Whether you play basketball at a competitive level or doing it simply to break a sweat, improving your skills allows you to enjoy the game more. It will enhance your confidence, especially if you find ways to quickly apply the things that you practice into games. However, not all of us have access to top-notch basketball facilities. That’s why you may need to improve those skills at home. This article will discuss how to practice basketball at home, some simple drills to get better at basketball, and more.
How to Become a Better Basketball Player
Let’s do this segment by enumerating several tips to get your game to the next level. These are not specific drills or exercises but has something to do with the mental part. It’s about sitting down and calculating the expense before you embark on a big project. Of course, this isn’t that “big” of a project since this is all for fun, but it helps to know what you need to do before actually doing it.
Consistency. Nobody got better at basketball overnight. This is not Like Mike or Thunderstruck. What you need to do is sprinkle consistency in your practices, and that’s the key that will open up the door if you want to get better at basketball at home.
For example, if you want to get better at ball handling, well, it’s no rocket science that you need to consistently work on how to get better at basketball dribbling. If you want to increase your shooting accuracy, there is no other way but to always work on how to get better at basketball shooting. There are no shortcuts.
Now, often should you practice? Well, you may begin practicing at least two days a week and probably increase the days accordingly. That way, you will definitely see improvements in your game just in time for the next rec league.
When practicing, it’s essential to get high-quality game-like repetitions. Quantity, as in hours, may matter, but what will ultimately elevate your game is the quality of the practices. What’s more, consistency may also be applied to the most fundamental aspect of basketball: shooting. Be consistent with your shot mechanics to improve that part of your game.
Know your strengths and weaknesses. Part of practicing smart is knowing what you need to work on first. That’s why it’s crucial to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This way, in your practices, you will be able to improve your negatives to the point that it will not become a liability. This would also mean that you may maximize your strengths and advantages more and help you decide on the basketball workouts you need to do.
Be willing to make a mistake. Basketball has no room for narcissism. You need to be willing to look like a fool and make mistakes. Otherwise, you are just repeating things that you can do. Messing up means you are learning a new skill, and you are getting better.
How to Improve Your Basketball Skills at Home
Dribbling is one of the most fundamental basketball skills. If you can’t dribble legally, there is no way you should be put in a game. That is why you need to figure out how to get better at basketball dribbling.
The most basic tip about ballhandling is your posture. Your knees should be slightly bent and be more or less the same width as your shoulder. When you’re dribbling, make sure that the ball does not bounce higher than your waist. Use your wrist to follow the ball through as you’re dribbling.
While dribbling should be the first thing you should learn in playing basketball, shooting is the most important. After all, you need to outscore your opponent to win. When shooting, your mechanics should be consistent. If you keep changing our shooting mechanics every now and then, you won’t develop a consistent shot.
Another key to unlocking your shooting prowess is balance. Balance helps tighten the core so that you won’t have unnecessary movements or hitches when you shoot. It’s also important to focus on the goal and tucking your elbow in. Then follow through with your hand, creating a rainbow-shaped arc.
Many experts’ opinion peg passing as the most challenging basketball skill to master. It requires court awareness and basketball IQ. That’s the reason why, more often than not, the most effective passers are the ones who have played basketball the longest.
You can improve your passing skills by doing drills. Passing drills include exercises for the chest pass, bounce pass, and overhead pass. There is also a one-hand passing drill, an exercise to build hand strength (but it should not be used in games, at least, when you’re not nearly as skilled).
When it comes to passing, you need to learn spacing, that is, what is the optimum distance in which you can safely pass. If the distance between you and a teammate is too far to make a safe pass, improve spacing by taking a step or dribbling closer to the teammate before the pass. This technique is called “shortening the pass.”
If you do your best to be a skilled passer, people will be lining up to play with you, and you will readily be accepted as a leader. Effective passing also makes everyone better and elevates the team’s offense to the next level.
An assist is a pass, but not every pass is an assist. You may pass just for the heck of it, but an assist has a purpose. An assist is defined as a pass that directly leads to a score by a teammate. While passing is very critical to encourage ball movement, the assist keeps the defense honest. When the defense knows you can deliver the ball to a teammate in a scoring position, they will pay more attention to the individuals, leaving you with more room to operate.
To practice an assist, doing passing drills should suffice, but with an emphasis on accuracy. Generally, the longer the pass, the less accurate it is. So practice the short passes first using the basic chest or bounce pass. The more practice you put in, the more skilled you will become, and the chances of completing more difficult passes will also increase.
Rebounding is all about positioning and an “I want the ball more” attitude. The game’s most excellent rebounders always pursue the ball and never stand around waiting for the ball to bounce their way.
When we talk about positioning, it can be improved with the proper rebounding drills. There is a drill called “rebounding technique” that will teach you how to rebound correctly. While this drill works best with a team, you can practice at home by bouncing the ball off the backboard, secure it with both hands, and repeat.
To spice things up, you may practice rebounding and off-hand finishing things all at once. To do this:
1. Stand on the right side of the hoop and throw the ball off the backboard to reach the other side.
2. Grab the ball with two hands, gather, and then put it back with the left hand.
3. Do this standing on the left side, rebound the ball, and then put it back with the right hand.
It would also not hurt having a trick or two up your sleeve. Remember that the farther the shot, chances are, it will be a long rebound. Another thing to remember is that when a shot is taken from the right side, the ball will probably bounce to the other side. Of course, these are not always the case, but knowing what to anticipate gives you an advantage over the opposition.
