Basketball and Conditioning

Basketball and Conditioning

Conditioning is one of the most important things that distinguish between good players and great players since great players not only have exceeding skills, but also the stamina to stay until the last minute of the game.

So, before you jump right into your training routine, I want you to take a look at this article and add a few conditioning exercises into your workouts.

Basketball Conditioning

Conditioning in Basketball

First things first, there are some major differences between being in shape and being in shape for basketball. There are a lot of ways to be in shape for sports, if you want to be in shape for a marathon, all you need is a treadmill.

However, if you are training for basketball, simply running a treadmill will be far from enough for the energetic, fast paced game. Therefore, if you want to maintain high energy during the entire game and maximize your performance, you need to incorporate an appropriate amount of conditioning drills into your training routine.

Before you start doing these conditioning training, you should first warm up for at least 5 – 10 minutes. If you do these high-intensity workouts without warming your muscles can easily lead to injuries.

Suicide Drill

This is a sprinting drill which mainly focuses on our endurance and speed.

  1. Begin at the baseline and sprint to the free throw line, tap the line with your hand and sprint back to the baseline.
  2. Once you touch the baseline, sprint to the half court line. Tap it and sprint back to the baseline.
  3. Run to another free throw line, tap it and return to the baseline.
  4. Finally, run to the opposite baseline, tap it and return to the starting point to finish the drill.
  • This drill is so prevalence because you can do it basically everywhere, a park, a gym or even a football court. Try to do as many sets as possible to increase your stamina.
  • Record the time you take to finish the drill in order to beat your previous record next time, you will see improvement right away.

 

Defensive Slide Drill

This is a simple drill used for conditioning and building proper defensive techniques. Set up about 4 – 5 cones on each side of the paint area.

  1. Begin in the middle of the lane. Executes defensive slide and go to your left side, grab the cone and slide to your right to grab the other cone.
  2. Once you get the cone of the first row, slide to your left and grab the cone from the second row.
  3. Finish the drill by picking up all the cones from each row.
  • This drill emphasizes on keeping our defensive stance low to move quicker.
  • Record the time you take to grab all the cones in order to beat your previous record next time.

Corner Finishing Drill

This is a finishing drill that requires an offensive player and a defensive player, there are two variations.

Set up by putting a cone on each corner three spots.

 

First variation:

  1. Once the drill starts, two players run in different directions and go around the cone.
  2. The offensive player needs to dribble the basketball when he is going around the cone, he can only finish with layups at the basket and the defensive player will defend him.
  • If the offensive player is fast enough, he can finish easily before the opponent gets there.
  • If a player is not fast enough, he has to compete and push himself harder and harder to be quicker and more agile.

 

Second Variation:

This variation is similar to the first variation, however, the defensive cone will move closer to the rim.

  1. Two players run in different directions and go around the cone.
  2. Because of the shorter distance, the defensive player can arrive earlier than the offensive player.

In this case, the offensive player has to figure out different moves to finish against the opponent, such as euro step, hop step or floaters, which is a great way to practice player’s one on one moves and learn how to score at a high percentage.

Star Shooting Drill

This is a 3 point shooting drill, aims to practice our shooting consistency and be more endurance.

1. Start and shoot shot 1 at the right corner.

2. Sprint to the left (opposite) wing for shot 2.

3. Sprint to the right wing for spot 3.

4. Sprint to the left corner for shot 4.

5. Finally, sprint to the top of the key for shot 5.

6. Repeat the drill by going back to spot 1.

In order to improve your shooting speed, measure the time as soon as you release the first shot and stop the time when you release the final shot. Aim to shoot faster with a higher percentage next time you practice this drill.

Do this a total of 50 shots in 4 different cycles. Shoot 5 shots in the first cycle, 10 shots in the second cycle, 15 shots in the third cycle and 20 shots in the final cycle. Aim to make at least 30 – 40 shots.

This drill can also be done as a mid-range shooting drill. For mid-range jumpers, aim to make at least 35 – 45 shots.

This drill mainly focuses on sprinting to the spot off the catch and release it as quick as possible, which will improve our shooting consistency and our endurance in real games.

Summary

By implementing these drills into your training routine along with your shooting, dribbling, finishing drills. You will get accustomed to performing these drills even though you are exhausted. This improves your performance especially in late game situations, where you will find your shot are more consistent than other players and you can still lock down defend with quick lateral slides.

If you can understand the importance of conditioning and practice properly, you can effectively implement drills into your workouts to enhance both your basketball skills and physical readiness.

If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

Basketball Rebounding Drills: Dominate the Boards

Do you know what is the most important thing when it comes to winning? It’s rebounding.

When a team has more rebounds than the other team, they have more possession of the ball, which leads to more field goals, more points and a better chance to win the ball game. Also, letting your opponent to grab the offensive rebound after you defend successfully will hurt your team’s confidence and momentum.

Just do the math, if your team has 10 more offensive rebounds in a game, you can potentially get an extra 30 points at most!

So, if you really to win games, be the best rebounder on the court.

Dennis Rodman Rebound

3 Steps to Grab a Rebound

First things first, you should learn how to really go get the basketball before you go practice.

There are 3 steps in grabbing a rebound:

1. Time the basketball

2. Grab and Rip

3. Landing

 

 

Step 1: Time the Basketball

While the ball has hit the rim and on its way down, you should time it and try to grab it when you reach your highest vertical point. If you often watch basketball games, you will notice that players with the best timing usually win the rebounds instead of players with the highest vertical jump.

Step 2: Grab and Rip

As you reach your highest vertical point, grab the ball with two hands as hard as possible and rip it out of the air to prevent it from getting tipped away in mid-air by defenders.

 

Step 3: Landing

After you grab the basketball, come down and land with a strong base, you can easily get injured if you don’t have a solid base to land when you jumped that high. Having a strong base doesn’t mean you should land loudly, but you should always stay balanced. Beside from injuries, defenders especially smaller or quicker players would try to steal it when the rebounder doesn’t protect it well.

 

These are the most vital steps in grabbing a rebound. Let’s talk about the drills we can implement to improve our rebounding skills.

