Becoming a Better Basketball Player
Basketball is an exciting sport to play and a fantastic cardio workout. While the more laid-back individual might just be content with some high-quality exercise, the competitive desire to play well will likely drive even the most casual players to improve. Here are a few tips on how to become a better basketball player.
Develop Your Off-hand
While you can perform just fine on the court relying on your dominant hand, your game will open up if you can improve your off-hand. Being flashy is beside the point; simply being able to dribble effectively with either hand or drive to the basket from either side reliably will make you tougher to defend. Being able to perform a layup with either hand can create opportunities you would otherwise not have. With a developed off hand, you create space on the court and become a more efficient offensive player overall. Try doing mundane tasks, like brushing your teeth or eating food, with your off hand to build the coordination. Or, if you happen to practice alone, do everything with your off hand. It will take time, but becoming at least a little ambidextrous will go a long way with basketball.
Fundamentals Over Flash
Behind the back passes and killer crossovers have their place in the game, but you should never neglect key plays for these. Perfect your chest and bounce pass before moving onto advanced techniques. Learn to box out for rebounds, and how to stick with your opponent while on defense. Be able to effectively make a layup from either side of the basket, and work within the framework of a team with good cuts to the basket and bright screens. Spins and Eurosteps are great tools to have but mean nothing without a solid grasp of fundamental play.
Play Your Game
While we should strive to be well-rounded on the court, genetics and natural talent can give us an advantage in particular areas. You might be head and shoulders above everyone else, or have a knack for shooting that puts other players to shame. In a team game, utilize your skill-set instead of trying to do it all. If you excel at playing the low post, then get in the paint and grab some boards. As a shooter, look for open shots or shots that you know you can make regardless of the defense. You should be willing to get involved in every aspect of the game, but understand what parts of it you excel at and apply it to benefit your team.
Recognize Your Team
In pickup games or leagues, you have to understand your teammates as much as yourself. See how they play over the course of the game, or how they warm up. Once you learn their tendencies, you can utilize that to your advantage on the court. If you run into tough defense, maybe you need to feed the ball into your monster of a forward down low. If someone gets out on the fast break and back on defense consistently, reward them with a pass down court and an easy two points. Know your role and the roles of those on your team, and it will elevate your game.Looking for other fun cardio options? Check out this article for ways to make cardio exciting again!