Dribbling down the court and taking a three-point shot can be a thrilling experience, especially if the shot goes in. But no one picks up the game overnight. Instead, those with real skills spend lots of time on the court practicing the fundamentals. As a beginner, it can seem like basketball success is a long way off. Here are five tips any player can use to improve their game.
Become a Spectator
It might be hard to believe but watching basketball can help a person improve. Seeing the mistakes and successes that others experience can be a real learning opportunity. After watching certain moves being made, it helps to head out to the court and try them out. They aren’t going to be perfect with the first attempt, but these types of moves will come more naturally over time. Watching games, whether on TV or at a local court, also gives a spectator an overview of the game. It is easy to see the whole court and all the players to find out how to successfully move without the ball.
Spend More Time With a Basketball in Hand
Dribble, dribble, dribble: New and experienced players can always benefit from carrying around and dribbling a ball. It helps to get a feel for how the ball moves and how it feels to bounce it around. Different surfaces are going to create a different bounce. The more comfortable a person feels with the basketball in hand, the better they will be able to move on the court while dribbling.
Move Closer When Shooting
Instead of busting out a shot at the three-point line, consider moving closer to the basket to shoot around. This helps a player get the right form and also instills confidence as more shots go in. Gradually move out and continue shooting. Just like dribbling, it is impossible to shoot too much while practicing.
Join a Game
Doing drills alone can be tiring and become boring. When an opportunity to play becomes available, players should jump at the chance. From a three on three game at lunch time to a full court scrimmage in the evening, getting in the game will help with the skills and the overall knowledge necessary to play the game. These games are the places to make mistakes and learn from them. At the same time, keep an eye on the other players to see how they handle the game.
Defend With the Body, Not the Feet
Defense is one of the most important parts of the game. Often overlooked, it isn’t something that gets a lot of attention. However, players looking to improve their overall game or even just their offense should consider intensifying their defense. This means avoiding depending on the hands to stop the ball but using the body to stop the player. Fast feet work a person into position to stop the ball and force a player to pass or take a shot.