1. Box Out Drill

Box out is a critical part of rebounding. It is a technique used by players to position themselves to gain more advantages when grabbing a rebound. This drill requires at least 2 players.

1. As soon as the ball was shot and left the offensive player’s hand, anticipate where will the ball bounce to and position yourself between him and the basket.

2. Stay balanced and get low, use the strength of your lower body and your butt to keep him away from the rebound. If it is too complicated, just imagine you’re sitting on a chair and keep it away with your body weight.

3. Spread your arms slightly to keep him behind you, don’t hold them back too obvious or you will be called for a personal foul. Just try to predict his direction and stop them from getting around you.

4. When the ball bounces off the basket, grab the basketball at the highest point of your jump.

 

5. After you have boxed out 10 times. Switch to be the offensive player and repeat the drill.

This is an essential skill for every player on the floor to master, especially for shorter players, since this is the most effective way for them to out-rebound taller players. Also, it is critical for power forwards and centers to protect the rebound and the paint much more efficiently.

2. Two Hand Rebound Drill

This drill mainly focuses on grabbing the rebound when you reach your highest vertical point. This drill requires only 1 player.

1. Pass the basketball to yourself off the backboard, you should throw it higher than usual to increase the difficulty by timing it precisely.

2. Goes up fast and strong for the rebound with two hands when you reach your highest vertical point.

3. Secure the basketball and land with a strong base.

4. After you land, repeat by throwing it up again. Do it at least 20 times.

This drill can practice not only your timing but also improving your explosiveness and vertical jump. Since most great rebounders can jump quickly, not just high but also explosive. The faster your feet leave the ground, the better chance you have for the rebound.

3. Battle Boards Drill

This drill aims to let players battle for the rebound and be more aggressive to the boards since which team wins the rebound usually comes down to which team is more hustle. This drill requires at least 3 players.

1. Start with 1 offensive player and 1 defensive player standing on the free throw line.

2. The third player will shoot the basketball and the 2 players will battle for the rebound.

3. If the offensive player gets the rebound, the defensive player will be punished for 5 push-ups. If the defensive player secures the rebound, no punishment will be received to both players.

4. Once the defensive player boxed out 10 times, switch to be the offensive player and repeat the drill.

  • The defensive rebounders must pursue the basketball instead of waiting until it to hit the floor.
  • This is a physical drill, which can encourage players to be more aggressive and physical when grabbing a rebound.

What makes a Good Rebounder?

Some players may think that they will never be a good rebounder because of their lack of height, however, it is not the crux of the matter. Regardless of your height, you can still be a great rebounder if are good at these few things:

  • Anticipation: This is the ability to determine where the ball is going to land once it hits the rim. If a player can and learn to predict more precisely where the ball will go. You will become a better rebounder instantly.
  • Vertical: Although it is not as vital as timing, it can definitely benefit you if you can reach higher than your opponents.
  • Timing: As I mentioned before, being able to catch the ball when it reaches the highest point of your jump is way more important than how high you can jump.
  • Hustle and Determination: To be frank, being a great rebounder is all about hustle and determination. If you are determined to go after the ball every single time and spare no effort in order to snatch the rebound. No one can out-rebound you.

From now on, if the ball hits the basket, the rebound is yours.

Build a mindset that no one can take the rebound from you and you will become a great rebounder in no time.

If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

 

 

Basketball Shooting Drills: Perfect Your Jump-shot

Have you ever wondered what is the most vital skill in basketball? The answer is definitely shooting.

Regardless of what position you play, it is a must for every player to have a high percentage of jump-shot in today’s game of basketball. If you can’t shoot the ball, your minutes will be limited by your coaches no matter how athletic or explosive you are.

So, I am going to walk you through 5 simple shooting drills to perfect your jump-shot and be a more threatening shooter.

Stephen Curry Shooting

1. Form Shooting

This drill focuses on building proper shooting technique and perfect form, which will improve your shooting mechanics and develop better shooting habits since shooting is all about muscles memory, if you apply the adequate practice consistently, you will automatically use the proper form without thinking about it.

As this drill is to develop player’s perfect shooting form, we don’t want you to stand too far from the basketball. Emphasizing more on your shooting form rather than your shooting percentage.

There are three spots of the drill, left corner, center and right corner a couple feet from the basket.

  • Shooting Stance

1) Stand about 2 – 3 feet away from the basket. Your dominant foot should be aligned with the basket, if you’re a left-handed player, your left foot should be in a straight line with the hoop, slightly turn your feet towards your right-hand side or point your feet direct to the basket.

2) Separate your foot no more than shoulder width apart, your shooting foot should be placed slightly ahead of the non-shooting foot to have more balance on the shot.

3) Once you maintain your stance and your balance, bend your knees to be in a jump position at around 45 degrees as soon as you catch the basketball. Your hip and your shoulder should be aligned to the basket.

4) Choose a shooting stance that is most comfortable for you.

  • Aim

5) Aim the shot as soon as possible before shooting the basketball.

6) Use your eyes to follow the arc of the ball. If it missed the first time, shoot it higher or lower based on the arc of the shot.

  • Release

7) Use the momentum and force of your legs to launch the ball to have more power on the shot.

8) Jump upward instead of leaning forward as it will cause a lot of tension to your neck and shoulders.

9) Release the ball when it reaches the highest point of your jump.

 

  • Follow Through

10) Bend the wrist of your shooting hand like reaching into a cookie jar.

11) Grab the rebound and repeat.

12) Make at least 20 shots for each spot. You can shoot as much as you like.

2. Spot Shooting Drill

This is a mid-range shooting drill, aim to catch and shoot the basketball properly.

1. There are 5 spots in this drill, two corners, two wings and the top of the key.

2. Start this drill at one side of the corner, make five shots then move to the next spot.

3. Finish the drill after you hit 5 shots from each spot.

Mark how many shots you make and aim to shoot a better percentage next time. You will be amazed at how fast you progress.

 

3. Star Shooting Drill

This is a 10 shots 3 point shooting drill, aim to practice our shooting in game speed.

