Tips to improve your basketball skills

by frank-stuart
13MAR

Do you want to be the next Andrew Bogut or Andrew Gaze? Or do you just want to improve your basic basketball skills to be more competitive on the court? Either way, we’ve got some handy hints to help you dribble with greater control, shoot more accurately, rebound more effectively and shut down your opponent.

Ball Handling

Ball handling is a fundamental basketball skill that all players should be constantly trying to improve. The most basic of ball handling skills is dribbling, and to become a good dribbler you should work on getting the technique right and increasing your speed.

Practise dribbling while looking up. Continue to practise this until it feels natural to dribble without looking at the ball. This is important because you will become a much more effective decision-maker if you are able to survey the court while you’re dribbling.

Dribble with your fingers and practice dribbling with both hands. To be able to produce damaging offensive plays, you should be to dribble with speed. A good way to improve speed is to do figure eights with the basketball. Dribble the ball through and around your legs in the shape of an ‘8’, and aim to get progressively faster.

Passing

Passing is another essential basketball skill. Passing from A to B is almost always a lot quicker than dribbling the same distance. To create quick movement of the ball up the court, passing needs to be precise.

Practice all the different types of passes and learn which situations are suited to certain passes. There are a number of different passes, several of which look quite tricky and are employed to deceive opponents, such as the flick behind the back. Practising these passes will greatly improve your control of the ball.

A good tip is to practise passing while sitting down. Form a circle with everyone sitting down, except for one person in the middle trying to steal the ball as the people on the perimeter pass it to each other.

Rebounding

Don’t think rebounding is someone else’s job. A team that is full of players willing to rebound will create more offensive opportunities.

When it comes to rebounding, it’s important to learn the best body and court position. Practise getting low, so you are ready to jump and can more easily fend off opponents. Also practise getting in the right position, between the rim and your opponent, to box them out.

Rebounding is not a glamorous skill, but it can be a match-winning one. You should always be willing to hustle to get in the best rebounding position possible.

Shooting

Scoring points is what basketball is all about, so it’s vital to be a shooter with a good percentage. Being a strong shooter is contingent upon getting your stance right. A proper stance requires feet to be shoulder-length apart and parallel, with one foot slightly ahead of the other. Your shoulders should line up with the basket and be just in front of your hips.

Practise locating the rim as early as possible to give yourself more time to calculate what needs to be done to make the basket. Even a split second can make a big difference. Always make sure you hold your follow through. And remember, practice makes perfect!

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