How To Get Better At Basketball
Benefits Of Playing Basketball
Playing basketball has many amazing benefits! Here are a few of them:
1. Basketball unlike most other sports requires you to constantly run, jump, push and work your muscles in different parts of the body. It’s a great workout and exercise.
2. It will make your bones way stronger. The stronger your bones are, the less likely they will break.
3. You constantly have to think fast and make correct decisions, it will boost your reaction, as well as IQ.
4. Like any other sport it will reduce your stress and basically help you to relax your mind.
5. If you want to lose weight, basketball might be one of the most fun ways to do that.
6. Keep in mind that basketball is a strategy game and understanding of strategy is really good skill to have.
7. It’s good for your discipline, sooner or later you will get angry about something and you must be able to calm down.
8. Since it’s a team sport, you might make new friends who share at least one similar interest as you do.
9. When you hit a difficult shot, or win a close game you will feel great, and it will boost your confidence.
10. In my opinion most important thing here is having fun. If basketball is fun for you then all those benefits will come your way!
How To Get Better At Basketball – Improve Your GAME!
There are quite a few ways you can become better at basketball. Each factor of the game is really important, so if you want to improve your basketball skills, then you have to get your head in those factors.
It takes time and dedication to increase your skills, so get ready for some hard work! Just remember, nobody was born a superstar. Everyone had to polish their skills just like you.
Start With Your Defense
People often forget the importance of defense, but if you are looking for answers on how to get better at basketball, first you need to figure out how to become a better defender, because defense should be the main thing for every player.
There are many players who simply aren’t good on offense, but because of the ability to play good defense they are welcome to play in every league. Every team needs reliable defenders and if you want to become a better basketball player, you should work on your defense just as much as your offense.
When it comes to individual defense the most important things are: your height and length, speed and lateral quickness, physical strength, reaction and especially foot work. Obviously you can’t change your height and length, and its very hard to improve your reaction, but you can improve your speed, strength and you should put a lot effort and time to improve your foot work, because foot work is the key.
There are some important rules that you should remember like, don’t let your opponent be closer to the basket than you are, make sure that you always keep in front of him. Try to figure out your opponent’s dominant hand, and force him to handle the ball with his off hand. If your opponent tends to drive to the basket a lot, don’t let him drive with his dominant hand.
Keep in mind that he will probably shoot with he’s dominant hand as well, so try to make him uncomfortable. If you decide to foul, make sure to interrupt his shooting hand. Try to recognize your opponent’s shooting form.
Even when your opponent doesn’t have the ball, don’t lose sight of him. At all times you have to know where is the ball and where is your opponent. However, sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you played defense, sometimes even the most complicated shots go in. All you can do in those situations is keep your mind cool and continue hard work on defense, because eventually it will pay off.
Team defense is way more complicated that individual. If you want to be a good defensive player, you need to learn how to defend not only 1 v 1 but 3 v 3 and 5 v 5 as well. For team defense good individual defense skill won’t be enough. Yes it is still important, but there is much more. Different teams have different defensive strategies. Also they adapt to opposing team and usually make some kind of plans for specific teams.
Very important part of team defense is matchups. You don’t expect that your 5’8 guard will successfully defend against 6’9 forward when he is close to the basket. Those kinds of mismatches happen a lot and you need to learn how to respond to them. That small guard will ask for help, someone will have to leave the guy he should be defending and help that guard. This will cause chaos. Sometimes you have to double the defense on specific player and then your team-mates will have to rotate and play defense 3 v 4.
Also, it’s very important to fight for defensive rebounds, box out the guy you are defending, and don’t let him box you out. If the other team gets the rebounds it will be really difficult to defend.
You will have to learn how to communicate with your teammates while defending. Call screens, just call where help is needed. This stuff is important and almost every team does that. Remember that basketball is a TEAM game, and if you want to win you have to communicate with your teammates
Pick And Roll Defense
Pick and roll is very common and probably most popular way to run the offense, so you need to learn how to defend it. Usually tall and big guy sets a screen and the guard gets some space to either drive to the basket or pull up a jumper and that causes a breakdown on the defense.
One of the ways to defend this is by switching. The guard will be defended by a bigger guy and offensive team’s big guy will be defended by a guard. The problem with this strategy, is that if the offensive team’s big guy will establish position close to the basket, the guard won’t be able to defend. Another problem, is that a bigger guy is too slow to catch the offensive team’s guard and probably that guard will just blow by and go strong to the basket or just step back and pull up a jumper.
It’s very important how the defending team guard will fight over screen, if opposing team’s guard is a good shooter, then you must fight over the top and that is hard. However if he is not a good shooter you can risk and go under the screen.
If opposing team’s big guy can also shoot from distance, then you’re in for some trouble. Basically, you have to pick your poison because someone will be open. After the screen, attacking team’s big guy will just step back and he will have enough space to shoot.