1. Start and shoot shot 1 at the right corner.

2. Sprint to the left (opposite) wing for shot 2.

3. Sprint to the right wing for spot 3.

4. Sprint to the left corner for shot 4.

5. Finally, sprint to the top of the key for shot 5

6. Repeat the drill one more time, start at the right corner (shot 1) for shot 6 – shot 10.

In order to improve your shooting speed, measure the time as soon as you release the first shot and stop the time when you release the final shot. Aim to shoot faster with a higher percentage next time you practice this drill.

The spot shooting drill and the star shooting drill mainly focus on our shooting off the catch, which will improve our shooting percentage in real games.

4. One Dribble Pull Up Mid-range

This one dribble pull up dribble is executed when defenders are running at you or are playing aggressive defense, used to blow by defenders and pull up for a shot.

1. Do a pump fake, really looks like you’re trying to take a shot by looking at the rim and pretending to release the ball.

2. Sweep the ball low near your knees to get past defenders. If you sweep at your chest, the ball is more prone to get stolen by defenders and result in a turnover.

3. Take one dribble and step into a mid-range jump shot. You can either use a one-two step or hop into your jump shot.

4. If you use the one-two step and sweep to your right. Plant your left foot first. However, if you use the one-two step and sweep to your left. Plant your right foot first.

5. When you take the dribble, pound the ball as hard as possible since the faster the dribble, the quicker you can get your shot off.

6. Practice on the spot you will take in real games and practice going both directions, make 10 shots each side to finish the drill.

 

5. One Dribble Pull Up Three-point

The 3-point one dribble pull up is similar to the mid-range one dribble pull up, however, you can also do a side dribble pull-up.

1. Do a pump fake, really looks like you’re trying to take a shot by looking at the rim and pretending to release the ball.

2. If the defender run at you, sweep the ball low near your knees and get past him.

3. If the defender jumps at you and tries to block your shot, you can do a side dribble instead of getting past him to create more space for your shot.

4. Take one dribble and step into a 3 point jump shot. You can either use a one-two step or hop into your jump shot.

5. When you take the dribble, pound the ball as hard as possible since the faster the dribble, the quicker you can get your shot off.

6. Practice on the spot you will take in real games and practice going both directions, make 10 shots each side to finish the drill.

If you can master the one dribble pull-up shot, you will be unguardable and can shoot basically anytime and anywhere you want.

 

Conclusion

If you are serious about basketball, add these drills to your daily training routine. I guarantee you will see significant improvement within a month.

If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Basic Rules in Basketball: Must Know

First thing first, if you’re serious about sports, if not basketball, you need to learn the rules first. If you don’t play it by rules, people won’t respect you in the game.

What is a Basketball Game

Typically, an official basketball game is played by 2 teams of a maximum of 12 players, each team will have 5 players on the court at the same time. In the game, both team’s objective is to score the basketball into their opponent’s basket. At last, the team has more points win.

The duration of a game is 48 minutes, separated in 4 quarters of 12 minutes each.

At the end of the regulation, if both two teams have the same score, they will play overtime (5 minutes) until one team wins.

There are 5 positions in basketball, point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center, which is represented by position 1 – 5 respectively. Every player is subject to the same rules regardless of what position they play, however, some calls such as the offensive foul calls will be more favorable to guards.

Basketball Official

Scoring

Three are three types of scoring, free-throw, two points and three points.

Two and three points are called field goals.

  • Two points: There is a three-point line on each side of the court, if a player makes a field goal inside the line, he gets 2 points.
  • Three points: If a player makes a field goal outside the line, he gets 3 points.
  • Free throw: When a player is in a shooting motion and get fouled by his opponent, he will get 2 or 3 free throws depending on which shot did he take. However, if he makes the shot, he will get only 1 free throw. Each free throw has 1 point.

Fouls

A personal foul is the most common type of foul in basketball, meaning there is some illegal personal contact with an opponent.

There is a limit of personal fouls for each player, usually, it’s 5 or 6 depending on the rules. When a player has committed all 5 or 6 fouls, he is eliminated from the remainder of the game.

Once a team has already made 4 fouls in the quarter, the fifth one (regardless of whether the player is attempting a shot or not) will be in the bonus, which resulted in 2 free throws.

Apart from personal fouls, there are also some called flagrant fouls and technical fouls, both are referring to players who are regarded as unsportsmanlike conduct, which usually has more serious penalties.

 

Offensive Rules

The player has the ball must dribble with one hand in order to move both feet. If the player touches the ball with both hands, he must stop dribbling and move with only one foot, which is called the pivot foot. At this time, if the player dribbles again, he will be called for a double-dribbling violation. If he fails to stay on his pivot foot, he will be called for a traveling violation.

When the ball possessed by the offensive team has passed the half-court line, it cannot touch the area behind the line or the team will be called for a backcourt violation.

As long as a team inbound the ball or gains new possession of a ball while in play, they have 8 seconds to get past the half-court line before committing a turnover. In addition, they have 24 seconds to attempt a shot before being called for a shot clock violation. If you attempt a field goal before the shot clock expires, the shot will still count if it goes in. If the offensive player grabs the rebound after a missed shot, the shot clock will reactivate and reset to 14 seconds.

If the dribbler cannot change his direction or end his dribble and end up charging into an opponent who has already established a legal guarding position, he will be called for an offensive foul.

Defensive Rules

Typically, there is only one rule for the defensive team, don’t foul. Although a foul can be interpreted differently by different referees, normally a foul is regarded as contact initiated by the defensive player in order to gain advantages. As long as the defensive player doesn’t use excessive physical contact that causes the offensive player to lose the ball or miss a shot.

Both Teams

When a player attempts a shot and the basketball is on the rim or on its way down. It cannot be touched by both teams or it will be called for goaltending or basket interference. The basket will count or not count in favor of the other team.

Basketball players cannot kick the ball at all times or it will be called for kicking violation, the shot clock will reset if it is less than 14 seconds.

At the start of the game, the ball will be thrown in the center circle by an official. This is called a jump ball between any two opponents. When the basketball is held by two players from different teams, it will also be called for a jump ball, the winner will get the possession of the basketball.

When the ball touches a player who is out of bounds or touches the boundaries of the court, it is regarded out of bounds. Also, it touches the supports or the back of the backboard, it is considered out of bounds.

If the basketball was last touched by a player (including his jerseys), the other team will retain possession of the ball.

