Not even pros know everything about basketball. The sport is evolving, which means that even after you’ve become an expert, there’s more to learn. Are you looking for a jump on your opponents? Read on to find out how to get the edge on the competition.
Practice dribbling the ball on a number of different surfaces. As you get used to how the ball reacts, you will be able to adjust your game accordingly. How you handle the ball can make or break the game. Turnovers lead to points that your team may not be able to recover from, so your skills in this area need to be solid.
Practice makes perfect. This is especially true in basketball. Learning how to shoot a basket, how to dribble and how to pass a ball is important to playing good basketball. Spending as little as 30 minutes practicing a day can really help develop your game and make you a better player.
As you develop your ability to shoot a basketball, try practicing on one foot only. This will improve many areas of your play, including accuracy when shooting. As you get better, move to practicing your shot from greater distances. Only after you master the basic techniques will you truly get better at long distance shots.
If you play organized basketball, keep track of your average fouls per minutes played. If you are not a starter who sees a lot of minutes, you want to know this just in case. You might get called on to put in a lot of minutes one game, or play repeated overtimes. The last thing you want to do is foul out because you aren’t used to playing so long.
To play solid defense, if you are guarding the person with the ball, keep your eyes on the basketball. If you look at his eyes instead, he will fake a pass one way, just by looking in that direction, and then dribble around you the other way. The ball can’t lie about where it’s going.
Want to try a drill which will really work you out? Try dribbling with two balls at once! This will help you learn to master dribbling with both hands, plus it will build your arm muscles very quickly. You can’t use your eyes for this exercise, so you will learn to dribble without looking at your hands.
Play full-court basketball whenever you can. If you love playing, then you probably know a half-dozen spots where you can play street ball or playground pick-up games. While these are good, they don’t give you the practice or experience of getting down the whole court. This matters in fast break situations, both offensive and defensive.
Set up an obstacle course with chairs or pylons and then dribble around them. This will help you learn how to get around opponents while keeping control of the ball. As you get better, make sure your back is to the obstacle as you go by to protect the ball from it.
Master the stop and shoot. Basketball is so much about movement that sometimes the most effective manner to get clear of an opponent is to surprise them with no movement at all. Master dribbling up court fast and when you hit a mark you’re comfortable with, stop short, pull up and shoot. Your opponent will find it tough to stop their forward movement, so you’ll have a clear look at the basket.
Never try to score the point at the expense of shutting other players out. You are part of a team which means everyone is valued. It means working together and sometimes playing a minor part in another player’s winning shot. Just remember that your team can’t win if you are the only one to make shots.
To defend a person dribbling the ball, it is important to bring your arms up to the ball. When you reach for the ball, starting low means you hit the ball first and not the arm. Hitting the arm first means that you are going to foul — not end up with the ball.
Even though dribbling movement should start with the feet and below the knees, finish or follow through the movements with your whole body. The right combination of eye and arm motions can actually throw your defender off for even a half of a second, giving you the daylight you need to make a play or pass.
To inbound a basketball, you need to be able to learn to fake defenders out. You can use the ball to fake in one direction and then pass in another. Defenders often will jump at your first fake, giving your teammate the chance to get wide open. Use this to beat those opponents who try to cheat the pass.
Don’t think that a shot has to be perfect to be taken. A lot of good shooters constantly remind themselves that the standard goal is large enough to take in two balls at once. There’s also a backboard that sometimes gives a lucky bounce. That leaves a good margin for error where you can make a less than perfect shot and still get points.
Pay attention to who has the hot hand. If a player on either team makes more than two or three consecutive baskets they are “on fire” as the saying goes. If they’re on your team, do what you can to make sure their streak keeps going to help your team. If it’s an opponent, put a little more defensive pressure on him.
To make great free throws, you need to arc the ball about four feet above the net. If you don’t put an arc into your shot, you are unlikely to get the ball into the net. Practice creating an arc with your shots so you can master free throws when you face them.
Hopefully, you are more confident with your basketball skill after reading the above tips. They should help improve your basketball skills. Practice is the only way to master the game and it is a never ending learning process. Bring your game up a notch or two and keep this advice close at hand.