As we navigate through this challenging time, basketball training has become very limited and restricted. Although we are experiencing the cancellation of sports, lockdowns and limited access to facilities, there are still plenty of ways to improve your game at home.
For those of you who decide to take their game to the next level, putting in that extra work on your own time can be the difference. Taking into consideration the limit of space and access to equipment athletes may have at home, here are 8 tips that can help improve your game at home.
1) Get in Shape
Strength and Conditioning exercises are important because being in good shape is going to prevent you from getting injured.
Bodyweight, Plyometric and Resistance training, are great workout methods that can improve your core and body strength. These workouts are great If you don’t have access to weights at home.
Try to improve your time and stamina each run or bike ride. The best players are often the most conditioned athletes.
2) Work on Ball Handling
Constantly keeping a ball in your hands will help you gain the feel for it and improve your handles. There are plenty of dribbling exercises that can be done in limited spaces.
Ball control workouts will also help build your hand-eye coordination, which will ultimately improve your ball handling skills on the court.
Be creative with your drills, include a tennis ball in your workout or even wrap the basketball in a plastic bag to improve your reflexes and control. Professional players like Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving often use these unorthodox methods to improve their ball handling.
3) Improve Your Shooting
Repetition and building muscle memory is the key to improving your jump shot. Repetition builds muscle memory, which allows you to not think about movements you’re doing because it has become natural.
Work on form shooting, whether it be outside on an actual basketball hoop or laying down on the floor, practicing your shooting motion is one of the best ways to build muscle memory.
4) Study the Game
Some of the best players of all time are the biggest students of the game. Watching and studying the movement of NBA and college players can help expand your skill set and basketball knowledge.
Analyze what a player or team does well or does not do well. Taking that extra step to improve your basketball IQ will help give you a competitive advantage over your competition.
Learn from others, there are many great basketball analysts on TV, youtube and podcasts that can give you different perspectives; ESPN, Attention to Detail and BballBreakdown are just a few to mention.
Basketball greats like Kobe, Kareem and Larry Bird have all written books that can give you a better understanding of the game and an insight to their mindset.
5) Visualize Yourself Playing
Another useful mental training method is visualization. Mentally put yourself in a game like scenarios, so that when you face a similar situation in real life, you know what to do.
Professional athletes always talk about the power of the mind and how mental strength can give you that advantage over your competition in tough situations.
6) Basketball Specific Exercises
Footwork is an important fundamental in the game since basketball is a game of changing speeds and direction. Proper footwork can enhance a players ability to play offense and defense.
Find a space at home and use cones or any other props you might have around to create agility drills. Agility training improves flexibility, balance, and control. It also can help improve your body positioning, reaction time, change of pace and direction.
7) Learn your Strengths and Weaknesses
Write down a list of things you do well during games and things you don’t do well, that can use some improvement.
If you’re not sure what your strengths and weaknesses are, ask your coaches, parents and friends what they think about your game. Use this list to design workouts that can improve those skills.
8) Work on Nutrition
Fuelling your body properly before games and practices is important in order for you to maximize your performance on the court.
Basketball is a sport that consumes a lot of energy, so having a healthy diet can help enhance your performance. Good nutrition is also an important part of living a healthy lifestyle.
Taking these extra steps and developing your fundamentals will allow you to take advantage of the time at home to improve your basketball skills. The more work you put in, the better your results will be. These are just a few examples of ways to improve your game at home and get some work in during this challenging time.