 

For Every Player

Each official should already have a clear train of thought of their overall responsibilities. However, it is also of utmost importance for us to know and understand the rules in order to ensure our safety and protections, we should also recognize the different basketball referee signals.Basketball Referee Hand Signals

At the end of the day, this is a place where athletes can show their skills and abilities so it is vital to respect the rules of it.

If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

 

How to Shoot Threes: Increase Your Shooting Range and Accuracy

Everyone wants to master the three-point shot because “three is always better than two.” In fact, in today’s game of basketball, it is rather rare to see someone who cannot shoot threes, yet, most of them are not very good at it.

I’m going to divide this article into three parts and walk you through how to become a lethal three-point shooter step by step.

Why Can’t You Shoot a Three-Pointer?

Growing up watching the NBA, I was fascinated with Ray Allen’s three-point shots, (who is one of the greatest shooters in the NBA). However, I can barely shoot a mid-range, so I tried lots of methods in order to extend my shooting range. Although I did lots of pushups and go to the gym lifting weights. I still can’t shoot a three.

I was frustrated.

After all these years, I finally realize that there are only two ways to extend our shooting range:

  • Better Shot Mechanics
  • Increase Our Strength and Power

 

For better shot mechanics, what I mean was having the perfect shooting form in order to maximize your power. If you can get the shooting techniques right, you will be knocking down deep range threes shortly.

So, how can you build the perfect shooting form?

Basically, there are three fundamentals that you need to get fixed:

  1. Shooting Stance
  2. Shot Pocket 
  3. Release

Typically, there are two types of shooting stance, you can slightly turn your feet towards your off-hand side or point your feet direct to the basket, depending on which one is more comfortable for you. Usually, right-handed shooters are more comfortable and natural with their feet pointing to the left.

Your feet should be separated ideally shoulder-width apart, your shooting foot should be placed slightly ahead of the non-shooting foot so that you can have more balance and more strength on the shot.

Once you maintain your stance and your balance, bend your knees into a jump position to ready to shoot the basketball.


Many players, especially younger players think they should have their shot pocket higher to avoid from being blocked, however, you should not have your shot pocket too high like above your head, as it requires more strength and energy and will reduce your accuracy and range.

So, instead of having a high shot pocket, my recommendation to younger players is to start your shot pocket low and develop a quicker release, not only can it avoid getting blocked by taller defenders, but also having a farther shooting range.

Once you’re able to shoot the three easily, change your shot pocket if you like as you become stronger and more athletic.


When you’re ready to shoot the basketball, bend your knees and dip into a position where you are comfortable to shoot.

Instead of jumping forward, jump upward so that you’re using the momentum and force of your legs to launch the ball.

You can jump slightly forward to make sure your shot to be more balanced. However, don’t lean forward as you jump or it will cause a lot of tension to your neck and shoulders.

Release the ball when it reaches the highest point of your jump. Straighten your elbow and push your wrist with your shooting hand aimed at the basket. You can change the shooting arc by having your elbow higher or lower. Your guiding hand should move away from the ball as you release it so it won’t affect the momentum or the spin of the ball.

You should practice your shooting motion regularly since the smoother your shooting form is, the easier you can utilize the momentum from your legs to the ball and it will be way easier to shoot from long range.


If you get these three fundamentals right, your shooting range will be expanded instantly.

For increasing our strength and power, we want to focus mainly on our lower body muscles, namely our quadriceps and calves. They are the most frequently used musles when it comes to shooting the basketball. Here are some drills to work on those muscles:

  • Bodyweight Squats:

1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place your arms on the back of your head. Your toes can slightly turn out.

2. Keep your core tight and keep your back straight, lower your knees to 90 degrees. You knees should not exceed your toes.

3. Pause for one second then explode up. Return to the starting position.

4. Repeat at least 8 – 12 times and 3 – 4 reps.

  • Standing Calf Raises

1. Stand on an elevated surface such as a staircase with the balls of your feet. Your heels should be hanging over the edge.

2. Your hands can hold on to something to maintain balance.

3. Use the toes to lift your heels as high as possible and hold it for a moment.

4. Lower your heels down as much as possible to stretch your calf muscles

5. Repeat at least 12 – 15 times and 3 – 4 reps.


How to Improve Our Accuracy?

We have already demonstrated how to increase our shooting range, then we’re going to talk about how to improve our shooting percentage and consistency.

There are three things that matters in improving your accuracy: Aim, follow through and practice.

Aim:

There are several ways of locating the target in shooting, you can look at the front of the rim, the back of the rim or even the backboard. Yet, for me, I simply just look at the net when I want to swish the basketball. If I want to bank in the shot, I’ll aim at the square of the backboard instead.

Regardless of what target you aim, you should always locate it earlier. Although you just aim it a split second earlier, your brain can have much more time to measure the distance of the shot. Giving you a higher shooting percentage since there are many times I saw a player cannot decide to swish or bank the ball, it ended up hitting the rim.

So, your eyes are vital in aiming the shot. Use your eyes to follow the arc of the ball. If it missed at the first time, shoot it higher or lower based on the arc of the shot.

Follow Through:

Follow through is probably the most vital thing that distinguish a lethal shooter from average players. The reason is because many shooters only use their wrist to shoot the basketball, which will not be as accurate as applying the follow through.

So, how to use the follow through properly?

As your shooting arm extends toward the hoop, your shooting hand should be relaxed. At this time, both your shooting arm and hand should be pointing toward the basket, your fingers should be pointing at the ground (some may prefer pointing at the rim). Hold your follow through until the ball has touched the rim.

Then, I will provide some drills to help you master the three-point shot. At last, more advanced drills that you can use to elevate your shooting game.

Quality Practice Leads to Better Results:

Throughout the years of playing basketball, I’ve noticed that the most common mistake players make when practicing is they don’t practice in game speed and in-game shots.

What I mean is you should only practice the shot you take in real games and practice it in game speed. There’s no need to waste time practicing the spot where you won’t shoot. There are two drills I really recommend that are focused on our shooting off the catch.

  • Spot Shooting:
  1. There are 5 spots in this drill, two corner threes, two 45 angle threes and the top of the arc.
  2. Start this drill at one side of the corner three, make five shots then move to the next spot.
  3. Finish the drill after you hit 5 shots from each spot.

