6 Ways To Improve Your Basketball Abilities
Whether you are looking for a new sport for the kids to play or are just looking to improve your own skills and keep fit, Basketball has a multitude of benefits.
There are many health benefits to playing basketball. Improved cardiovascular health, improved hand eye/foot coordination, and a developed sense of comradery when playing with a group of friends.
Sometimes it may not be practical to get to a gym or outside basketball court. Consider installing a half-court in your driveway, or even replace your old lawn with an outdoor basketball court surface to create the perfect space for playing. It’s a thrilling fast paced sport that improves fitness and is a lot of fun!
When dribbling, a player uses one hand to bounce the ball. In a typical game, this allows you to control the ball as you get closer to the hoop, and also gives you distance between you and the defender when running. The point guard is commonly responsible for dribbling – meaning that in a 2 on 2, or 3 on 3 game, you are very likely to need a lot of practice in this skill.
Types of dribbling include low dribbling, crossover dribbling and protective dribbling.
- Low dribbling will improve your ball control skills, giving you faster response times when dribbling while running.
- Crossover teaches you passing between left and right hands – a key skill when protecting the ball from the defender.
- Although protective dribbling needs a partner when practising, this skill focuses on protecting the ball from the defender, and will teach you to block with your body, and calculate how you can get to the net.
Another skill to practice is running while dribbling. Once you are comfortable with your basic dribbling, try to combine both low and crossover techniques when you are running with the ball.
There are various strategies help you shoot better in Basketball, such as using a coloured ball to identify the spin and direction of the ball.
Try to locate and visualise the back of basket. If you develop a habit to target the basket as quickly as possible, you will improve your shots.
Hold your follow through. Holding your movement after the ball leaves your hands ensures you remember what positioning and movement works successfully, as well as identify where you are making issues
Don’t overthink your shot while playing. If you have a relaxed mindset you will shoot more smoothly.
Practice for an optimal arc. With an arc closer to 45 degrees, your shots have a lower margin of error.
Don’t forget to keep your shot fluid and consistent, so practice until the shot is taken in one smooth move with no jarring movements.
While quite obvious, improving passing often starts with making the easiest pass. Instead of over complicating your move, just pass to the closest open player.
Shorten the distance between you and the receiver. If you’re closer to the other player, you’re more likely to not miss the pass.
Keep your bearings and remember where the basket is. Pay attention when your teammate is open or close to the basket.
Be willing to pass and remember to keep passing if others are available.
Try passing the ball in another direction. This will confuse the defence and force them to move elsewhere.
Pivoting is a skill you should work on first. Depending on whether you are left or right-handed, either the right or left foot will pivot while your heel is on the ground, allowing you to spin around.
If you take a shot at the basket, be careful to take the shot before your feet hit the ground.
Learn the jump-stop. When both feet land on the ground at the same time, you will have a strong stance in order to take a pass or keep moving quickly.
Practice defensive footwork – Move your feet quickly and stay on the offensive player. Learn how to slide and protect the net as quickly as you can.
Keep your balance – Maintaining balance allows you to quickly react to movements from the offensive players.
Stay in a defensive stance – If you practise always playing in a defensive stance, you will always be ready to block a movement.