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How To Improve Your Basketball Game and Be Your Best - Work at Your Game

Basketball Is More Than Just Playing Games


How To Improve Your Basketball Game and Be Your Best - Work at Your Game
Chad Cooper/flickr/CC BY 2.0
Updated June 10, 2014

Over the years I have met many players who had dreams of going on to be successful in basketball. What success means is a major question in itself. Let's just say, in a basketball sense, it means being the best player you can be. That could mean playing on the junior high school team, playing on the high school team, going beyond that level, or just being a good player in the summer league. It's all relative. How can you improve your game so you can be the best player possible?

First, you have to have a passion for the game. Maybe that is an overused word, but it is true. Why? Because basketball is a highly skilled game and takes a lot of work. Most people have to do more than just "shoot around." You have to love the game to put in the necessary work. Basketball for many people is a year round sport.

What is required to be a good player? First, play as much as you can, wherever you can (within reason). It's a great game. Have fun. Learn from the players around you. Watch what they do well. What can you do to practice and become as good as your opponents? Do other players have moves that would be effective for you? Learn from others.

Also, be aware of what you do well. Practice those things more. Take a strength that you have and make it stronger. If you are a fair shooter, shoot more and become a good shooter. If you are a good shooter, shoot even more and become a great shooter. Play as much as you can and improve the things you do best.

I am telling you to practice alot, but do so in moderation. Balance in life is important so don't misunderstand. My point is to love the game, play and practice alot, and try to improve.

In addition, learn what you need to improve in. Practice to become competent in skills that you have been weaker in. Work on developing a good, all-around game. I know these things seem obvious, but how many people do them?

There are camps, leagues, clinics, intramural sports, and other places you can play. These are all opportunities. Join these types of programs and have fun, but always try to learn. Listen to people who are successful and find out what made them successful. Try to model those behaviors.

Now, comes the hardest part-"practice, practice, practice." The more you practice, the better you'll play. When you practice, practice with a purpose. Break the game down into skills you need to improve on and the skills you are good at. As I said, work on improving your weaknesses and work at really making those skills you are good at greater.

Make a practice schedule and follow it. Time each drill and stay on schedule. Have goals for each practice session and work toward achieving those goals. Work out with a friend so you can help each other and reinforce each other. Learn from each other.

This sounds a bit like school or work! They are very similar. That's why it's important. The work habits you develop as a player will also help you to become a better student, better worker, good team mate, and a great person. If you work hard at basketball, you should improve and have fun, and you'll learn to be an even better person.

What does it take to become a better player?
• Set Goals
• Work on your strengths
• Improve your weaknesses
• Play as much as you can
• Make use of clinics, leagues, camps, and programs
• Learn from others
• And most importantly, love the game! You can't turn this on at a moments notice, but passion is what makes greatness.

Here are some skills oyu can work on:

  • Work on dribbling with your head up using both hands
  • Shoot as much as you can from inside the key and the periemeter
  • Work on offensive moves off the dribble and before dribbling
  • Work on passing skills-practice with a friend
  • Work on defensive techniques, stance, sliding, and footwork
  • Practice ball fakes, jam steps, and up and under moves
  • Always display a great attitude-listen, learn, and be the best team mate you can

Again, I want to make the point that life is about balance. You have to balance your skills in basketball to become a well-rounded player. I am telling you to play a lot, practice hard, and let your love of basketball grow. But you must be a balanced person and have other interests. Be a good student and study hard. Work hard. Develop other interests. But let basketball teach you how to be the best you can be in everything and Be Great!

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