How to Basketball
Basketball is a sport that people of all ages can play. It is a professional sport, and it can also be a sport people do just to get a good workout in. If this is a sport you'd like to learn a little more about, then read through the following tips.
Practice makes perfect. This is especially true in basketball. Learning how to shoot a basket, how to dribble and how to pass a ball is important to playing good basketball. Spending as little as 30 minutes practicing a day can really help develop your game and make you a better player.
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Positions on a basketball court
Learn the positions on a basketball court. Each position has different roles to fill on both offense and defense. There are guards, point guards, forwards, power forwards, and centers. If you want to really enjoy basketball, learn the needs of all of the positions, not just the one you are most interested in.
Hitting a free-throw shot
You must become knowledgeable about hitting a free-throw shot. It looks simple to do, but it isn't that easy. When practicing your free throw, concentrate on where you want the ball to go when it leaves your hands. Place the ball right in line with your face. Concentrate on the basket and visualize the basketball going in. Then shoot! Shoot the ball in the trajectory you imagined.
Free throws require both mental and physical abilities. You must train both your body and your mind. Relax and focus on your shot, and you can make it.
And, use two hands when trying to make shots. Have both thumbs on the ball so that they are almost touching. Put the ball over your head but be sure you are able to see what you are aiming for. When you shoot, aim for the backboard or give it a backspin by rolling your hands down while shooting.
When you think you have a good shot, take it. This can be difficult to learn. There is a balance between not shooting enough and shooting too often. You never want to miss out on taking a great shot because you are looking to pass, but you do not want to miss on a couple of points because you do not make the pass.
Having a good foundation is key when shooting the ball. Having good balance will allow you to keep better control of the ball as well as play a better defense. They improvise to do that. You need to maintain good balance while shooting, which is sure to produce greater consistency.
When shooting free throws in basketball, make sure you properly line up with the basket. Your lead foot needs to be lined up with the rim's center. If you're right-handed, your lead foot will be the right foot. If your court has a hardwood floor, check it for a dot. If it has one, put your toe on it for a straighter shot.
Catching the basketball
Practice catching the basketball while you are moving and stopping cold for a shot. Basketball is a fast paced game, and the constant movement can throw your shot off during game time. This is especially true if you've practiced your shooting standing still. That is not as common in a game experience. Get the feel for moving, stopping and shooting.
Dribble a basketball
To improve your basketball dribbling skills, set cones out on the court and practice dribbling in and out of the cones. Go from one end of the court to the other at different speeds to enhance your ball control. After you have been up and down the court several times, practice stopping and shooting from various positions.
Make sure to dribble properly. Don't use your palm to dribble, but use your fingertips instead. This allows you to control the ball much better while you dribble. Bounce the ball no higher than your waist and keep the ball at your side rather than in front. Keep your eyes up.
It is not always necessary to dribble the ball. In fact, you should only dribble it when it is part of your play. For instance, you will want to dribble the ball when you are trying to get the ball up the court, to get in a position for passing, or to get the defense off you.
Be careful not to travel when dribbling the basketball. Traveling occurs when you take too many steps in between dribbles. It's most likely to happen when going up for a shot. Just one extra step will mean the difference between a score and a turnover, so practice shooting as often as you can.
When learning to dribble, you need to learn to dribble with both hands. This is important because you may have to switch hands when dribbling during a game. Also, learn to dribble behind your back and between an opponent's legs. This may seem silly, but you may actually use this technique.
Bend your knees as you dribble the ball. This gets you closer to the surface you are dribbling on and causes the distance between ground and ball to be reduced. This gives your opposition less of a chance to steal the ball away from you as you head for the net.
If you are in a good position to receive a pass, put your hand up in the air so the current dribbler can see you. The basketball court is surprisingly small when you're actually on it. And when you're playing in a game filled with ten people, there's a lot of chaos going on in that small space. Sometimes that hand is necessary so that the dribbler sees the option.
