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Improve Your Basketball Game Tips

Read these 28 Improve Your Basketball Game Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Basketball tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Can you please give me some tips on how to become a better post player?

Use the Shot Fake

Sure! This is a challenge, but one that many great players have been able to overcome. One of the biggest keys is learning to rely on a fake. When you fake effectively, you are able to draw players off their feet so that you can shoot over them or draw a foul. In addition, a fake enables you to drive past them or pass to an open player. One other underutilized tool is the hook shot, which is very difficult to block, no matter how tall you are. And finally, I would suggest that you work on developing your opposite hand, which could be a huge advantage in your play.

how do I become a better player?

Run Hard

TRY TO OUT RUN YOUR OPPONENT EVERY OPPORTUNITY. You will usually break their will over the long run. It will help you get easy shots late in that fourth quarter when every possession matters.

How can I become a better offensive player?

Everyone is a guard

Young players should always practice "guard skills", even if they are tall for their age. Some people grow early and may be big compared to their peers, but in a few years those peers may pass you up. A 12 year old "big man" may need to be someone's point guard 4 or 5 years later.

how do I become a better player?

Stay in Stance

PLAY WITH YOUR KNEES BENT. Always stay in stance. It is your point of maximum explosion. Just Like a track sprinter coming out of the blocks. Be ready to move. The lowest person wins.

how do I become a better player?

Two Hands

GAIN POSSESSION WITH TWO HANDS. Catch the ball with 2 hands-concentrate on the catch before you do anything else. Rebound with 2 hands, pick up a loose ball with 2 hands. And when you pick it up don´t dribble right away. Possession first.

how do I play defense?

See Your Man AND the Basketball

Always be able to see your man & the man with the basketball. You need to be able stop your man AND help your teammates if they get beat on the dribble.

When shoul I dribble?

Dribble with a Purpose

If you dribble the basketball, only dribble for a good reason. Good reasons to dribble are: to dribble the ball up the floor, to drive to the basket, to get in better position to make a pass, or to relieve some defensive pressure.

how do I become a better player?

Establish a pivot foot

When you catch the ball, plant one foot and establish a pivot foot. This will allow you to use the other foot for a "rocker move" that can fake out a defender, or to set up another move.

What is the most important characteristic that point guard should have?

Get To The Point

What one characteristic makes a successful point guard? He never turns the ball over!

That's it! You don't have to score, block shots, or rebound - you just need to be able to handle the pressure and keep possession of the ball and you'll be worth your weight in gold!

What is the difference between a Good shot and a Bad shot?

Good shot or Bad shot?

Don´t ever surprise anyone with your shot. If your teammates and coach expect you to shoot, it`s probably a good shot. They also will be ready for an offensive rebound or to get back on defense. That makes it a good shot. A rebound gives your team another chance to score.

What is triple threat?

Face the basket

When you catch the basketball, turn & face the basket and get into "triple threat position"(see Triple Threat Section). This is the position that you will be able to shoot, pass, or dribble from. Then the defense has more things to worry about and you will be more difficult to guard.

What can I do build muscle in my arms?

Its All in the Reps

There are several ways to build muscle in your arms - all of which require hard work and diligence, but are really very simple.

The best techniques are the most basic: push-ups, bench presses, arm curls with dumb bells, and leaning over the bench as you lift a weight from your knee up to chest - one arm at a time.

As you get stronger, you will want to work on increasing your reps and increasing the amount of weight you are lifting.

how close should I guard my man?

Pressure on the Basketball

Always try to put defensive pressure on the player with the basketball. Pressure makes the offense worry more about the defense than what they are supposed to do in their offense. Rick Majerus, the coach at the University of Utah, says that pressure is when the referee is counting. If the defense is within 6 feet, the offense can only hold or dribble the ball for 5 seconds each. Play close enough to the ball to try to get a "5 count"

What is the best way to break a full court press?

Press Your Luck - Pressbreak

The best way to break a full court press is to stay out of the corners at half court - that is the key. You can achieve this by reversing the ball consistently as you head up the court. Then, you can look for a pass to the middle guy, or a player across the court. Your ball handler needs to be controlled and take it easy - most teams get in to trouble when they try to go too fast and get trapped in the corners.

how do I become a better player?

Contest EVERY Shot

GET A HAND UP ON EVERY SHOOTER. The only person who can score is the one with the ball. Go guard him even if it is not your man, but don´t fall for a head fake! Remain in control as a defender.

how do I become a better player?

Offensive and Defensive musts!

The bottom line is when on offense make sure that your team gets a shot every time. On defense contest every shot the other team takes.

What is a good conditioner drill for big men?

