When it comes to playing basketball there is a lot more than just shooting a ball into a hoop. There are plays to memorize, skills to master, ball-handling to get the hang of, and best of all — memories to be made. You aren’t going to be the next Michael Jordan or Diana Taurasi overnight. Like Jordan, Taurasi, and every great player before them they all practiced and honed their skill to get better at the game they love. The time and dedication you put into the game are what makes a good player become a great player.
Before anything, before you even pick up a ball, you need to make sure you are properly stretched out. Stretching can help awaken the body, loosen up some of your muscles that you are going to use, and get good blood circulation throughout the body. A good stretch helps keep the muscles strong and healthy while you are playing, it also can prevent a lot of injuries from a pulled, sprain, or strained muscle from happening. Make sure to spend a good 10-15 minutes stretching from your toes to your fingertips.
Not everyone is going to be great at dribbling, it will take time and practice to get comfortable. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind that will help you. Your hand position should always be on top of the ball while your fingertips should be the main thing that is touching the ball. This gives you more control over your speed and direction as well as preventing you from getting any dribbling violations.
Do not bounce the ball super high, it should be bouncing the height of your knee or mid-thigh. The higher the bounce the less control you have.
When bouncing the ball be mindful of where you have the ball. If you are being guarded, then you should have the ball on the outside of you. You should always be between you and the defender with an armbar so the defender can’t reach the ball. If you are on a breakaway layup then the ball should be in front of you while running. While dribbling you are going to want to look at the ball when dribbling, don’t do that. Keep your eyes up so you can see what is front and around you. Remember to practice with both hands so you don’t have a weak dribbling hand. You can always pop over with Coach Mick so he can help you with Dribbling.
Shooting is a skill that can always be improved on no matter how long you’ve been playing. Focusing on executing your form will give you the proper shooting form to help you become an offensive threat on the court. When it comes to shooting a lot of different players have their method that works, but they all follow the simple steps of BEEF; Balance, Elbows in, Eyes on target, and Follow through. Repetition and practice will help you gain muscle memory and become automatic. Or go to our Basketball Camp page and follow along with Coach Mick to help refine your Shooting Skills.
Balance: You want to make sure your body is facing the basket with feet shoulder-width apart and keeping even weight on both. You also want to have your knees bent as well. If you are right-handed then your right foot would be slightly in front of your left foot, both facing the basket. The same goes for left-handed shooters but with the opposite foot.
Elbows in: When holding the ball your shooting hand is placed on the back of the ball slightly toward the bottom of the ball while your non-shooting hand is placed on the outside of the ball acting as a guide. This is called the “locked and loaded” position, and all this should be held right in front of your face with your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
Eyes on target: Some players look at different parts of the basket to focus on where to shoot. The best part to focus on is the middle of the square on the backboard and if there is no square, just focus on the middle of the backboard. Keep your eyes on this target while shooting, do not take your eyes off your target or look at the ball after release.
Follow through: As you release you want to make sure to extend your elbow while you flick your wrist and shoot the ball with your fingertips. For example, this motion could look like you are reaching inside the cookie jar, showing off your freshly painted nails, or even making a swan head with your hand. Whichever way helps you remember the motion then use it, even if your way may not be listed. The ball should have a backspin when you shoot the ball. It is important to remember, DO NOT shoot the ball with both hands. Your dominant hand is the only one that should move, and the guiding hand is there for guiding and balancing the ball.
Now that you understand the fundamentals of basketball use these tips to go out and practice them. Practice is an essential part to become a great player. Repetition and practicing the same skill over and over will help you improve and eventually come naturally to you. You won’t need to go step by step on how to shoot a ball because after all your missed and made shots you know what works for you. Same with dribbling, anyone can bounce a ball up and down. But can they crossover, change directions, or dribble between the legs while running? This is where practice plays a vital part. “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.” This is a great quote to live by when you are out practicing.
Just like the title reads, Have Fun! Not every drill, practice, or game is going to be 100% fun but remind yourself why you are playing. If you aren’t having fun, then the game starts to feel like a chore you’re doing, and it can lead to dropping out of the sport. Not everyone will be an all-star from the beginning so don’t worry it’s not the end of the world. Go out and do your best, the best part of starting a new sport is the journey and the memories you will make. The friendships you’ll make with your teammates, coaches, and surprisingly sometimes your opponents. So now go out there and practice your behind-the-back dribbling, your post moves, and those crazy half-court shots.
For more basketball tips go to Happy Camper Live’s Basketball Camp.
Tagged:- basketball, basketball camp, sports, sports camp
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