How to Reduce Turnovers In A Basketball Game

reduce turnovers

Written by Aliesha

February 21, 2021


In a sport where every possession counts, a single error on the court can change the complexion of a match and cause a team to lose. That is the reason why every hooper should put a premium on efficiency, which can be achieved through working on ways to reduce turnovers in a basketball game. 

While it is almost impossible to produce a perfect performance, learning how to minimize errors will elevate your game to a higher level while putting your team in a prime position to succeed. So, if you are dead set on playing efficient basketball, here are three simple ways that you can focus on. 

3 Simple Ways to Reduce Turnovers

Polish ball-handling ability 

Taking care of a basketball in the face of swarming defenders is no easy task. Even the slightest dribbling mistake can give your opponent a chance to steal possession and convert a basket right away. For this exact reason, ball-handling and dribbling workouts are some of the key drills to cut down on turnovers. 

When working on the fundamentals of ball handling, repetition is important. And this is by no means referring to the number of times you pound the ball to the ground whenever you feel like training, but the time you put into work on the basics of dribbling over and over again. In other words, practice the same set of drills every single day up until it becomes muscle memory. 

In no time, you will be able to handle the ball with precise control and composure, even when the defensive pressure is on you, reducing the chance of getting your pocket picked. 

Avoid flashy passing 

In the NBA, it is a common occurrence to see a player make a highlight reel-worthy pass. From behind-the-back dishes to no-look feeds, there’s no shortage of flashiness when making an assist in the premier basketball league in the world. So, it should not come as a surprise that many amateur hoopers are trying to replicate such crowd-igniting passes in-game situations. 

However, the reality is, not everyone has the level of skill set and experience as those who suit up in the professional scene. And attempting to pull off high-level, flashy passes could lead to costly turnovers. In this case, it is better to stick with the basic variations of passes such as the chest pass, bounce pass, and over-the-head pass. As long as you can set up a teammate for an easy basket, any simple pass will do. 

Be a willing passer

Ballhogs are hated by many, if not all. Why? There is no room for selfishness in a team sport. And in-game situations, they can serve as gaping holes that opposing teams can exploit. 

Just think about it: If you know that a team’s offensive firepower will only come from one person, the defense has an easy time containing that team from scoring. A concentrated effort to force a ballhog to commit a turnover will also be deployed. For this reason, it is crucial to move the ball around through an array of passes in an attempt to keep the defenders guessing. 

So, be a willing passer no matter how good of a scorer you are. After all, you can never win ball games through your own strength alone. Basketball is a team sport for a reason. 

Again, it is common among players to commit errors during a game. But every time you turn the ball over, there should always be an initiative to learn from such mistakes and strive for improvement. By doing so, success will come your way!


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