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Practice Tips


"Champions

are made when no one else

is watching."


Some players practice all summer and never get any better, while others improve dramatically. Why? It has to do with how you practice. All players need to work on (1) ball handling skills, (2) shooting, and (3) conditioning. If you think you can play in a summer league and that is enough, you are mistaken. Practicing at home 4-5 days a week is crucial to improving your fundamentals and making you a player to be recognized.


Ball-Handling

Spend 15-20 minutes doing some standard ball-handling and dribbling drills. There are lots of ball handling drills on the internet. Find 10 that you like, practice those every day until you master them and then move on to 10 more.


Shooting

Shooting is key to becoming a great player. You work hard all game to find good, open shots; and when you get them, you need to make them. Spend about 30-40 minutes each practice session working on shooting. (You may find that isn’t enough time. But for someone beginning, consistency over time is more important than a long burst once a week.) There are 3 types of shooting you need to master first. 1- short shots under the basket, 2 - offensive moves, 3 – free throws. Common short shots include layups, reverse layups, Mikans, baseline shots, and shots from each of the hashmarks along the lane. For offensive moves, start by picking 3 that you can master and do those perfectly. Finally, never, never, never miss a FREE THROW! It’s a free shot! Practice these until you are consistently making 9 out of 10 every time.


Conditioning

You must be in excellent physical condition to play the game well. Shooting skills, decision making, and fundamentals deteriorate when you are tired. You want to be able to play with the same intensity at the end of the game as you did at the beginning, and that takes conditioning.


Jumping rope, running a couple miles 3 or 4 days a week, doing wind sprints, and lots of wall sits/push-ups/sit-ups, and jumping exercises can help you be prepared. Be sure to stretch prior to any conditioning. You want your body to have flexibility with all of the diving, twisting, and reaching you do in games.

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