Mark how many shots you make and aim to shoot a better percentage next time. You will be amazed at how fast you progress.

  • Spot Shooting (consistency):

This is also a spot shooting drill, but this is mainly emphasized on your shooting consistency.

  1. There are also 5 spots in this drill, two corner threes, two 45 angle threes and the top of the arc.
  2. Start this drill at one side of the corner three, make 2 shots in a row then sprint to the next spot.
  3. Set a timer for 2 minutes and mark how many points you make, if you only make 1 shot from a spot, it does not count as a point.

This drill can practice your endurance as well as your consistency since it is more difficult to make two shots in a row and you may be stuck in a spot for a very long time.

If you can master the three-point shot, you will be a much more threat to your opponents and become a more valuable player. By implementing the training and tips I’ve given, you will become a lethal shooter in no time.

If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

Best Basketballs Reviews – So Far

Best Basketballs Reviews

For everyone who knows basketball must agree that the only thing matters is the ball. Although we know that choosing a good basketball is vital, many of us struggle to differentiate the features that a great basketball should have. Today, I’m going to walk you through the best basketballs so far.

The Differences Between Indoor Basketball and Outdoor Basketball

One of the major difference between indoor basketballs and outdoor basketballs are the materials.

  • Indoor Basketball are usually made of full-grain leather while outdoor basketballs are made of rubber or composite leather.

This means that indoor basketballs have more grip than outdoor basketballs, however, they are less durable than outdoor basketballs.

In this way, many people would choose an indoor/outdoor basketball, which is a mix of synthetic leather and rubber, providing both a decent grip and decent durability.

For official basketball game like high school or college tournament, players will use an indoor basketball as the game ball. In addition, it is common for high school team or college team to practice with an indoor basketball to simulate the feel of the game.

On the other hand, if players tend to play pick-up games instead of official basketball game, an outdoor basketball is all you need. In this scenario, the durability of the basketball is the most vital criteria.


Product 1: Wilson-Evolution Indoor Basketball ReviewWilson-Evolution Indoor Basketball

Retail Price: $59.99

Cheapest Place to Buy: eBay.com ($53 only)

My Rating: 9.5/10

Product Rating: 4.8/5


1. Wilson-Evolution Indoor Basketball

The Wilson-Evolution Indoor Basketball is hands down the best indoor basketball in the market. The major reason is because it has a feature calls the Cushion Core Carcass, which provides a perfect combination of bounce and grip, allowing a softer feel that’s easier to grip and touch around the rim. In a way that it helps me to control the ball more effectively because it is so easy to grab and dribble. Also, the shot has a higher chance to go in because it bounces softly on the rim.

Having this other feature called the Evo Microfiber Composite is considered the best combination of grip and durability among all indoor basketballs, providing good quality use for a long time, yet it is only durable while it is performed in indoor, it will get damaged way quicker if plays in outdoor court.

On top of that, it is approved for play by the NFHS and is official used in the NCAA college tournament games. If you are seriously about basketball and want to step up your game, then I highly recommend the Wilson-Evolution Indoor Basketball.


Product 2: Molten X-series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball Molten X-series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

Retail Price: $44.98

Cheapest Place to Buy: eBay.com ($33.75 only)

My Rating: 9/10

Product Rating: 4.6/5


2. Molten X-series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

For non-professional players like the majority of us, we usually play in various places. The Molten X-series is the perfect basketball for us since with the synthetic leather cover, it is suitable to play at both indoor and outdoor court, which is considered the best one for general purposes.

Also, the ball is covered by butyl bladder, providing low levels of air leakage that can keep the air pressure much more constant and enable us to use longer before bumping air. It’s best to use on hard surfaces.

Last but not least, the signature 12 panel design provide one of the most amazing grips and feel. Especially to players like me that have sweaty hands, it can wick the sweat away to prevent us from shooting bricks. Apart from that, the grooves and panels are wider, you can grip the ball and line up the grooves more easily, maintain a more consistent follow through and add more backspin with your fingers, resulting in better shooting consistency.


Product 3: Spalding NBA Zi/O Excel BasketballSpalding NBA Zi/O Excel Basketball

Retail Price: $39.99

Cheapest Place to Buy: eBay.com ($27.49 only)

My Rating: 9.5/10


3. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

Spalding designs this ball with foam-backed feature, not only can it provide better grips and handling of the basketball’s surface, it also makes the ball bounce higher. As such, players will be benefited with better shooting consistency and better dribbling skills.

Apart from the channels of the ball, it is specifically designed for both indoor and outdoor court since it is made by Zi/O tournament composite cover. Making it more durable to play and suited for different hoops.

Regardless of what level of tournament you’re playing, this ball is perfectly fit for you as it is used by professional leagues worldwide. It is also the official ball of the WNBA and NBA.


I hope this article can help you choose the most suitable basketball for yourself and elevate your performance. If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

Passing Drills in Basketball:

Regardless of what types of passing you want to master, when it comes to practicing passing in basketball, all you simply need is a wall. Today, I’m going to walk you through the main types of passing and demonstrate some drills for each of them. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, these drills can definitely step up your game and made you a better passer significantly.

 

Importance of Passing

No matter how good you are, you cannot win without your teammates as basketball is not a one man show. So, it is crucial for you to be a better passer in order to communicate and cooperate with your teammates.

As a matter of fact, being a good passer not only mean you can pass the basketball to your teammates, it also means to have better vision and spotting your teammates in real games. In this article, I will show you how to do that step by step.

There are four main types of passing, namely chest pass, bounce pass, over the head pass and behind the back pass.

Chest Pass:

The chest pass is the most basic pass in basketball, it is named as it is thrown in front of the chest.

  1. Grip the sides of the ball and place your thumbs directly behind the ball.
  2. Use the whole arm and step forward to pass the ball with more power instead of only using your wrist.
  3. Add some backspin to the ball with your fingers so that your fingers are pointing toward the same direction with the basketball as your thumbs are turned straight down. In this way, the ball is easier to catch.

    When performing a chest pass, players should try to aim it to your teammate’s chest level. If you pass it too high or too low, they will find it very difficult to catch and may result in a turnover.

