Basketball is one of the most mentally and physically demanding games on the planet. Players spend hours everyday perfecting their skills related to shooting, dribbling, and running, etc. While some have access to the best training techniques and facilities, others do not. However, that should not let you down. We are going to share some important tricks and tips that should help you play better each time you step on the basketball court.
Prioritize ball control
One of the biggest mistakes players make while starting out at basketball is trying to perfect every skill. It should be remembered that basketball cannot be mastered overnight. One needs to practice patience and focus on one skill at a time.
This is why professionals suggest and consider prioritizing ball control as one of the advanced basketball tips. Dribbling is perhaps the easiest way to become a basketball player. To become better at this skill, you should start in a centered athletic position. Your nose should be behind your toes and your hips loaded without leaning forward.
The key to ball handling is balance. You should make sure that your body is static and in an athletic position while dribbling the ball around the body. While handling the ball, dribble aggressively and to the side of your foot. Additionally, maintain a bounce height that reaches your hip and knee.
This will keep the ball close to your shot pocket, enabling you to become an efficient shooter. Remember, the more powerful the dribble, the more control you have on the ball. Furthermore, you should also try mastering moves such as the crossover, behind the back, and between the legs.
Once you have managed to pioneer the art of balance and dribbling, create combination dribbles that you can utilize during games.
Identify and Work on Your Weak Spots
Identifying and working on your weak spots is one of the best basketball pro tips. Every player has a weak spot, irrespective of the experience level. But that does not mean you should ignore it. Instead, consider it as a golden opportunity to become a better player.
For instance, if you struggle at the free-throw line, dedicate more time to improving your free throw percentage. Additionally, decide whether you are more comfortable dribbling using your non-dominant hand. If not, use that hand for improving dribbling skills. Keep in mind that you need to overcome your weaknesses to become the best-all rounder.
Practice at game speed
Any player on an individual level can use good form for solo shooting or dribbling sessions. However, when the professionals are up against you with fans cheering, it could be difficult to maintain that form. Therefore, if you kill your dribbling and practicing sessions everyday but perform poorly during games, it means that you need to practice at game speed.
When practicing basketball skills alone, assume that your opponents are right infront of you to help mimic the game. Defenders will not even spare a second to plant your feel, so while practicing, you need to move at a game-time piece. Otherwise, regardless of how much time you have spent practicing, it simply will not work out in the end.
Improve your physical fitness
As mentioned earlier, basketball is a physically demanding game. Professional players need to be in good physical condition to endure all the pushes and rough physical contact. Therefore, even if you are a master at dribbling or shooting, it will not help much if you are tired five minutes into the play.
Improving your physical fitness is amongst the most basic basketball practice tips. For that, you will need to hit the gym, develop some muscles and follow a diet. While you are sweating it out on the court, your body needs to rest and repair, which is only possible through consuming healthy food products and items.
Work on your lower body shooting mechanics
Shooting might seem easy from the outside but a great shooter relies on solid mechanics. What this means is that each part of their body should come together to serve as a foundation for shots. Every shot begins in the lower body.
Therefore, start by pointing your toes in the same direction, first squaring them with the rim, and then practice to determine the most natural stance of your body. Your lower body provides the force for shooting, so push your feet arches into the floor to gather all the power you can.
Moreover, keep your knees behind your toes and concentrate on letting power and energy flow from your feet through your hips and glutes. At the same time, square your toes, shoulders, and knees and make sure to flex your legs on every shot.
To become better at lower body mechanics, stand infront of the mirror without a ball. Focus on positioning your foot and alignment of the lower body. Load your hips and bring the shooting hand up through your eyebrow, releasing with your elbow to come up with a gooseneck finish.
Practice Your Hand Alignment on the Ball
Even though there are many basketball super tips for you to follow, this one tops all of them. The positioning of your hand plays an important role in becoming a consistent shooter. Hand alignment affects the feel, connection, and proper spin.
To find the ideal hand position, place the index finger of your dominant hand on the air valve of the ball. Now, practice a few form shots to get used to the position of the hand. Make sure that you grip and hold the ball using finger pads and keep some breathing room between the ball and your palm.
While lining up for the shot, focus and aim your shot at the two or three rim hooks facing you and plan on dropping the ball just over the front of the rim. A higher release point makes it difficult for the defender to interfere with the shot.
Another way to practice hand alignment is by placing your shooting hand’s index finger on the air valve of the ball and allowing the ball to rest in your hand so that you can feel the center of the ball. Take 10 shots by standing a few feet from the basket, finding the air valve first.
Now take ten more shots using your hand to find the ball’s center, without searching the air valve this time.
The tricks and tips mentioned above are not mere myths. Infact, professional players and even coaches train their teams and players the same way. The point is to balance each skill to the best of the player’s ability. This means that while you work hard, you need to work smart as well. And the only way to do that is by looking after your physical health, identifying your weak spots, and following what the professionals do both on and off-court.