If you want to know how to be a good basketball player, you must know then that this is more than refining your skills. It is about a routine, a lifestyle, and values that you need to build. It is about taking advice from players who have killed it out there and reflecting on those to start getting better.
Talent is essential, we get it. But hard work and patience, resilience, and sticking to it are what we need to be after. There are these intangible qualities and some tangible practices that you will need to adopt. We will include it all.
What Qualities You Need to Have
You will need to understand what the game is about: it isn’t about scoring only. If you are willing to focus on points exclusively, you’re going to lose. Beware of the game environment around you, on and off the court.
You can have the will to win, but there’s another willing we need you to own: the will to prepare. If you can focus on developing yourself better than focus on winning, you’ll be automatically better than most.
Fright is common, but belief is preferable. We want you to be confident in yourself, even if you are not doing it right. Be convinced that you can do better than that.
Be convinced that you can develop skills. Be confident of the arena you are playing in, even if it isn’t your home court.
You will need to face pressure. You will be criticized for poor play by the coach; your teammates even may scream at you for a foul throw. It is on you whether you choose to be disheartened by it or hold a grudge against them.
You can brush these off and understand that you are better than that. Keeping your mental stance is as important as sharpening your skills. The game is more of the mind than it will seem to you unless you are on the court.
And you also need to be passionate about the game. Being emotional is not limited to knowing A to Z about your favorite players, hanging their posters up your bedroom wall, or getting gears they use.
This is your willingness to get up and train, eat better, respect the rules and the team, most importantly, the game.
This is something most players forget to own. This is the ability to be a good listener, an excellent communicator, a good teammate, and a good doer. You will need to have respect for the coach and be willing to learn.
Suppose, you know something that is different from what the coach is trying to teach you. You can respectfully point it out to him or her.
If there are better ways he can make you accomplish the team objectives than what’s on your mind, you will have to be acceptable towards it.
You have to be teachable, and they need to be good teachers too. Both have to open to new ideas and play for the team to win.
Your determination toward the game will help you become great, not just right. The commitment to get better will be visible to everyone around you, and they will possibly help you achieve the goal better.
They say actually that hunger is the best sauce. Very rightly so. If you have the desire to be better, you will never be satisfied with your current self, and you will push yourself hard to unlock new potentials.
But that doesn’t mean you will seek perfectionism. If you run after perfectionism, that will be upsetting because that is not achievable. However, you must try to be better when you know you are better than that.
This does not mean you will go all on attacking your opponent or be rude to your teammates and coach. Be fearless of winning and of failing. If you fail, there is always another chance for next time.
If you win, fear pride because it may make you overconfident, and we don’t want that. You may worry that excess training will harm your fragile body, and take up some other form of exercise.
If you are weak at free-throw shooting, get yourself a better deal here, practice! Don’t be afraid if your weaknesses are exposed to your teammates, you need to learn, and that needs to happen if you want to be better.
Not everyone can be the best performer in every game consecutively. You need to understand that. Not everyone can be the top scorer, and you will have to accept it.
Your role one day maybe to make a pass; one day, it may be causing the winning score. Face it, your position can change, and that is okay.
Knowledge is available all through the internet to help you understand the game, the rules, the opponent’s move, anything.
You have to be patient only about it and study it all out, one after the other. These help you make better decisions on the court and up your strategy.
Don’t blame your coach for your lack of play-time. Don’t blame your teammates if they have a poor work ethic. If they can get away with being weak at something, it doesn’t mean you should get away being poor at the same things.
Don’t use these as excuses to not give effort. There’s a point for everyone to break; they can get stressed, can feel pressured. Learn from your mistakes and theirs and give your full energy.
Your improvement will depend on how much you already know about yourself. For that, you will have to look at the next section and improve it.
A Routine on How to Be a Good Basketball Player
- Start by identifying your positives and negatives, or strengths and weaknesses. Take a pen and paper and find what you are good at.
You can be good at dribbling and setting screens, motivating the team, and on-ball defense. You can have a good court vision and understanding of the area, and your basketball IQ could be a blessing to the side.
But you can lack athleticism; rebounding may not be simply your cup of tea, floaters, post play, creating shots may not be what you excel in. You can work on what you can’t and improve what you can.
- Let’s focus on improving your scoring skills. You will need to set your eyes on the team’s offense and set-plays. You need to understand your current role and start there.
Your opportunities to score may come from backdoor cuts, basket cuts, curling off away screens, setting on-ball screens, facing up, and attacking. It will depend on how your coach is playing you.
- Find if you can earn cheap points or see through the opportunities. There are more ways to manage that. If your coach allows it, you can attack the hoop. You will need to battle for offensive rebounds then.
You could also sprint down the court every time you get the ball. Or you could set more screens for more opportunistic shots for yourself or the team.
- You can increase the playtime. Many people try to avoid this topic, but you know, you could really do that. Spending more time on the court by increasing your playtime will let you learn better.
There’s no bettering if you are not playing in real situations. For this, you will need to first make sure that you are fit enough to play on the court for long.
You can also try to be a great defender as an alternative. Everybody wants to learn how to score, but if you learn how to defend, and become a valuable asset to leave out, chances are you’ll be allowed to play more than a couple of attackers.
- Increase those workout sessions. You have to practice in your own time, beyond what the coach has planned for everyone else. Refer back to your strengths and weaknesses; nobody knows it better than you.
Find basketball-specific workouts that aren’t regular workouts—schedule time to do them. Don’t do one today and the other after a week or two. Plan it out!
- Improve your shooting technique and apply the correct one too.
- Improve your dribbling technique. If possible, get yourself to be ambidextrous.
- Commit to free-throw routines to build up lost confidence.
- Find anyone who has time to spare and knows basketball. Anyone older and wiser from whom you can learn real knowledge. If possible, practice with them.
Be it a demanding task or hours of practice to make you better, the thing you need to have most is patience and a whole lot of determination. Your skills will automatically get better. Remember to be a team player, but keep finding ways to make your team better than everyone else’s.