If you are starting to play basketball or if you have been playing for a while and your skills still need to be significantly improved, you should be asking yourself how to be good but basketball. Basketball is a sport, that in many cases players that are not very good can be to the detriment of their teams.
I guess we should say that players who aren’t very good will have trouble making a team. Because of these two things, it is very important for you as a basketball player or a potential basketball player to get good at the sport or good enough to compete efficiently. We want to help you know what you need to do, so in this article, we will be discussing ways to improve different aspects of your game.
What Qualities Make a Good Basketball Player?
To answer this question, we first need to agree on what is a good basketball player. You have players that are really good at defense, but their offensive game needs work, for example, Andre Roberson of the Oklahoma City Thunders.
On the other hand, you have players that are really good at offense, but their defensive game needs a lot of work, for example, Steph Curry. Are these players good basketball players? The simple fact that these guys are in the NBA would make the answer to this question yes.
You also have players that aren’t great on one end of the floor or the next, but they can play a particular role fairly well, for example, Kelly Olynyk off of the Miami Heat. I hope you get the point we are trying to make.
The definition of a good basketball player is very different based on the person you are having that conversation with, so for our article today, we are going to define a good basketball player as a basketball player that is capable of understanding and consistently executing his role in a way that improves his team’s chances of winning. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s look at some of the qualities that a player needs to have to become good at the sport of basketball.
Coachability – If you ask many coaches, they will always describe their favorite player as one that is coachable. When we say a player is coachable, we mean that a player is willing to take in what their coaches are presenting to them with an open mind and give their all as it relates to implementing what their coaches have instructed them to do.
Good basketball players do not follow coaches blindly as a sheep does a shepherd, but they make every attempt to understand so that they can execute an instruction that they agree with (this improves basketball IQ). Great basketball minds are developed in this way. LeBron James and Rajon Rondo are always commended for their basketball IQ because they listen to their coaches, learn the game, and implement the best plays on the court.
Good work ethic – Some players are blessed to be naturally gifted when it comes to basketball. For players that aren’t as naturally gifted for the sport, it will require a lot of work for them to get there. A good player knows this and is willing to put in everything necessary for him to improve to a desirable level.
Being willing to work out and exercise as necessary, given it your all in basketball training drills, eating properly, resting properly, and recovering properly are all things that a good basketball player needs to adapt. Approaching the game from a professional perspective, even if you are not playing in a professional league, is the best way to go if you want to improve your skills.
Self-Motivating – It is not always going to be a success story for you when it comes to basketball. There are very few basketball players who can say they have not encountered any dull moments throughout their basketball playing time.
There will not always be external persons that are able to motivate you, so to be a good basketball player, you need to know what your goals are and be capable of motivating yourself to achieve them. Good basketball players are the ones that never give up when things get tough, but instead, they lift their heads and work harder.
Ability to learn and understand different aspects of the game- Basketball is a game of offense and defense. You do have players that excel at one more than the other, but to be a good basketball player, you must understand how both of these work even if you cannot play both aspects of the game at the same level.
One of the reasons why great defenders are so good at what they do is that they understand how the game’s offensive part needs to be played. Understanding different aspects of offense in basketball can help defenders preempt their opponents and stop them.
The opposite is also true. Good offensive players know how defenders should and will react, so they plan their moves around this and manipulate the defense. Being a good basketball player is not just playing the game but also understanding the game.
Adaptability – Basketball is one of, if not the most dynamic sport on the planet. When we say dynamic, we are talking about everything from the game rules to playing styles that are being adopted by players. The way a player or team plays can change from season to season, from game to game, from quarter-to-quarter, and the outstanding players have such a wide arsenal, they can change from play to play.
If you want to be a good basketball player, you have to adapt to the changes in the sport and individual games. A good basketball player understands that he needs to continuously improve and change his game to keep up with what’s relevant. The game changed from the dominating post plays and half-court sets to a more fast-paced dunk or three type of game in today’s NBA.
We have seen too many big men that can’t keep up with the pace of the game or shoot the ball, lose their jobs. There are many other examples of players that cannot adapt quickly enough to remain competitive, being left out in the cold.
Mentally Strong – Mental strength is one of the more underrated attributes of a good basketball player. Good basketball players are players that know how to conduct themselves throughout games and off the court too. There are players that know when they need to step up and make a play.
They conjure up that dog mentality, or should I say that Mamba mentality and to get things done. A mentally strong basketball player is also one that respects the mental strength of other players and doesn’t allow them to get into their heads and affect their game.
How Long Does it Take to Become Good at Basketball?
The time it takes you to become good at basketball will solely depend on you. If you are a person who procrastinates and doesn’t take good advice readily, you will take a lot longer to improve your skills than an eager and willing player to get things done.
Always putting off exercises and workouts will hinder your conditioning progress, and if you don’t give it your all-in training, you won’t develop quickly. Not taking your coaches advice and developing bad habits, and not learning the game will also send you on a very long path to becoming a good basketball player, a path that is longer than necessary.
If you want to improve your skills quickly, follow your workout schedule and exercise whenever you get the chance to. Listen to the instructions that are provided by your coaches and training staff. When you have extra time, read playbooks and other books that can contribute to your overall game.
Don’t take shortcuts, remember to eat right and rest all the time properly. If you can do these things when you should do them, you will develop your skills within 1 to 2 years.
Another important thing is to remember to be consistent. Don’t do your best and give your all one month, and then the next month you do nothing. Being consistent is very important.
How to be Good at Basketball for Beginners
If you are starting to play basketball, there are a variety of ways that you can quickly develop your skills. If you are playing on the team, you need to do more than what you practice with your team if you want to develop faster than the other members. To improve your game more quickly than your teammates, try to do individual drills, workouts and basketball training at home.
Doing that extra work will be vital to your development. There are many individual drills that you can work on to improve your shooting, footwork, ball handling, and defense. Here is a link to some of these drills.
Another important thing that you need to do as a beginner is to listen to your coaches. Hopefully, you have competent coaches that can train you properly at your school, community center, or wherever you’re learning to play the game.
When your coaches give you instructions, do them the best you can and don’t give up until you achieve the task assigned. In this day and age, there are many basketball videos online that you can use to check the things your coaches are teaching you.
How to Improve Your Basketball Defense
Some players are just not that good at the defense. Here are some basketball tips for defense.
- Work on your stance
- Work on your agility
- Try to anticipate the bounce of the ball off the rim
- Work on improving your strength
3 Ways to be Good at Basketball
To improve your shooting skills, take as many shots as you can on your off days. It is hard to give you a set number of shots because everyone’s schedule is different, but try to put up at least 200 shots whenever you get a chance to go into the gym.
2. Basketball Dribbling
If you would like to know how to get good at basketball dribbling, there are various dribbling drills that you can repeatedly do to improve your ball-handling skills.
Here is a link to some ball handling drills that can improve your dribbling. Remember, sometimes less is more, and this is oftentimes the case for dribbling.
3. Basketball Passing
Learn the game plan and trust your teammates. Oftentimes there are open passes that develop out of plays, but the ball handler is hesitant or does not know the play enough to make the pass.
Wrapping Things Up: How to be Good at Basketball
To become a good basketball player, you have to constantly work on improving your game. To improve your game, remember to listen to your coaches, do what needs to be done in the gym and try your best to learn the game. Remember, basketball is a team sport so work with your team as best as you can and learn to trust them.
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll like our other basketball FAQ articles here.
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