How To Practice Basketball

Trainer showing contract to athlete

If you are an athlete, then it is a pretty good bet you have heard the famous basketball saying, "You play like you practice." This statement is absolutely 100% true. Productive basketball practices are critical in order to play successfully in game situations. So what is the best way to practice basketball? Unfortunately, there is no hidden formula. However there are better ways to practice in order to reach your potential as a player or coach. The following are some basketball tips:

  1. Stress the fundamentals (you should spend 75% of your practice time working on fundamentals).
  2. Incorporate drills that simulate game situations.
  3. Vary drills.
  4. Use motivation phrases from the great players.
  5. Show your passion and determination in practice--not just in games.
  6. Keep in your room or office inspirational basketball quotes.
  7. Focus on specific basketball skills in drills.
  8. Mentally approach practice as you would a game.
  9. Don't practice sloppy.
  10. Know and practice up to your position expectations.
  11. Use scrimmages that are competitive.
  12. Study and know the rules of the game.
  13. Encourage, Support, Demonstrate and Improve.

As a basketball coach, it is critical that you have a large collection of basketball practice drills to turn to when teaching the fundamentals. Additionally, make sure that all players are involved in one form or another in practice. The key fundamentals include:

As a player, you must demonstrate as much physical and mental effort in practice as you do in game situations.

  • Approach each basketball practice as another opportunity to reach your highest potential.
  • Be "coachable." If your coach corrects you on a skill or designed play drill, don't just hear the words; put them into practice by demonstrating immediately the change on the floor.
  • Put in the time away from the court. Study basketball rules, spend time researching the "greats", stay motivated, keep your mental capabilities fine-tuned and sharp, visualize yourself on the court as a successful player, lift weights to improve your strength, run or jog and make sacrifices as needed.

As a player or a coach, it is imperative to know that winning teams are created in practice, not on game days. Use the time wisely building camaraderie, skill levels and player enhancement. On game day, you will be glad you did.


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