Conditioner and Stamina Builder

The purpose of this drill is to build the stamina and improve the coordination of the big men. The player stands on the free throw line facing away from the basket with the ball on the floor in front of him. The player should pick up the ball, pivot, and lay the ball in the basket. Retrieve the ball, dribble back to the free throw line, then return the ball to its original position. The player then pivots toward the basket again, without the ball, jumps and touches the rim, then returns to the free throw line. He repeats this sequence until he has made five consecutive baskets.

I really need some good advice in practicing my ball handling, but I can only practice in my hallway. Can you tell me some techniques for dribbling in small spaces?

Basketball - In Its Simplest Form

You don't need a lot of space to practice your ball handling - if you want to practice, just start dribbling! It is important to practice dribbling without looking at the ball, but you can practice anywhere. You can sit in a chair, dribbling back and forth from hand to hand - you can dribble up and down a hallway, and you can always head outside! Just remember to keep your eyes up, and work on your off hand twice as much as you do your strong hand!!

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Develop an outside shot

Great post players can step outside and knock down the 15-18 foot jumper with ease. The best can even step behind the 3 point line and make defenses pay that try to double team a low post teammate with a second post defender.

I'm playing with 5 & 6 graders, and most are short and can't dribble well, so how do they avoid the clever press?

Pass, Pass, Pass - Pressbreak

The key to breaking a press is all in the passing. Don't worry about trying to dribble through traps - you want to pass the ball down the court rather than allow the defense to steal from poor ball handlers. Have your players look ahead down the court and keep the ball high and ready to pass. Station your players at intervals so that they can pass to the open man down the court. As soon as you get past half court, you should set up your offense - you've broken the press!

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Finish Strong

Great post players can finish in traffic with at least two different go-to moves against virtually any type of defender. Tall or small, big or quick, this player simply has automated their scoring skills to the point they "know" they can score when given the ball at a "moment of opportunity".

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Heads Up

Great post players keep their heads up and have great court vision even as they begin to initiate a post move. Many teams will send a second defender to double team late (such as when the post player puts the ball on the floor with the dribble). A head up will produce an alert pass and score by an open teammate instead of a forced shot against a collapsing or double teaming defense.

What are the biomechanics involved in a basketball jump shot?

Many facets working together

The biomechanics of a jumpshot include a few variables: stability (foot placement), propulsion by your legs, your body position (keeping your body "squared up" to the basket), the position of your shooting arm (tucked under ball to propel it up and outward), your wrist flexing as ball leaves your fingertips, and your other hand stabilizing the ball prior to release.

Together, this valuable combination leads to another two points for your team!

How can I increase my agility around the basket?

Mikan Drill

This drill was named after the first great big man in the game--George Mikan and may be the most basic of all big men drills. Start under the basket with the ball. Shoot a short hook shot off the glass going to the right. Turn, retrieve the ball from the net, and shoot a short hook going to the left. This will improve your agility and coordination, and help you use either hand when around the basket.

How do I know what camp to go to?


Camps are a great way to introduce youngsters to basketball and refine the game of older players.

When looking for a camp, choose one that emphasizes teaching over playing. This will allow players to get the most out of the camp experience by teaching them the fundamentals of the game.

What is Palming the ball?

Palm Pilot

Also known as "carrying," palming is a rarely called offensive violation. It is when you are dribbling and take more than one step while the ball is in your hand.

It can be prevented by dribbling the ball at the waist or below.


How to play basketball better

Success on the court requires learning the fundamentals of basketball. Basketball shooting fundamentals will be one of the first things you will learn. But there are several keys to success on the court that you will have to learn, practice, improve and perfect. The main keys to success on the court are dribbling, body control, ball control, shooting and both a good offensive and defensive techniques. Dribbling: you will keep your weight over the balls of your feet, control the ball with your fingertips and use your wrist and forearm for better control. Shooting: you will stand with your feet shoulders width apart, your weaker side foot slightly forward, your weaker hand stabilizing the ball and your stronger hand positioning the ball will you push up and forward with your hand and forearm toward the net and releasing with a final push from the wrist. Foot Control: you will need to continuously keep your weight on the balls of your feet, this gives you additional control of your body to maneuver and advance against your opponents. Your coach will teach you how to play basketball better by running drills during practice, but it is up to you as to how far you will allow these practices and techniques to take you in the sport. Practice is for the purpose of giving you the tools to improve, if you only work these tools during practice you will not be able to take full advantage of everything you are learning. Play a little every day both by yourself and with others when possible. You will learn a lot from your teammates.

how do I become a better player?

Pass to the first Open Teammate

PASS TO THE FIRST OPEN PERSON. Passing the ball is faster than dribbling it. If you move the ball, you make the defense adjust and they will eventually make a mistake and leave someone(maybe you!) open. Don´t wait for a better pass. Pass to the first open teammate.

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Guru Spotlight
Ray Lokar