Well, we have already discussed the fundamental aspects of offense— dribbling, passing, and shooting. But it doesn’t stop there. There are still other aspects of offense, such as off-ball movement, setting screens, and simply sprinting the floor hard.
Off-ball movement may need teammates, but one of the most simple things you can do to add more flavor to your own offensive game is setting screens. Perhaps, you can practice it in your driveway hoops with your friends.
When playing 2-on-2, do not be content to stand around in the elbow or in the key. Develop the habit of setting a screen because this will increase the defense’s likelihood of committing a mistake. From there, you can run (or roll) towards the basket or “pop” for an open jumper. If your screen is good enough, it will lead to a wide-open basket for your teammate.
5 Best Exercises to Get Better at Basketball
Since you are doing these exercises at home, the simpler, the better. But when it comes to results, these five exercises are tested and proven.
1. Front squats
Front squats strengthen your body’s base so you won’t get easily roughed up with a push here and a hand-check there. With a pair of dumbbells in your hand, keep your legs apart, probably more than the width of your shoulders. Raise the dumbbells upward and descend into a squat position, with your back and chest straight, maintaining your elbows parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.
2. Bulgarian Split Squat
Playing basketball requires a lot of lower-body strength as well. The Bulgarian Split Squat will help build leg muscles, and it a very sport-specific movement that you’d use in a real game.
We recommend the basic plank for beginners and slowly work your way up to side planks and leg raises. Anyway, planking is a simple and proven exercise to strengthen the core and make it stable.
4. Lateral Skater
The lateral skater looks funny, but the benefits it brings are no laughing matter. This exercise strengthens quad muscles all the way to the calves and prevents knee and lower-body injuries. If you want your ACL intact during your whole basketball “career,” then do the lateral skater.
The pull-up is a whole-body workout that strengthens the back, shoulder, and wrists. The full extension of the pull-up also mimics the movement of a jump shot, so in the long run, this exercise will not only help you build strength but also increases your shooting accuracy.
5 Home Basketball Drills to Get Better at Basketball
Dribbling drills are probably the best set of exercises you can do at home. You don’t need anyone or anything, but your determination and a basketball. You can do a dribbling drill practicing the two versions of crossovers– the quick crossover and the range of motion dribbles.
The ricochet is a great way to develop ballhandling skills and hand-eye coordination. How do you do it? Spread your looks, lock your knees, and hold out a basketball in front of you. Bounce the ball between your legs and catch it with your hands. Bounce the ball back to the front and catch it until you develop a rhythm.
3. Sprint and Free Throws
The thing with free throws is, you rarely take it if you’re 100% percent. You’re either exhausted or just took a nasty hack from a drive. This drill mimics all these. How so? Sprint about 94 feet (the entire length of the court) and shoot five free throws. With every miss, you run back the whole distance again, doing no less than four sets.
4. Wall Passes
The Wall Passes drill sounds exactly like it is. You simply bounce the ball to a target on the wall and moving slightly backward after five repetitions. Move further back until the ball could not make it to you without bouncing on the floor.
Self-shooting is probably the most straightforward basketball drill in this list because you don’t even have to shoot from a hoop. The focus of this drill is your shooting mechanics and technique. Pay attention to your form, elbows, and follow-through. Shoot the ball in the air and see if it has a decent amount of backspin. Continue non-stop for one minute and do five sets.
What are the Things to Consider Playing Basketball at Home?
When playing basketball at home, you are presumably still a beginner. Don’t fret. Everybody was a beginner at some point.
The more you play the game, the better will you get in time. However, while playing in a real match helps, it would be better to work on the fundamental basketball skills right at your home. Practice dribbling, shooting, passing, and the other skills religiously enough, and you will vastly improve in no time.
It’s also imperative to learn from a good coach or other good players, a mentor if you will. This will help you understand the game’s finer nuances, like proper defensive tactics, ball movement, and spacing.
Helpful Basketball Drills Videos at Home
1. Basic Dribbling Drills for Kids
It could not be reiterated enough how kids should master dribbling. Dribbling is not only about bouncing the ball up and down. This video also teaches how to protect the ball and the proper dribbling posture.
2. Passing Drills for Beginners
Passing is not an easy skill to acquire, but it’s better to start early. This video by THINCPRO basketball teaches the basic passes and ways how to effectively do it.
3. Do not do these drills!
There are a lot of shooting drills on YouTube, but we like this one a lot. This is about skills coach Collin Castellaw debunking old-school shooting drills and warns beginners not to do these exercises!
Wrapping Things Up: How to Get Better at Basketball at Home
We are firm believers in not doing anything half-heartedly. This philosophy should apply to learning basketball as well. How so? If you are just a beginner, aim for improvement for this will help enhance confidence and build self-esteem.
So, how do you get better at basketball? Consistent work and practice. There is no other way, no shortcuts. The first thing you need to do is work on the fundamentals– dribbling, shooting, passing, rebounding, and working your way from there.
If we’re talking about drills to get better at basketball, some are included in this article. These are the crossover drills, the ricochet, sprint and free throws, wall passes, and self-shooting. We recommend three YouTube videos from popular basketball skills channels that cover ballhandling, passing, and shooting. If appropriate, do basketball exercises at home that focus on strengthening your core and lower leg muscles to prevent injuries.
We hope that the subjects we covered contain helpful tips on how to get better at basketball for beginners and how to practice basketball at home. Hard work is necessary to get where you want, and getting better at basketball is no different.
Did you find this helpful? Then also check out other basketball FAQ articles here.
More interesting basketball FAQ posts here: