Basketball is loved by people of all ages. The reason for this is because it is an engaging sport, where you can have fun and develop a strong sense of teamwork, camaraderie and confidence while nurturing the competitive spirit in you. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that anyone who finds passion in the game starts to wonder how to get better at basketball.

Truth be told, the process of game development is a grueling one. It is nothing short of a tough grind, but the effort you put in will be worth it once you see results on the court. To get right into it, here are the necessary ways to become the best basketball player that you can be.

Trust the Process: Ways On How to Get Better At Basketball

Learning basketball is not a walk in the park. Most often than not, the first steps are indeed challenging. However, with the right attitude and skills, you can reach greater heights in due time.

Make your best effort and get batter at basketball! 

Learn the fundamentals

The initial step in every path towards player development is learning the fundamentals of the game. This is a no-brainer since the basics serve as the foundation of an athlete’s skillset, and having a good grasp of these allows you to develop solid technique which you can refine through practice and game experience.

For starters, there are five fundamentals of Basketball.

  • Considered by many as the most important among the basics, shooting is the first fundamental a player should learn. It is the act of putting the ball in a basket in order to score points. It can be done in a myriad of ways, but some of the common shooting moves are pull-up jumper, free-throw shot and three-point shot.
  • The second one is passing, the act of moving the ball from one person to another. It serves as a key ingredient in teamwork and chemistry on the court. The basic passes a player can easily do are chest pass, bounce pass and over-the-head pass.
  • Next up is dribbling, the skill of controlling the ball through bouncing it off the floor. It allows a player to move from one point on the court to another. It can also be utilized as a means to create separation from defenders.
  • The fourth one is rebounding. It is the act of obtaining and securing the ball after a missed shooting attempt. The importance of this skill is to gain more possession in a game, which, in turn, increases a team’s chance to score.
  • The last fundamental skill that you must acquire in your repertoire is defending. It is simply the act of preventing the opposition from making baskets. This is where steals, blocks and pass interceptions come into play.

Once you have acquired the understanding of fundamentals, there will surely be an immediate spike in your performance on the court. Still, this is just the starting point on how to get better at Basketball.

In order to further expand your game, you must engage in practice everyday and treat every session as something akin to a religious experience. Remember, even the best athletes in the world still take the time to work on the basics.

Practice at game speed

When practicing on the court, it is simply not enough to just coast through workout drills in a laid back manner. Since you are already putting yourself in a situation to improve, might as well exert maximum effort by putting a premium on quality.

In order to do this, the number one factor that you should incorporate in training is game speed. The reason for this is because a regular hoop match is fast-paced. So, working out at the same pace as a game will acclimate you to the usual conditions on the court.

As you conduct practice at game pace on a consistent basis, the fundamentals of your skillset will also become second nature during game situations. This makes it an integral part of addressing your desires on how to get better at Basketball.

Refine shooting form

In a sport where success and failure can be decided by a single shot, there is no denying that a reliable shooting stroke is a weapon every player must equip in one’s arsenal. Having a consistent jump shot makes you a positive factor on court, all the while boosting your confidence to produce winning results. With that said, an effective approach on how to get better at Basketball is through shooting refinement.

Now when it comes to shooting a basketball, always keep in mind that there is no one correct way to do it. Still, it has to have a solid foundation, which can only be attained by incorporating five mechanical elements — the crouch, uncoil, lift, release and landing.

Once you have the mechanics down, practice it over and over again until it gets carved into your muscle memory. This will allow you to carry over your refined shooting form from practice to the game. It can also come in handy when you have to make shots in pressure-laden situations.

Work on ball control

Handling the ball in the face of swarming defenders is one of the most important duties on the court. It allows you to initiate a possession, evade defenders and open up scoring opportunities for yourself and the team. So, it should come as no surprise that gaining maximum control over the ball plays a crucial part in the process of how to get better at Basketball.

To raise the level of your ball-handling skills, expand the dribble moves in your repertoire and sharpen it through workout drills. Now when working on handles, repetition is the key. So, practice every dribble move that you have on a consistent basis to the point that it becomes muscle memory.

Then in case you have someone willing to help you out in training, make that person guard you. This is where you can apply all you have learned and practiced. In no time, you will be busting a wide selection of dribble moves with precise control and composure, even when the defensive pressure is on you.

Never neglect training defense

In an entertainment standpoint, offense is undeniably the center of attraction in the sport. It is where explosive dunks, flashy crossovers and other highlight reel plays are made, and the main reason why countless people are drawn into the game.

With the spotlight on scoring, this entices players, who want to know how to get better at Basketball, to solely focus on developing a complete offensive package rather than designating time and effort for defense as well. Well, truth be told, defense may seem less exciting to develop, but it is as important as offense. Many even consider it as of paramount importance, taking into account the saying, “Offense wins games, defense wins championships”.

So, never neglect training defense. Regular workout sessions should include drills that will develop reliable defensive skills and habits such as having a low defensive stance for ball interference, quick lateral movements to stay in front of ball handlers, and good balance, among others. On-ball defense, ball screen defense, perimeter defense and low post defense are also some of the schemes that you should be capable of handling to improve as a defender.

Engage in physical fitness

Aside from developing fundamental skills, one of the many other ways on how to get better at Basketball is through physical fitness. It is a crucial component in sports since it does not only put an athlete’s health in good condition, but also enhances muscle strength.

As the physique receives strengthening, an increase in speed, stability, power, endurance and agility comes into the equation as added benefits. You will also see positive changes in stamina, as well as in your vertical reach and leaping ability, through the right training regimen.

Furthermore, the most important benefit that physical fitness can provide is prevention from an athlete’s worst nightmare — injury. Injuries are the menacing culprits behind physical decline and careers cut short in the sporting realm. Not only those it leaves an impact on the physique, but can also cause trauma, which could haunt a player for months and even years on end.

So, if you want to undergo continuous progression in honing your craft, along with an elite physique to withstand the wear-and-tear of the game, physical fitness is the way.

Commit to a healthy lifestyle

Ever tried taking part in a physical sport without proper food intake nor adequate sleep? If so, how did things pan out? Well, most likely, it went bad, right? You either gave out a poor performance or be at the receiving end of a loss. This goes to show that the way you go through everyday life impacts the way you perform on a competitive field.

Come to think of it, most basketball greats, if not all, have disclosed that they dedicated a large portion of their youthful days for the sole purpose of achieving sporting success. This encompasses everyday stuffs that often get overlooked such as the food you eat, the quality of rest you get, the amount of time you put in for hoop training, muscle strengthening workouts and conditioning, the effort and discipline you assert to stay away from vices, and even the way you spend the free time. Simply put, every athlete who dares to make a leap towards the next level needs to commit to the things that matter.

In other words, invest time and effort in your future. This entails going through life with a proper nutrition plan, a healthy sleeping routine, a disciplined training regimen, a vice-less habit and many other positive routines. Fair warning: Living a healthy lifestyle may seem repetitive to the point that it is monotonous, but the benefits it provides on your physique, the performance you put up on the court and in life are game-changing. For this reason, it is an important step in discovering how to get better at Basketball.


Develop mental strength and focus

The physical aspect of the game is not the only approach to take into account when you are working on the ways of how to get better at Basketball. Believe it or not, the mental side also plays a crucial role in the development of your game. Reason being, there are countless high pressure situations that you will have to face on the court, and you must have the mental strength and focus to overcome it.

Having a locked-in mindset allows you to showcase your basketball wares in a level-headed manner throughout the course of a game. Mental lapses are also prevented through the help of this, which increases your efficiency and productivity on the court. In order to whip your mental strength and focus into shape, several effective methods to lean on are tuning out distractions, developing a pre-game ritual, and having a solid grasp of your role on the floor, among others.

Furthermore, since Basketball is a competitive sport, a game can also become a psychological warfare in the face of elite competition. Your self-confidence might take a hit in the presence of strong opposition should you not develop mental toughness. This, in turn, can take you out of your element, forcing you in a dismal state. So, it goes without saying that having a strong mind is important. Not to mention that there are also plenty of hoopers who will waste no time exploiting weak-minded players through trash talk.

Watch high-level basketball

There is no shortage of Basketball content in the vast internet landscape. In recent times, you can just about search any elite athlete on YouTube and Google to know more about them. The most important takeaway from this is you have unlimited film resource for studying the game of the greats.

In a bid to know how to get better at Basketball, watching high-caliber players while dissecting their basketball prowess is nothing short of necessary. Even seasoned players, coaches and trainers would conduct film sessions to gain a solid grasp of the tendencies, techniques, moves and approach to the game of such athletes. The information gained from research will then be applied to another player’s repertoire, which elevates one’s performance level.

In line with this, learning from the top-tier athletes who ever stepped on a basketball court has never been easier. From game footage of the late, great Kobe Bryant to highlight reels of the legendary Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson back in the day, the resources are bountiful. Not to mention the fact that the present-day basketball scene is teeming with generational talents that can serve as reference for your game, with the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant.

Get real-game experience

“Experience is the best teacher.”

Have you heard or read this old saying before? If that is the case, you would probably have an idea that, in order to learn how to get better at Basketball, the best approach is through experiencing the game itself. Yes, lace up your sneakers and get out there to learn more.

To put things in perspective, if a classroom represents the countless hours of learning and practicing fundamental training, muscle strengthening and such, the matches you play on the court serves as the workplace where you need to buckle down to business. While the things you do in a classroom teaches you how to succeed in life, it does not necessarily assure you of success in the workplace. In other words, you must take the time to soak in experience in real matches to test your ability to produce winning results. 

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, game experience gives you the chance to put into use the knowledge and skills you have learned and practiced over time. With this, you can formulate an assessment of your game such as the skills that need to be sharpened, the moves that must be added in your arsenal, and other adjustments you have to make in order to thrive in the sport.

Face elite competition

If you want to know the hard-yet-effective method of learning how to get better at Basketball, all you need to do is face elite competition. 

Going up against players with the same or better skill level than you provides more fuel to your fire. Simply put, you are driven to perform better because the competition leaves you no choice but to give it your all. As you play the game in full throttle, there will also be instances where you grow during a game. Be it through skills, game intelligence or mental strength, improvements could happen when going all out and pushing past limits.

Facing stronger opponents also allows you to pinpoint and determine what you are lacking to elevate to the next level. Since they are playing to pounce on your weaknesses in order to win, there is nothing you could do but patch up the weak spots and polish your game. Well, as the saying goes, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”.

Grind Never Stops

The path towards success on how to get better at Basketball is a never ending one. No matter how skilled of a player you have become, there will always be room for improvement, especially since the game continues to evolve over time. So, always work hard and never stop trusting the process!

13 steps to getting recruited for college basketball


Do you have goals to play at the college level, but don't have the recruitment you want or need to get there? Or maybe you have some recruitment, but it's not at the level you dream of playing at? 

Having a blueprint of the exact steps you need to take your recruitment to the next level will help you find your missing piece and create a clear path to your goals.

Take control of your future with this 13 Step Checklist to Increase Your Recruitment - written for serious players by Coach Watts who was a D-1 and pro standout and has helped hundreds of players like you earn a college scholarship!

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