Basketball is loved by millions of people across the globe. It may not have the exposure that other sports like soccer have achieved, but it still a fan favorite in many households. If you have ever watched a basketball game with the family and wished that you were able to play as well as the pros, you should continue reading.
For lightening fast dribbling, just like the pros, only use your finger tips on the ball. When you use all of your fingers, your dribbling will be much slower. Make this a part of your daily practice sessions until it becomes second nature to dribble with only the tips of your fingers.
When handling the ball, make sure you spread out your fingers. This makes it less likely that the ball will slip away from you. Also, keep your palm from making contact with the ball. Only your fingers should be involved in the process of getting the ball to where you want it to go.
Always protect the ball when you are in possession of it. Keep your dribble off to the side of your body to make it more difficult for another player to steal the ball. While you generally want to avoid dribbling in front of you, you can do so if there are no other players in your immediate vicinity.
Always follow through when shooting. A great way to practice is to hold your follow through until the ball goes in the basket or misses. This will give you some clues on why you missed a shot or where you need to strive for consistency. Watch how other players follow through and follow their lead.
Work on flexibility. Flexibility is very important during basketball. This is because you may have to stretch to grab a ball that is in the air. Additionally, increased flexibility helps protect your tendons and joints from the damage caused during this fast playing sport. Do flexibility exercises often and always stretch before beginning any game.
Never leave the practice court without taking some practice shots. Do some free throws, lay-ups and 3-point throws every practice before you leave. Of course you are doing some shooting during practice, but this additional practice will help you in the long run. Keep practicing your shooting on a daily basis.
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.
When posting up, solid footwork is essential to getting yourself into position to shoot. Although a strong presence in the key is important, beating your opponent to good spots on the floor is more important. Once you’re in the proper position, you’ll have to then secure your spot. Footwork, therefore, is crucial.
To play your best game of basketball, it is important to keep focused. Even when the action is not near your position, remain aware of the action and be ready to move fast. A positive attitude combined with being fully focused on what you are doing can give you the competitive advantage.
To become a better dribbler, work on becoming more flexible. The looser and more flexible you are, the better you will be able to elude defenders. Stiffer players are easier to defend. The more flexible you are, the harder it is to defend you. So to improve your dribbling, you need to improve your flexibility.
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.
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.
In order to steal a ball from a dribbler without fouling him, start with your hands low and bring them up toward the ball. This way you hit the ball first with your hand and knock it away. If you start with your hands high and swipe downward, you are going to hit his arm and get called for a foul.
To help your muscles get used to the change of pace in dribbling during a regular game, do 10-5 drills. Soft dribble for 5 seconds, then power dribble for 10. Do it these drills a number of times on each hand. That way, the muscles in your arms will be prepared to change pace as quickly as you need to.
As with almost all sports, good mental conditioning is as important as physical conditioning. It is a good practice to use deep breathing exercise before a game to get yourself in the proper frame of mind. A clear mind, focused on the game, is less likely to make mental errors during a game.
Even though dribbling movement should start with the feet and below the knees, finish or follow through the movements with your whole body. The right combination of eye and arm motions can actually throw your defender off for even a half of a second, giving you the daylight you need to make a play or pass.
Now is the time to get the ball and hit the courts. Remember the ideas that you have read here and apply them during the game. Impress your friends and take the lead with each play that you make. You no longer have to be the last guy picked for the teams.