If you are like most basketball players you are looking for a way to improve your game that is worth your time. Sure, you have heard all the cliches about working and staying shape. However, most of these vague tips lack the one thing that a hungry basketball player is looking for and that is direction. This article will go over ten things that will not only improve your basketball game, but have the potential to make you drastically better. Below is a list of some fundamentals for improvement that you can hang your hard hat on.
Number 10 – Master The Art of The Free Throw
One of the easiest and most basic ways to improve one’s basketball game is to improve free-throw percentage. By mastering the art of the free-throw, you can easily add an extra 3 to 5 points per game to your season average. So why doesn’t everyone work on this? The reason is because the free-throw is a unique shot and that you have to keep both feet on the floor during the shooting motion. Therefore, players tend to struggle with it and thus don’t want to practice for improvement. By practicing this unique shot you will not only be more valuable to your team, but you will greatly improve your personal statistics.
Number 9 – Spend 15-30 Minutes Per Day on Dribbling Drills
No matter who you are or what position you play, you need to be good at handling the basketball. While this applies most specifically to the point guard position, having a good handle at other positions will drastically improve your options for scoring/performing various moves. In order to get better at dribbling, you do not have to spend hours and hours on end like you do with jump shooting. Many of the best MBA ball handlers claim to have spent only 15 to 30 minutes per day working on dribbling. But keep in mind, the real key is not necessarily how much time you spend per day practicing dribbling, but more so how consistent you are at getting in at least some work each day.
Number 8 – Don’t Neglect Passing
Passing is probably the most underrated basketball skills areas. Passing does not come with the glory and the glamor that something like being able to dunk those. However, when it comes to college and professional scouting, passing ability is at the top of their list. In a game that is evolving to be more centered around teamwork and less centered around superstars, it is ever more important to learn how to fit into an offense. If you cannot pass the basketball, you cannot fit into an offense because you will constantly put a kink in the fluidity of the system.
Number 7 – Learn How To Box Out(Regardless of Size/Position)
It is said that a majority of youth basketball players today have no idea how to box out in some do not even know what a box out is probably. This is because boxing out is not taught enough at the younger levels as an important fundamental. Instead, most players rely on pure jumping ability to see who can grab the ball at its apex. Also, most people believe that you need to jump high in order to be able to be a great rebounder. This couldn’t be further from the truth as Kevin love, one of the best rebounders in the NBA, has virtually no jumping ability. However, he has mastered the art of the box out and is the NBA’s most fearsome rebounder.
Number 6 – Learn A Variety of Moves
If you are looking to improve your offense of performance then one of the best things that you can do is learn some new moves. Of course, having a go-to move that you know works is very important. That go to move can only get you so far though. You need to have other moves Taylor to a variety of situations. That includes moves that you use exclusively near the basket, around the perimeter, and in the mid range. Just knowing 10 to 12 moves will make you profoundly better and more efficient on the offense event. In addition to the offenses booths that you get from learning moves, you also become a better defender in the process as you also learn what it takes to stop those same moves.
Number 5 – Run The Floor
This tip especially applies to centers and forwards who typically do not run the floor. Running the floor is one of the easiest ways to pick up easy points and increase your field-goal percentage with layups/dunks. Once you see that the rebound has been safely secured it should be instinct to start running down the floor as fast as you can. This is not only an important individual concept, but also an important team concept. This is because having a fast-break component to a basketball team can greatly supplement points obtained from the traditional half-court offense.
Number 4 – Follow Your Shot Every Time
If you have ever watched Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City thunder play basketball then you don’t even have to read the segment of the article on what following your own shot can do for you. As a shooter you’re most aware of how the ball is going to bounce once it hits the rim. This gives you a huge advantage when it comes to rebounding the ball as you have a better idea of where it’s likely to go and can quickly locate to that general area. Following your shot not only helps you increase rebounds and points, but it also helps your team get extra possessions.
Number 3 – Move Without The Ball
Moving without the basketball is an essential skill to have. If you are unable to move without the basketball you will have a much harder time getting open shots and at higher levels of basketball even being able to touch the ball. You watch some of the best professional shooters in the MBA you will notice that they are incredibly good at moving without the ball and usually do not stop moving throughout the entire duration of an offense of play. It’s also important to understand that you must have persistence when moving without the ball. Often times your first few attempts to get open will be thwarted by the defender. You must look at this as a game of numbers and eventually you will find an opening.
Number 2 – Practice Shooting Floaters
One of the most unstoppable shots in basketball is the floater. The floater is a common shot amongst short players who like to play in the paint and shoot close range shots. The floater is so effective because smaller players are able to continue with their movement and shoot high arcing shots that cannot be blocked by players on the frontline. Floaters are also a common shot amongst players of other positions as well. Learning how to shoot a good floater can take you a long ways in basketball. The floater is the common day version of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook back in the 1980s.
Number 1 – Master Using The Glass For Higher Close-Range Percentages
As the game of basketball has evolved younger players have shown a pattern of not using the glass. Using the backboard to increase field-goal percentage on a variety of shots was incredibly more common in the early days of basketball before the three-point line came about. Since the inception of the three-point line, a variety of close range fundamentals have been lost at the early level of basketball. Even though using the backboard has become increasingly less popular, it is still as effective as it ever was. A good example is to watch Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs. He regularly shoots a variety of bank shots and has throughout his career with amazing success.