Learn how to use your hips, eyes, shoulders and entire body while dribbling. This can easily shake a defender off of you while dribbling if you look one way and move another. They are watching your body for clues to where you are going next. Use this to your advantage and throw them incorrect clues to get around them.
If you want to become a better dribbler, do it blindfolded. If you aren't using your eyes to watch where the ball is, you can instead use them to see where other players are or where the net is. You shouldn't have to stare at the ball as you dribble.
Never adopt the attitude that the shoes make the player. The latest and supposedly greatest basketball shoes on the market are probably overrated and not truly tested. They also are likely made in the same factory as cheaper shoes that aren't name brand. Just focus on a decent pair of shoes and the concentrate on your skills.
Picking the right basketball shoe can be very important to your game. If you need support for your ankles, choose a high top sneaker. Make sure that the sole of the shoe has enough traction to prevent slipping. Always buy a shoe that is the correct size by having your feet measured at a sporting goods store.
Keep your footwork in mind while playing defense. Taking short steps will give you a better foothold on your opponent. Remember to push off your front foot. When you take long steps, it is more difficult to defend against a driving opponent. Check your distance from your opposing player by extending one arm.
You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. You can count on quite a bit of the game being played in zone; however, you should not be surprised if it becomes one-on-one coverage just for the sake of confusion. Be sure to practice for this eventuality so you will not become rattled and lose the game.
Keeping calm and reacting maturely to getting beat is as important to your game as anything else. If your opponent has played harder and has out-hustled you, don't get upset or stressed out, as your game will only suffer. Instead, think about how to match the intensity of your opponent. Beat them at their own game.
To get a jump shot off without having it blocked, release it at your nose or even higher. If your release point is at your chest or even your chin, it is much easier for even a shorter defender to block it. A higher release point means that your shot is more likely to go over that defender.
Patience can be a key component to getting the best shot. Taking a perimeter jump shot from near the three point line while early into the offense is probably not the best idea. Instead, get into your half court set and begin looking for the open shot. Look down low for an easy basket or outside for an open three point shot.
Never throw the basketball
Yes, never throw the basketball at another player. Even if you are angry or aggravated, it's never smart to take your anger out with the ball. Not only will you draw a foul, you can also do some serious damage to the person you are throwing at. Take a breathe before you do anything stupid.
Where your feet
Always know where your feet are and what they are doing. If you fall on a baseline, you will be out of bounds. More than three steps will cause you to get called for traveling. Do not move your feet when attempting to set up a screen, a foul can be called.
A bounce pass is essential to learn. It needs to get to the player at their waist. A useful tip is to have the ball bounce roughly 3/4 of the distance to the recipient. Many other factors will affect it, too.
How to do a crossover
Learn how to do a crossover if you plan to be in possession of the ball a lot. Crossovers are when you move the ball from one hand to the other while dribbling. If done quickly, the opposition won't be able to get the ball away from you as you can pass it to the side they are not on.
Some drills you can practice
There are some drills you can practice to help you become a better player. For example, power crossovers: first, dribble with your right hand hard, and then quickly move the ball to your left hand. Repeat while passing the ball back to your right hand. This will make you a better at crossovers.
Do sprints in your practice drills. Basketball is a very active sport for the entire game. And there are times in it when you need to pull up your last bit of energy for an extremely fast sprint to the opposite side of the court. Your body needs to be used to sprinting, even when worn out. You only accomplish this through practice.
Understand how to box out your opponent.
To become a better rebounder in basketball you need to understand how to box out your opponent. The best way to box out your opponent so you can grab the ball off a missed shot is to get your body in front of him or her. Make sure you shield this person from the basket, this lets you grab the carom off the backboard and rim.
Rebounding is amongst the major tips for winning a game title just like any coach will explain. Therefore, it's important to practice getting rebounds, and thing about this practice ought to be spent blocking people out. Too, when you're alone, hop into it with this energy, and go get that rebound!
