the exercises.
- Do squats. Grab a dumbbell, keep your feet on the ground, and lower yourself as low as you can while keeping your thighs parallel to the floor.
- Try lunges and step ups. Using a barbell or dumbbell, keep your dominant foot on the floor and your torso straight. Stand on a box and then lower or lunge forward with each leg.
Step 7. Try upper-body strength exercises
These exercises are divided into pushing and pulling exercises. You can use bandages to help you by putting a foot or knee in a bandage when doing things like “chin-ups” (bar push-ups) or “pull-ups” (pull-ups) if they are too difficult for you at first.
- Use a barbell or dumbbell to bench or shoulder press. For the bench press, lie on a bench with your feet on the floor. Release the bar and lift it up with your arms straight. Lower it to the middle of your chest and then lift it up again. Don't move your butt off the bench. Try to do it in sets of 5 reps.
- Use a barbell or dumbbell to perform bicep curls. When doing bicep curls, you should stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your elbows close to your body. Make sure your palms are pointing forward. Then, lift the dumbbell until the biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells stop at the shoulder. Now, lower the dumbbells to their starting position and repeat.
Method 3 of 3: Improve Your Basketball Knowledge
Step 1. Master the rules
Sometimes young players forget the rules of the game. If you don't know the rules completely, you will cause problems for your team. A good way to master the rules is by joining a club when you are young or in the summer between seasons.
- During the attack, the team with the ball behind the middle line has 10 seconds to pass the ball to the other side or lose the ball. Knowing a rule like this helps you prevent loss of possession.
- During the attack, a team may not return the ball over the middle line when it has passed or loses the ball. These are the kinds of rules that smart players know.
Step 2. Study the game
You need to understand everything you can about your position and about strategy on the field. You will have more playing time if you are a strategic player who also has strong technical skills.
- You can find many training videos on YouTube
- Study your past games and those of the competition. What worked? What went wrong? After a game, sit down with your coach. Together try to find an area where you need to improve. Then work on that area in practice.
- Find a mentor. You can ask a basketball coach or find a good player who is willing to teach you.
- Each coach has different philosophies and systems. Find out yours so you can adapt to them. Maybe they don't want point guards to have more than 3 turnovers in a game. No matter what your own personal rule is, it helps to learn them.
- Watch professional or other high-level matches to see how the best play. Use what you learn in your own game.
Step 3. Understand your role
Don't just focus on scoring. One mistake young players make is focusing too much on scoring. Give priority to how you can add value to your team. Maybe you are a good passer, for example.
- If you're not good at 3-point shots, don't try too hard. You must give the ball to teammates who are better than you in that role.
- Maybe you are a great "catch and throw" player. If so, focus on that. If you are a center, you will want to spend your time practicing rebounding and post exercises, not dribbling. Finding out your role helps you choose the right exercises.
Step 4. Be mentally strong
Basketball is a mental game, not just a physical one. Some experts say that the mental aspect of the game is 70% of this. Coaches look for players with mental toughness.
- Give 100% effort. Basketball is a game of dedication and persistence. Don't be afraid of criticism either. This is how you will learn.
- Coaches want players who are passionate, determined, who want to improve, who work hard to achieve it, and who have the desire to prepare to win, not just the desire to win.
- Be aggressive. Coaches are looking for aggressive and focused players on and off the field. They want someone who will dive to the ground if there is a loose ball and is constantly applying pressure to other players when defending.
Step 5. Remember that it is a team game
Basketball consists of two teams, each with 5 players, who try to score by throwing the ball through a hoop that is 3.05 m (10 ft) above the ground at each end of the field.
- Great players raise the level of play of their teammates when they are on the field.
- To be a good team player, check more often, run for a free space to help that teammate who is surrounded by the opposing team, help with blocking and rebounding, etc. People will appreciate it and return the favor!
- Be sociable. Never yell at your teammates. Arrogance is never attractive. Don't go over the limit.
- Learn to interact with other players, their signals, etc.
- Be friendly with all players, even if they are from the other team. This shows dignity. People will find out sooner or later, you can be sure. If you are rude, insult, order people all the time, people will not have a good time playing with you.
- Offense wins games, defense wins championships.
- Be hygienic! There is nothing worse than playing with another player whose armpits smell like a garbage can, whose jerseys stink of moisture and have been in the mud, etc.
- Sleep the necessary hours that your body requires. For most people, this is usually 8 1/2 hours of rest each night. It really improves the functions of your body. If you don't know how many hours of sleep you need, read this article.
- When conditioning your body for basketball, remember that it consists of many runs. So joining the cross country team and working on long-distance endurance racing won't necessarily help and could even harm you.
- Hard work is the key to becoming a good basketball player. Having the right mindset and being positive on the field will help too.
- Eat well, eat more. Calories burn quickly when you play basketball. Stay healthy by replacing those calories or you'll end up feeling sick and exhausted the next day.
- Have some good shoes, but keep them affordable. Buy sneakers that you feel comfortable moving around in, not those firm ones that make your feet stop moving. Try them in shoe stores. Walk around with them. Jump up and down. Turn right and left. If you feel they are too small, don't buy them even if you like the style. Ask for a larger size and if the store doesn't have it, find another pair. You don't want sneakers that restrict your game.
- Take advantage of opportunities and be aggressive on the field. Always looking for ways to have the ball, dribble, etc. both offensively and defensively. Having confidence in yourself and in your other teammates will be key to a better game.