  • Drill:
  1. Imagine your teammate’s chest level at the wall or tape the wall for you to recognize.
  2. Stand about 10 – 12 feet away from the wall. Aim the target and hit it 20 times.
  3. Move 1 – 2 feet away and continue the drill until you reach your furthest distance.

Bounce Pass:

There are two different bounce passes, chest bounce pass and single hand bounce pass.

  • Chest Bounce Pass:

It is the same motion as the chest past, only it is aimed at the floor.

  1. Stand far enough from your teammate so that the ball can bounce with enough space.
  2. Throw it 2/3 of the distance to the receiver, this is the most suitable way to pass a basketball so that your teammate can catch it comfortably.
  3. Step forward and add a backspin with your fingers, the pass will bounce higher and make the distance easier to estimate.
  • Single Hand Bounce Pass:
  1. The ball should be thrown at the height near your waist.
  2. Stand far enough from your teammate so that the ball can bounce with enough space.
  3. Throw it 2/3 of the distance to the receiver, this is the most suitable way to pass a basketball so that your teammate can catch it comfortably.
  4. You should use more force than performing a chest bounce pass. Step forward with the same sided foot and add a backspin with your fingers, the pass will bounce higher and make the distance easier to estimate.

The bounce pass is usually used in limited space such as pick and roll. For defender, it is tougher to steal but it is more difficult to deliver since it can easily result in turnovers. However, it is extremely effective if you can utilize it.

  • Drill:
  1. Imagine your teammate’s chest level at the wall or tape the wall for you to recognize.
  2. Stand about 8 – 10 feet away from the wall. Aim the target and hit it 20 times.
  3. Move 1 – 2 feet away and continue the drill until you reach your furthest distance.

Over the Head Pass:

The overhead pass is often used as an outlet pass.

  1. Held the sides of the ball with both hands and bring it directly above your head.
  2. Flick you wrists and fingers to add more force.
  3. Aim for your teammate’s chin and release the ball behind your head.

When throwing this pass, you should protect the ball with your elbow since it is easy for defenders to intercept the ball directly above them.

  • Drill:
  1. Imagine your teammate’s chest level at the wall or tape the wall for you to recognize.
  2. Stand about 10 – 12 feet away from the wall. Aim the target and hit it 20 times.
  3. Move 1 – 2 feet away and continue the drill until you reach your furthest distance.

 

Behind The Back Pass:

This move is more advanced than the previous ones as this is thrown by wrapping the ball around your back. Yet, It is more protected from the defender than making a pass in front of you. Most of the time, it is used to on fast breaks when your teammates are trailing behind you.

Don’t use it until you have completely master it and feeling absolutely confident about it.

  • Drill:
  1. Imagine your teammate’s chest level at the wall or tape the wall for you to recognize.
  2. Stand one sided towards the wall about 3 – 5 feet away. Aim the target and hit it 20 times.
  3. Move 1 – 2 feet away and continue the drill until you reach your furthest distance.

 

Team Not Me

Basketball is a team game, which means all players are involved and should play as one. In order to accomplish that, passing is the most crucial skills players need to acquire. Yet some players never train it or even being taught before.

By utilizing this skill, not only can you step up your game, but also cultivate more teamwork and communication among your teammates, become a better all-around player.

If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

Basketball Ball Handling Drills for Beginners: Easy 10 Minutes Daily Routine

Kyrie Irving Ball HandlingFor me, being able to dribble the basketball is extremely important as I am a guard and I love to blow by defenders with my crossover moves. With an aim to become a better all-around player and also a better ball handler, I practice my dribble every day for about 10 minutes applying this daily routine.

 

Importance of Ball Handling in Basketball

Regardless of whether you are a point guard who pushes the pace of the game or a centre who dominate the paint, dribbling skills are vital for you as each and every player has to execute moves off the dribble in order to get past defenders or create space. Also, you want to practice both with your dominant hand and your weak hand, otherwise you can only drive in one direction, highly reducing your offensive ability. Here are some drills that I used which helped me improve my handles significantly.

Generally, there are two main types of ball handling drills: Stationary Drills and On The Move Drills.

 

 

Stationary Drills:

These drills are performed while standing, emphasizing on letting players more familiar with the basketball and control it. This is a compilation of drills that I highly recommend to beginners.

  • Ball Slaps:

Slap the basketball with both of your hands alternatively. This is a great drill to start with to get your hands ready for the workout. Do it for 15 – 30 seconds.

  • Finger Tips:

Hold the ball above your head, tip the ball back and forth with both of your hand alternatively. Do it for 15 – 30 seconds.

  • Figure 8 :

Spread your legs shoulder width apart. Move the ball around through your legs in a figure 8 direction. Repeat in the opposite direction and do it for 15 – 30 seconds.
The first three drills will get your body warmed up and get your hands ready for the drills with higher intensity. Then, we’ll start dribbling the basketball.

  • Single Hand Pound Dribble: There are three variations in this drill.

 

1. Single Hand Low Dribble:

When performing the single hand dribble, the basketball should be placed about one foot away from the same-sided foot where you feel comfortable. This drill helps you to protect the ball from stolen by defenders. The ball should reach between your ankle and your knee, but should not reach above your knee.

2. Single Hand Mid Dribble:

When performing this move, the ball should be at around your waist high, which should be the easiest among three heights since it is the most comfortable stance and position.

3. Single Hand High Dribble:

The high dribble is usually executed when you are bringing the ball up the court on fast breaks. The ball should reach between your waist and your shoulder, but should not be lower than your waist.

This drill is called the pound dribble as you should pound the ball as hard as you can to make the drills more challenging and effective.

  • Stationary Crossover Dribble: There are also three variations in this drill.

1. Crossover Dribble:

This is commonly used to deflect the defender. Simply it is executed by pushing the ball from one direction to the opposite direction. You may imagine it bounces in a V-shape. However, it is also prone to get stolen if you get too close to the defender.

2. Between the Legs Dribble:

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Jump and place your right foot forward and your left foot back, cross the ball between your legs from your left hand to right hand. Jump and switch the positioning of your feet while crossing the ball back to your left hand at the same time. Switch your feet each time the ball goes through the legs.

