Becoming a great basketball player entails far more than simply honing one’s on-court abilities. If that were the case, betting on college basketball would be a breeze as the most skillful team would always win, which isn’t the case. While a combination of hard work, practice, and natural talent can help a player develop, true greatness in basketball is achieved by developing the intangibles—those traits that aren’t easily identifiable but are crucial for success.
When you watch pro basketball players on the court, some of the most incredible feats appear entirely natural. However, every one of those fantastic performances is only possible because of years of hard work to develop the skills required to perform at the highest level. If you want to play like the pros, here are the top skills and traits you should work on to improve your game.
To begin with, you must be able to play the game. You must know the game and be a good player, from shooting to dribbling and passing to rebounding and defense. This, of course, is the foundation upon which every successful basketball career is built.
It would help if you spent at least some time working on each skill, regardless of which skills come naturally to you or which position you intend to pursue. Because most positions necessitate the development of multiple skills to be successful, the more you can add to your repertoire, the more well-rounded you’ll be as a player. As you improve one aspect of your game, others will inevitably follow. Basketball fundamental skills frequently overlap and will be drawn on and improved throughout your career.
The best players are usually exceptional athletes. Being athletic does not simply imply being fast, strong, or the best jumper – although these are the skills most people associate with athleticism, the term has a more refined meaning. Basketball’s best players are mobile, agile, and have excellent hand-eye coordination.
Movement aids in the creation of scoring opportunities. It also causes mismatches and is helpful near the end of the game when a team is attempting to run the clock. Great teams understand how to put this philosophy into action.
You are committed to the team, the game, and the program and willing to go to any length to achieve elite status. This means you’ll fill in at whatever position the coach requires. In addition, you are eager to defend whoever your coach assigns you to defend. Sacrificing your own time and needs for the team’s sake distinguishes you.
Gaining access to developmental resources is another critical component of success. You must always strive to improve and develop as a basketball player or a coach. There is no in-between; you are either getting better or getting worse.
To improve as a player, you must first address your weaknesses. For example, if you struggle at the free-throw line, devote more time to improving your free-throw percentage during practice sessions. Likewise, do you feel at ease dribbling with your non-dominant hand? If not, practice dribbling with that hand using dribbling drills. To become an elite player, you must identify and eliminate your flaws to be well-rounded in all aspects of the game.
To be clear, toughness does not imply repeatedly fighting or fouling a player. Instead, toughness refers to one’s ability to maintain mental fortitude. Actual toughness is the ability to set a great screen, box out every play, take charges, execute a play under duress, and hit a big shot when the situation demands it. This is a trait that all great athletes possess in abundance!
Become a student of your position by learning the necessary skills, fundamentals, and conditioning. Your training should be based on your knowledge of your position. You’ll have a clear idea of the skills you need to improve once you know what types of passes, dribbling, skill work, and strength are required for your position. For example, if you’re a center, devote less time to full-court dribbling and more to rebounding and post drills.