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Whether you're a beginner or hoping to get off the bench and into the game, there are always ways to improve your basketball skills. After all, even the most. Try developing your position, or learn to dribble better, and you'll be well on your way to the NBA. To improve your basketball dribbling skills, try at-home drills like doing 3 sets of 20 fast dribbles on each hand. Do sprints while dribbling and practice crossovers that transfer between both hands. To improve your shooting, lie down and shoot the ball straight in the air with 1 hand.

Practice free throws and lay-ups from both sides, then move around the court and work on sinking quick shots from every part of the key. Use correct dribbling posture. Your knees should be shoulder-width and you should be on your feet ready to move around.

Don't stand with your knees locked. Always make sure you stay balanced, if you do not stay on balance you could end up tripping yourself over. When you dribble, bounce the ball no higher than your waist. Also when dribbling always move your wrist to keep the ball in good control. In a defensive crouch, the ball should come no higher than your mid-thigh. Do as much as you can starting out, you'll need to start getting a feel for how the ball moves and responds to the force you put on it.

It's also a good idea to exercise with each hand by itself to get comfortable going to the right and to the left. Alternate bouncing it quite hard and quite softly. A good dribbling exercise to start with is to dribble twenty times in a row with your right hand and then switch and dribble twenty times in a row with your left hand. Do three sets of this when you start a basketball routine and three sets of this at the end. Stay still at first, but keep your knees bent and bounce on your toes to stay moving.

When you get comfortable dribbling from a stationary position, do this same exercise while walking. When you get comfortable walking, start running. Alternate hands on the move. This is called a crossover. Start dribbling down the court or in your driveway in a zig-zag pattern: When you get that down, do the same thing backwards.

Set up a row of cones fives yards apart in a straight line to dribble around. Keep your eyes up. One of the most important skills to learn in the early stages of dribbling is to dribble without looking at the ball. It's hard at first, but eventually you'll need to feel the ball without needing to see it. Pick a point like the rim of the basketball hoop to fix your eyes upon as you start dribbling and run through your dribbling exercises.

Learn to 'feel' where the ball is at all times, have control over it, and be able to do anything you can with it. Try not to let the ball touch your palm.

A good dribble comes from your fingers. Spend any free down time you have dribbling the basketball. Dribble up and down the court or wherever you're practicing. Dribble a basketball when you walk to school or to your friend's house. It's very important to practice as much as you can. Develop your power dribble. Think of power-dribbling as the "run" in crawl-walk-run. When you're first starting out, your biggest concern is making sure the ball comes back close to your hand, but eventually you need to make sure the ball comes back to your hand as quickly and with as much force and control as possible.

It's all in the wrist. To develop your power dribble, alternate bouncing the ball as you normally do and then with a few degrees more power. Don't bounce it so hard you lose control: Try dribbling in the dirt. You'll have to bounce the ball extra-hard to get it to come back at the same speed you're used to.

When you get used to that, move inside and dribble like you've been dribbling before. Practice your power crossovers. A crossover is the dribble that alternates the ball between the hands. A quick crossover makes it harder for a defender to steal the ball or force you out of your movement.

In the late 90s, Allen Iverson was known for his extremely fast and powerful crossovers. Start by power dribbling four times with your right hand and make the fifth dribble a hard crossover to your left hand. Do the same thing with your left. Then, make it three before the crossover, then two, eventually switching between your hands a few times with your power dribble, then build it back up.

Run suicide sprints on the court while power dribbling. Dribble from the baseline to the free-throw line and back, then dribble to the three-point line and back, then to half-court and back, then the full court. Every time you reach a point, touch the line. When you're getting really confident in your power dribbling, try to dribble two balls simultaneously. This helps ingrain the dribbling and make it subconscious.

If you can power-dribble two balls simultaneously all the way down the court, you'll be in great dribbling shape. This mnemonic device should help you remember the fundamentals of shooting the basketball: Make sure you are balanced before you shoot. Keep your eyes on the basket while you shoot. Imagine there is a dime balancing on the front of the rim and that you're trying to knock it off with your shot. Keep your shooting-elbow tucked in towards your body when you shoot. Make sure you follow through with your shot; your shooting hand should look like you are about to reach into a cookie jar on a high shelf.

This is the most important part of shooting. Focus on where the ball is going. Once you've made the decision to shoot, commit to it and focus on making the shot. If you're right handed, the purpose of your left hand is to stabilize the ball as you prepare to shoot. It's only there to make sure the ball doesn't slip out of your right hand. Although you need to make sure you don't use this technique while playing a match; it will most certainly lead to a faulty shot, and has very less chances of actually going in.