You can’t just double defense on that guard because the bigger guy will just attack the basket, unless you call for help and when your small forward steps in to defend the big guy, someone will be left wide open in the corner. If that someone is a good shooter your defense plan failed.
If they are good shooters you have to stay as close as possible and that opens up a lot space for “drivers”. When a guard starts to drive, he will probably blow by both defenders. You still can’t forget about the big guy who is either waiting in the perimeter or running to the basket as well. The only option here is to call for help and hope that your remaining teammates will rotate correctly
Be aware of cutters! when the entire action usually happens around top of the key, there is a lot free space around the basket. The second guard or small forward might cut hard and go for a layup. Also, be aware on off ball screens, since they can open up someone and allow him to cut to the basket or step back in the distance without any defender around him. This leaves you one pass away of another failed defensive position
All of this might look complicated and too much to remember, but that is just the surface of an iceberg. There are much more strategies and various combinations about pick and roll. Pick and roll is such a crucial part of basketball and if you want to become better at basketball, you need to learn at least the basics of those strategies.
Offense – The Fun Part Of The Game
Everyone wants to be an offensive superstar who scores 50 points per game and hit amazing buzzer beaters. All of that is completely possible, but you will have to spend hours on training. It’s important to remember something, many today’s superstars forget that basketball is a team game and you can be a leader and MVP without scoring tons of points. Don’t be selfish and always do what is best for your team even if that hurts your statistics.
Improve Your Shooting
After all tactics, strategies and various preparations sometimes basketball is a really simple game, if you can’t shoot the ball, you can’t win, in simple words the ball has to go in. Shooting is the key element to this game, and the best part is that you can improve your shooting skills.
Catch and shoot is simple, and yet must have skill in your arsenal. Even when you don’t have the ball be prepared, set your feet and face the basketball, when you catch the ball you jump and release the ball on your way up right before you reach the top of your jump. When you jump you should jump slightly forward, also always stay in balance.
Remember that ideally the ball has to spin a little on its way to the basket, work on your release, make sure that you release the ball the exact same way every time, your muscles has memory so if you can perfect that one shooting form, your shooting accuracy will improve constantly.
Here is a good video that might help to improve your shooting.
Everything gets way more complicated when you have to shoot off balance or after the dribble, its hard to get in that correct shooting motion and yet you have to train on those kinds of shots especially if you are guard-small forward.
Handle The Ball
If you are a guard you must have good ball handling skills, you have to feel comfortable with the ball at all times. When you have to run the pick and roll, your ball handling skills are crucial, or simply when you have to bring the ball through half court and defenders decide that they want to disturb and, pressure you and if you can’t handle the ball properly you will just turn it over and your coach will sit you on the bench.
Everyone loves gorgeous crosowers or when someone makes the defender to fall, yea it won’t happen on every possession but it happens. There are various drills that helps to improve ball handling skills, do 5-10 mins drill before every game and you will see results quite fast.
Keep in mind that you need to be able to handle the ball with both hands equally, sometimes defender might pressure your main hand and if you don’t feel comfortable with your off hand you will turn the ball over or will be forced to get rid of the ball
There are so many dribbling techniques and styles, its not only beautiful but also very useful, master crossover, through your legs and behind the back dribble moves and you will become a problem to any defender.
Driving To The Basket
Important part of the offense is driving to the basket. Doesn’t matter what position you are playing, it’s a very useful skill to have in your arsenal. Imagine that you are known shooter, defenders might stick extremely close to you, and that will open up a lot space, and give you tempo with the first step.
Ideally you drive with your dominant hand and go strong, don’t be afraid of contact because it is the part of the game and it might help you. However just like handling the ball it’s good if you can drive with your off hand as well, defense will have hard time stopping you when they don’t know which side you will go.
Learn how to finish around the basket with each hand, this way you can be very creative with your finish, and it will be harder to block your shot. If you can jump high, or you are tall you could practice dunking, however you won’t be able to dunk the same way every time, so learn some different ways to hurt the defense.
Even when you don’t have the ball, there is an option for cutting to the open space. Sometimes there is a lot open space around the basket, first step is the most important, since if you time it well you can leave defender in the dust, and if your teammates will recognize the situation fast enough it’s easy points
Basketball is a team sport, and every team member needs to know how and when to pass the ball. Especially if you are point guard, you need to scan the floor for open teammates. Eyes up all the time, passing is one of the most important elements of the game.
Learn how to pass the ball exactly on the target, with different hands, or both hands. Its important to be creative, learn how to pass behind your back, through defenders legs, through your legs, learn how to throw alley up, and many other moves.