3. Behind the Back Dribble:

This is usually used while the defense is aggressive and wanted to steal the ball. This is similar to the crossover dribble, but behind your body. When the defender tries to steal the ball, execute this move to get past them.

The between the legs dribble and behind the back dribble are not as quick as the crossover dribble when it comes to blowing by your defender, however, it can protect the ball from defenders that have quick hands with your legs and your body.

 

  • Inside Out Dribble:
  1. Dribble with your right hand, jam the opposite hand and foot to fake the crossover.
  2. When executing the inside out move, keep your hand on top of the basketball to prevent from getting called a travel violation.
  3. After you fake to go to the left, step your right foot forward to get past your defender.

This move is used to blow by your defender by faking a crossover.

On The Move Dribble:

These drills are more effective if it’s performed with cones as cones can pretend defenders, helping you develop better footwork, court awareness and be more agile.

  • Zig Zag Dribbling Drill: This drill requires 5 cones and can be performed by 1 – 2 players.
  1. Sprint from the first cone to the second cone while dribbling.
  2. Make a crossover move and change directions, then sprint to the third cone.
  3. Continue until sprinted to the last cone.
  4. Repeat in the opposite direction

This drill focuses on changing directions in transition and be more stable dribbling the basketball. This can also be done with a defensive player if you want to increase the difficulty.

  • Inside Out Crossover Dribble:
  1. Set up the dribbling cones and start at the first cone.
  2. For each cone, perform a crossover move after an inside out dribble.
  3. Move to the next cone and repeat the move with the opposite hand.
  • Inside Out Between the Legs Dribble:
  1. Set up the dribbling cones and start at the first cone.
  2. For each cone, perform a between the leg move after an inside out dribble.
  3. Move to the next cone and repeat the move with the opposite hand.
  • Inside Out Behind the Back Dribble:
  1. Set up the dribbling cones and start at the first cone.
  2. For each cone, perform a behind the back move after an inside out dribble.
  3. Move to the next cone and repeat the move with the opposite hand.

The inside out variation required 8 – 10 cones placed in a straight line. This variation is the most commonly used dribble in basketball, especially in transition. It is easy to get past defenders when you’re performing this in fast breaks.

Start Your Training TODAY!

Although it is extremely fascinating to see an NBA player ankle break his defender, it takes many years of practice to accomplish that level.

So don’t hesitate and start your training now. Even if you’re an absolute beginner, with practice and dedication, literally ANYONE can become a better ball handler!

If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

 

The Perfect Basketball Shooting Form – Shoot Like Stephen Curry

In today basketball world especially the NBA, you can easily see seven footers knocking down long-range three-pointers since the game has changed. It is the most important skills to master in order to play the game so there is literally no excuse for players not to develop a jump shot. So, today I’m going to walk you through how to build the perfect basketball shooting form step by step.

When it comes to shooting, there isn’t any “perfect” shooting form to be frank. If you look at the greatest shooters in today’s NBA, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, James Harden. All of them shot differently. The only common thing is they all have the perfect fundamentals.

Here are the shooting fundamentals that we are focusing on:

  1. Shooting Stance
  2. Grip
  3. Shot Pocket
  4. Aim
  5. Release
  6. Follow Through

Shooting Stance:

Typically, there are two types of shooting stance, you can slightly turn your feet towards your off hand side or point your feet direct to the basket, depending on which one is more comfortable for you. Usually, right-handed shooters are more comfortable and natural with their feet pointing to the left.

Your feet should be separated no more than shoulder width apart, your shooting foot should be placed slightly ahead of the non-shooting foot to have more balance on the shot.

Once you maintain your stance and your balance, bend your knees to be in a jump position as soon as you catch the basketball. You should notice that your hip and your shoulder are aligned to the basket.

Grip:

Spread your fingers apart evenly to let the ball placed on your shooting hand comfortably. You can grip it gently to balance the ball on your finger pads. The ball should only touch your fingers so you should leave some space between your palm and the ball.

Place your left hand, the guide hand, on the left side of the ball to balance the ball before it leaves your hand. Make sure your guide hand did not add any force or spin to the shot as it may affect the accuracy.

 

Shot Pocket

For some of you who may not know what a shot pocket is, it’s the place where you put the ball before you shoot it. It can be on your chest, on your chin, or even above your head, as long as you feel comfortable.

Many players, especially younger players think they should have their shot pocket higher to avoid from being blocked, however, you should not have your shot pocket too high like above your head, as it requires more strength and energy and will reduce your accuracy and consistency. So, instead of having a high shot pocket, my recommendation to younger players is to start your shot pocket low and develop a quicker release to avoid getting blocked by taller defenders, then change your shot pocket as you become stronger and more athletic.

Aim:

Throughout the years of playing basketball, I have noticed that one of the most frequently asked questions about shooting is which target should we locate. I know there are different ways to locate the target when it comes to shooting. Yet, for me, I simply just look at the net when I want to swish the basketball. If I want to bank in the shot, I’ll aim at the square of the backboard instead. There are many times I saw a player cannot decide to swish or bank the ball, it ended up hitting the rim. So, your eyes are vital in aiming the shot. Use your eyes to follow the arc of the ball. If it missed at the first time, shoot it higher or lower based on the arc of the shot.

Release:

Now you’ve already aimed and are ready to shoot the basketball, bend your knees and dip into a position where you are comfortable to shoot. Then, start your shooting motion.

While you’re jumping upward, you should use the momentum and force of your legs to launch the ball as shooting is all about using our legs. If you can utilize the momentum of your legs, it will be way easier and to shoot from long range.

Jump slightly forward will make sure your shot to be more balanced. However, don’t lean forward as you jump or it will cause a lot of tension to your neck and shoulders.

Release the ball when it reaches the highest point of your jump. Straighten your elbow and push your wrist with your shooting hand aimed at the basket. You can change the shooting arc by having your elbow higher or lower. Your guiding hand should move away from the ball as you release it so it won’t affect the momentum or the spin of the ball. Use your fingertips to roll the basket to add a backspin to the basketball. It is a perfect shot if the lines of the basketball spin symmetrically.