Use the pads of your fingers and hold the ball so you see light through all of your fingers. As you shoot, push the ball toward your target while rolling it back toward you.

This is called "English" or "spin. Shoot your basketball straight into the air so it comes back down onto your hand. You can do this for hours, while listening to music, or when you're having trouble sleeping.

The ball should feel like part of your arm, extending into the hoop. Practice lay-ups from both sides. Using the proper form, you should make a lay-up every time. Practicing lay-ups especially with your non-writing hand is a great way to make you a more versatile player. Dribble toward the basket from the three-point line at a diagonal. When you get to the lane line, you'll have two more steps to the hoop.

If you're on your right, dribble one last dribble when you step on the lane line with your right foot, then plant and jump from with your left. If you're on the left, do the opposite.

On your right side, bring your right hand up with the ball in it and your right knee up at the same time. Imagine your elbow was attached to your knee with a string. Lay the ball off the backboard by aiming at the top right corner of the box behind the rim. Don't try to bounce it off with any force--your momentum coming in and up should do most of the work. Go around the world. Once you've got the mechanics of your shot down, practice shooting from different parts of the court.

For this exercise it helps to have a friend or teammate grab your rebounds and pass the ball back quickly. This drill involves at least 7 positions, but you can tailor it to your needs. You have to make each shot before you move to the next position on the court. Do it as quickly and with as few shots as possible.

Start by shooting a lay-up. Run immediately to the baseline at a point in between the lane line and the three-point line. Have your friend pass you the ball and keep shooting from there until you make it. From there, run to a point in between the corner of the lane and the baseline and shoot again. Then move to the corner, then the free-throw line. Keep moving around the lane until you've made your way around.

Expand the game to include the same points on the three-point line when you're consistently making shots in the lane. Shoot free-throws until you can do it in your sleep. An undefended shot, free-throws are the purest display of shooting mechanics.

You can't let your feet leave the ground, so you've got to perfect your motion and your accuracy. See how many free-throws you can hit in a row. Practice shooting free-throws when you're cold and when you're totally winded. If you can consistently make free-throws while breathing heavily after running lines or doing dribbling drills, you'll be in good shape for a game.

Practice fade-aways, hook-shots, other close-range techniques while being defended. It's never going to be easy to get off a clean shot. If you've been practicing by yourself and making all kinds of shots from all distances, it can be quite a shock to get in the game and hit nothing but bricks. A defender hurries you, gets in your face, and will try to steal or block your shot.

A quick turn-around or fade-away shot will require you to over-correct with your arm for going backwards. You'll lose the strength you get from pushing off with your legs. Play "Horse" This playground game is perfect for developing shot proficiency from all corners of the court.

When you call your shots, it's tempting to shoot the easy ones, but when you've got someone else picking where you shoot, things can get a lot more interesting.

Develop your defensive stance. The first step in developing your defensive game is in your stance. Keep a wide base with your body weight on the balls of your feet. Keep your butt down and your hips back. Your arms should be always up and out. Don't reach in or touch the offensive player too much or you'll be called for fouls.

Use them to distract the player and try to block passes and shots. Focus your eyes on the player's waist and chest, not the ball. This will give you more of an idea where he will try to go. Make sure that you don't focus on the opposing player's stomach or feet. They will beat you to the basket every time if you do so. Practice your shuffle step. A common basketball practice drill will include shuffle-stepping moving quickly sideways down the court and back.

Practice switching directions by having a teammate dribble left and right. Move back and forth in the defensive stance while mirroring the movements. Trap the offensive player with your feet.

Push the offensive player toward the sideline by putting your lead foot in between his lane to the hoop. So, if he's coming down the middle, push him to the left by leading with your right foot.

You want to close off the access to the lane and to the basket, so trying to push the offensive player toward the side will mess up the offensive plan. Have a teammate dribble down the court from one baseline to the other. Play defense with your hands behind your back, forcing the dribbler to change directions with your feet.

You'll need to quickly shuffle step down the court to stay ahead and direct the person with the ball. A common mistake players make is jumping too often to try to block a shot. When you're off your feet, you're less useful as a defender.

If you think the person you're guarding is going to shoot, raise your hands in the air, but don't jump. Disrupting the view of the basket can be just as effective in making the shot miss as blocking it. When rebounding box out and slip in front of another rebounder to intercept, always box out.

It may sound obvious, but making crisp and accurate passes can be the difference between a good team and a collection of individual players. Even if you're all talented individually, learning to work well as a unit is necessary for success on the court. Team drills will help your group become efficient passers: Simulate a fast break. In a group of five, move all the way down the court without dribbling the ball, letting the ball touch the floor, or moving your feet when the ball is in your hands.

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