No one likes to play with selfish ball hogers who always tries to be heroes, doesn’t pass the ball, takes bad contested shots or just turns the ball over and ruins the fun of this wonderful game for everyone. Doesn’t matter what position you are playing, if you can pass the ball well, your teammates and especially your coach will love you
Pick And Roll
Pick and roll is a key to the offense, especially for teams that play slow phase basketball and it doesn’t matter what position you play, you have to understand how pick and roll works
Usually guard handles the ball, and when big men sets a screen it’s up to him how that posesion continues. He’s eyes has to be up all the time, looking for cutters and open shooters, it would be best if that guard is confident shooter of the dribble, it will be almost impossible to defend.
Guard may choose to drive to the basket, and if the help comes he has to find a way to pass the ball to big man who is either going to the basket or standing somewhere in the perimeter, however if the help doesn’t come guard must have the ability to finish around the rim.
There are several ways how pick and roll offense can benefit you, probably the most important things that makes the defense job nightmare is good shooting. If every player on the floor is capable of hitting three pointers, than guard who runs the pick and roll will have plenty of space to penetrate and basically do what ever he wants, because opposing team can’t send help and double the guard since shooters are deadly.
Keep in mind that in todays basketball players positions starting to disappear, and every player must be able to do everything. Sometimes big guy will handle the ball, and small guys will set screens, it’s nightmare to all defenders since it’s really confusing and hard to plan your defense, however this kind of rich offense is extremely effective so if you don’t know how to get better at basketball i recommend you to study pick and roll art to the perfection and you will become valuable player for every team.
Post game is not so popular like before, when 80% of posetions was – guard throws the ball in the post area where big man uses strength and height to score, however it’s still useful especially in miss mach situations.
Imagine that you are 6.7 and the guy who is currently guarding you is 5.9, if you know how to use your height you will be able to score easy points around the rim. That little guy can’t do anything except fouling, if the help comes you just kick the ball out to the perimeter and eventually they will find someone who is open.
The key to post game is to understanding how strong you are and how strong your opponent is. Don’t be afraid to use physical strength, however you have to feel how much strength you can use, if you will push too hard you might get called for offensive foul especially if the guy flops( keep in mind that greatest actors doesn’t work in Hollywood, they work in basketball, and football industries ). So use your strength wisely, back him down, get closer to the basket. Pump fake move is awesome, also foot work is important.
The best post up players knows that is important to keep eyes up and look for cutters, entire defense is focused on you so your teammates might take advantage of that and cut hard while defense is unaware of them. Just take your time, don’t rush things and you will be fine.
Basketball is something much more than running jumping and shooting, basketball is a wonderful strategy game. There are preparations for every game, and even if you are playing in street with friends, still you have to think how to run smart offense and play good defense.
Basketball is not all about the guy who currently has the ball, players should move, cut, set off ball screens to create space and much more. In every team there are players who main job is not to score, they are role players and their job is to help others with their outstanding defense, effort, and hard work, sadly that usually doesn’t end up in statistics.
Every player needs to understand each other, favorite spots to shoot, strengths and weaknesses, it’s hard to play in a team with no chemistry. There are good and bad games for everyone, if your teammate is struggling you have to support him, if he is doing great than let him shine, there has to be some kind of trust between teammates.
About The Leagues
Even if you don’t like to play basketball it’s still interesting to watch the very best teams and players compete. Here are top leagues in the world
Eurolegue – A league where every ball matters everything, there are so many various strategies and usually players are not allowed to be heroes, there is very little space for individuals and it’s all about the team. Leader in eurolegue has a different meaning, it’s not the guy who scores 30 every night, it’s the guy who leads. True basketball is being played in eurolegue, however usually it’s not entertaining since there are many foul calls, the game is slower and players are not that atletic and ksilled individually like in NBA.
NBA – NBA is a show, most of the Americans doesn’t understand what basketball really is so show business changed basketball to the entertaining way, ( it’s all about the money now ) most of the leaders are selfish and usually put their own interests ahead of the team, however NBA is the place where very best individuals play’s and since the league can offer so much money for players it’s not likely to change any time soon.
CBA – china basketball league is improving really fast, but it’s still way way behind eurolegue or NBA and only good thing about CBA is money, and cheap tickets to the game.
In my opinion Olympics, world cup and Eurobasket are way better than any league. The best players from all around the world compete here, they represent their own country, and this project is not about the money it’s about something more.
Basketball is extremely popular sport game that requires many different skills and abilities – strength – speed – stamina – reaction – accuracy – precision – intellect – experience – resilience – cold blood – the ability to set correct mind set and dedicate for hard work is probably the most important. It’s not all about puting the ball in to the basket, it’s more … much more.
In my opinion basketball must be fun for you, if it’s no longer fun than doesn’t matter how much you work the results won’t be so good.
You don’t have to play pro, just play with your friends and see basketball as your hobby and enjoy this wonderful game.