Keep your opponents guessing
Keep your opponents guessing as to where you will be going next. Dart right, lean left, move back and forward too. The more movement you have on the court, they less likely they are to be able to guess what your plans are, allowing you to trick them and make the shot.
Keep your hands active
Keep your hands active. Use a deflective hand high to block shots and intercept passes. Use a ball hand low to block low passes and try to poke the ball away from your opponent. Always swipe your hand up when playing the ball. Swiping down at the ball could result in a foul.
Shoot a basketball outdoors
To shoot a basketball outdoors, you have to be ready for the conditions. On the blacktop, the wind can send your shot off, so as you start shooting around beforehand, get used to factoring that wind in by aiming to one side or the other. This will boost your accuracy.
Move without the basketball
Running the baseline has advantages. You can possibly lose your defender in the paint for a second and become open. At the very least you might distract the ball defender's attention for just a second. Even if you can't get open, set a screen for who has the ball.
Be flexible in your body movements. You've probably already noticed that when you try to guard someone who is in a stiff position and stays very still, that it is easier to guard them and take the ball. Those who are flexible and always moving around are much more difficult to catch.
Don't prepare more for a game than you do for a practice. If you don't tape up for practice, don't do it for games. You will naturally take games more seriously than practice. However, you don't need to start panicking over a game by over-preparing. Have a consistent and calm routine.
Know your strengths and weaknesses
Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Learn to play to your strengths and practice to improve your weak points. Not everyone on the team can be the guy who scores every point. Your position may be better suited on the defensive end. You can only learn these things through practice and play.
You might not have star ability, but you can be an outstanding team player. Know the things you're great at and keep practicing until there is no one better than you.
Know how to fitness.
Drink plenty of water
When you play basketball, be sure that you remain properly hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after playing. Becoming dehydrated can negatively affect your game and your health. It is possible to lose up to 2% of your body weight through dehydration. That can also cause between a 10% and 20% decrease in your athletic performance.
Play solo games
Prior to basketball season, and even during it, you can play solo games. While basketball is a team sport, sometimes you just can't find others to play with. For concentration purposes, it can be good to practice on your own. You can still get a lot accomplished with solo games. Work on your free throws or your pivot moves. You can always find things to work on.
High school basketball
When dealing with high school basketball players, make sure that they get enough sleep every night. The workouts involved for basketball players are pretty strenuous. That is why it is very important that they get enough rest so that their bodies can recover. They should try to sleep about seven hours each night.
Coach, Teammates and You
Stop and ask your coach what you can do to help the team improve. Basketball is a team sport and every component must be working towards a common goal. The coach is there to offer guidance and provide instruction. Ask if there's anything specific you can do to help and follow his advice.
If you feel you've been spending too much time on the the bench, ask your basketball coach what you can do to help the team the next time you are in practice. Hang on every word he or she says. This will demonstrate your intense interest in helping the team win by improving your own play and should get you more game time!
Learn how to be patient and trust your teammates during games. Many players fall into the trap of not passing the ball and trying to do it all themselves. You need to trust them and pass the ball. This is a team sport and passing is part of what helps your team win games.
Remember that refs don't see, catch or call everything. You're going to get fouled sometimes and not hear the whistle. Just remember that works both ways. You will also get away with some fouls that aren't called. Respect the refs, but remember that they don't determine the winner and loser.
Street basketball games
Beware of picking up bad habits from street basketball games. Street games are often rougher and flashier than team basketball. It's a game to impress through individual showmanship, not from your work as part of a bigger group. Therefore, you can bring the wrong skills to the table if you base your team play on what you've learned from street games. Remember, you are part of something bigger than just you.
Be a great basketball player
To be a great basketball player, you have to make the ball part of your body. It may seem silly but roll it in your hands, dribble in the driveway, go for walks with it and take it with you wherever you go. The more time that ball spends attached to your body, the harder it will be for defenders to take it from you on the court.