 

Follow Through:

Follow through is probably the most vital thing that distinguish a lethal shooter from average players. The reason why this is hugely important to shooters is because shooting with only your wrist will not be as accurate as applying the follow through.

The follow through begins with your shooting arm’s extension. As your shooting arm extends toward the hoop, your shooting hand should also turn into a bent wrist position as if your hand is “in a cookie jar”. At this time, both your shooting arm and hand should be pointing toward the basket, your fingers should be pointing at the ground.

 

Conclusion:

If you are a beginner or you just want to change your broken shooting form, I recommend you do this simple shooting drill:

One Hand Form Shooting Drill:

  1. Face in front of the basket and stay about 2 – 3 feet away.
  2. Hold the ball in a comfortable position.
  3. Shoot until you made 3 shots in a row.
  4. Move one step backward then repeat the drill.
  5. Try to reach the three point line to finish the drill, reach the free-throw line instead if you can’t shoot the three yet.

This drill put emphasis on your technique and it will help you eliminate your bad habits. Remember shooting is all about muscle memories, the more you practice, the better you’ll get.

By implementing these proper instructions into your shooting form, you will ensure that you have not only a more consistent jump shot, but also a “perfect” shooting form.

If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

Best Basketball Drills for Beginners

First things first, if you are a beginner and would like to learn how to play basketball, it’s important to emphasise on the basics. There are 4 essentials in basketball and I’m going to walk you through all of them thoroughly.

  1. Dribbling
  2. Shooting
  3. Finishing
  4. Footwork

Dribbling:

Being able to handle the ball is one of the most indispensable skills in basketball. By practicing your dribbling skills, you will gain more touches with the basketball and you can control it better. When you’re the offensive player, you have to execute crossovers in order to blow by defenders or create space. Also, you want to practice both with your dominant hand and your weak hand, otherwise you can only drive in one direction, highly reducing your offensive ability. Here are some drills that I used which helped me improve my handles significantly.

  • Stationary Ball Handling: There are three different variations in this drill.
  1. Single Hand Low Dribble: When performing the single hand dribble, the basketball should be placed about one foot away from the same sided foot where you feel comfortable. This drill helps you to protect the ball from stolen by defenders. The ball should not reach above your knee.
  2. Single Hand High Dribble: The high dribble is usually executed when you are bringing the ball up the court on fast breaks. The ball should reach slightly above your waist.
  3. Crossover Dribble: This is commonly used to deflect the defender. Simply it is executed by pushing the ball from one direction to the opposite direction to blow by opponents. You may imagine it bounces in a V-shape. However, it is also prone to getting stolen if you get too close to the defender.
  • Zig Zag Dribbling Drill: This drill requires 5 cones and can be performed by 1 – 2 players.
  1. Sprint from the first cone to the second cone while dribbling.
  2. Make a crossover move and change directions, then sprint to the third cone.
  3. Continue until sprinted to the last cone.
  4. Repeat on the opposite direction

This drill focuses on changing directions in transition and be more stable dribbling the basketball. This can also be done with a defensive player if you want to increase the difficulty.

Shooting:

In regard to scoring, the most effective way have to be shooting the basketball. Shooting a basketball is simple, but only if you apply the adequate training method. There are four aspects of shooting a basketball: The B.E.E.F method.

B – Balance

E – Elbow

E – Eyes

F – Follow Through

  1. First, you want to stand with your feet shoulder width apart to have great balance.
  2. Your elbow should be 90 degrees when holding the basketball.
  3. Your eyes should focus on the rim instead of the basketball.
  4. Finally, you want to have follow through in your shot, which is the motion of your wrist and fingers in releasing the ball.
  • One Hand Form Shooting Drill:
  1. Face in front of the basket and stay about 2 – 3 feet away.
  2. Hold the ball in a comfortable position using the BEEF method.
  3. Shoot until you made 3 shots in a row.
  4. Move one step backward then repeat the drill.
  5. Try to reach the three point line to finish the drill, reach the free-throw line instead if you can’t shoot the three yet.
  • Around the World:
  1. The different spots around the key indicate where the players should go after they make the shot.
  2. After you make a shot from all positions. Repeat the drill in the opposite direction to finish the drill.

If you want to make it more challenging, you can hit two consecutive shots before you move on to the next spot.

These drills are not only designed to improve your shooting accuracy and technique, but also practice your shooting consistency. Remember shooting is all about muscle memories, the more you practice, the higher shooting percentage you get.

Finishing:

Among all kinds of scoring, layups and dunks have the highest percentage in basketball games. So it may seem that finishing around the rim is easy and don’t require any practice. However, it is not as easy as you think since you have to finish through a lot of contact and spin the ball accurately in order to score inside the paint. Using these drills, you will learn how to get those buckets with more certainty.

 

  • Mikan Drill:
  1. Face the backboard on the left side of the basket.
  2. Jump and shoot the layup off the backboard.
  3. Get the rebound and go to the right side of the basketball. Try to make 10 layups in a row.
  • Reverse Mikan Drill:
  1. Face the backside of the backboard on the left side of the basket.
  2. Jump and shoot the reverse layup off the backboard.
  3. Get the rebound and go to the right side of the basketball. Try to make 10 layups in a row.

Footwork:

In my opinion, footwork is the most important things among the 4 essentials of basketball. Generally, all skills namely shooting, dribbling or defending require athletes to have the footwork to perform the moves. Just think the greatest players ever played in the NBA, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordon, Kobe Bryant. All of them have exceptional footwork. That’s what made them so lethal and impossible to guard.

The most frequently used footwork in basketball is the triple threat move. This is a position where players can dribble, shoot and pass. You will become a lethal threat if you can utilize this move.

  • Triple Threat Drill:
  1. Spin the ball out in front of you, then hop in and catch it.
  2. After you land, get into triple threat position immediately.
  3. Repeat by spinning the ball out again. Try at least 20 reps.

This drill help players to be more consistent when catching the basketball and prevent them from getting called for a travel violation.

Conclusion

Basketball training requires a lot of work and dedication. However, if you really love it and willing to spend time on focusing your all-around skills, you will be good at it. I hope this article can help you learn more about basketball and lastly, HAVE FUN!