Monthly Archives: February 2016

Basketball Shooting Tips

Basketball Shooting Tips


We always see the great players performing some amazing shots and scoring points. They make it look so simple, but there is years of hard work and practice behind their talent. Shooting is one of the most important skills that you should master, because, at the end of the game, it is the number of points that you score for you team that matter the most.

Locate the Basket
Locate your basket or rim just a second before you are about to shoot the ball. This gives your mind more time to make a judgment that will end in a successful shot. Your eyes should locate the rim or the basket as you are moving closer to make the shot.

Maintain Your Follow Through
Every player hears this phrase a million times from his coach, but still doesn’t follow it. Maintaining your follow through resolves many problems. It is a simple, yet effective tip, that helps you maintain a good balance without you even realizing it.

Score the Point with a Floppy Wrist
This is one of the most common mistakes that all players make while scoring a point. Keep your wrists as relaxed as possible while attempting a shot.

Colored Basketball
While practicing, always use a colored basketball. It improves the straightness of the shot. A colored basketball makes it easier to see the rotation and direction of the ball.

Never Shoot the Ball Like a Famous Player
Never copy any famous player while shooting. Most youngsters try to mimic Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. Trust me, it’s not going to lead you anywhere, and you’ll just end up missing many shots.

Don’t Think Too Much During the Game
It is one of the most stupidest things that players do. Never think about your shot while you are in a game. Do that during practice; it’s alright to think during a shooting session. During a game, just concentrate on your game and go with the rhythm.

Watch Some DVDs
Watch games that include great players over and over again. You can never stop learning. Also, read some books, and watch some good shooting DVDs to get different ideas.

Line Your Shot Alignment
Spend quality time during each practice session, practicing along a court line back and forth. Keep trying to bounce the ball as close to the line as possible. This easy technique will help you improve the exactness of your shot.

Land in the Same Spot
Balance is given utmost importance in basketball. Most players achieve the required balance by proper posture and footwork. After your shot, try to land at the same place where you started from.

Film Your Shoots
Many players haven’t seen themselves shooting, and when they actually do, they are clearer on the mistakes they commit. Seeing your own shots will also motivate you to improve your game.

Include a Return Device in Your Practice
Practicing with some return devices can actually double the number of shots you take in practice. Normally, we waste a lot of time while chasing the ball. A return device solves that problem, and lets you attempt more shots in lesser time.

Keep the Ball Above Your Waist
Always keep the ball above your waist when you catch hold of it. Never dip the ball.

Keep a Track Chart of Your Shots
During a practice session, shoot a minimum of 50 shots. Ask your partner to keep a track chart of your shots. This way, you will understand how many shots were long, short, and fell to the left or right. This detailed information will help you keep note of the mistakes that you are making, which will help you to improve.

Never fall for commercial gimmicks such as shooting gloves. These things help in no way. Practice is the key, and you can get yourself a coach if you are serious about making a mark in this game.

How to Teach a Child to Play Basketball

How to Teach a Child to Play Basketball

Teaching children how to play basketball from a very young age will ensure that they learn the game very well, and this will make them better players in the future. Many parents who are fans of basketball make it a point to get their kid interested in the sport as soon as possible, and no one can deny that this does not carry certain benefits with it. In fact, kids should be taught any sport from a young age, and this plays a part in inculcating certain values, while also making the child competitive by nature.

Character building starts from a very young age, and playing sports is undoubtedly a very effective means of achieving this. The game of basketball is admittedly pretty complex for a child to understand completely at first, but the simple task of throwing the ball into the basket is something that is very easy to comprehend. As they play the sport more often, they will start to learn more about dribbling the ball, passing it and blocking other people’s shots, but the primary goal of shooting the ball into the basket will never leave their minds.

Teaching Kids to Play Basketball

The rules apply to pretty much any other sport as well, so they must be adhered to for some time at least.

Do not push the child too hard and let him take his own time to learn the game his own way.
Start teaching him the game from the basics and do not over complicate things by telling him too much.
Make the game rewarding for him by setting some goals and then giving him something when he achieves those goals.
Show him some movies and video clips of the best players from the game and tell him more about the adulation that they receive.
Buy him some merchandise if he has a favorite team, and get him some high quality equipment to play with after some time.
Make the whole experience fun and enjoyable and do not try to cramp his style and change it too much. Kids learn best when they are given their own time to do so.

A lot also depends on the actual age of the child. Children who are around 5 years old will not understand the game properly and will simply like to run around a lot. Humor them so that they associate the game of basketball with having fun, and as they grow older they will start taking the game more seriously. You should also focus on teaching them how to toss the ball and catch it at this stage, and you can even use a smaller sized basketball if possible. Older kids can be taught the rules of the game eventually, but it is more important for them to play the game with a bunch of other kids who are their age and their size. You can subsequently enroll your child in a coaching school for his age group, because there comes a point when basketball can only be learned further by playing competitive games with others.

Teaching Children to Play Basketball

For your child to learn basketball, he must know the basics about shooting the ball, dribbling it, passing it and blocking other players. Teaching them the concepts behind these moves is not very hard, but they should be clearly told what their purpose is. Constantly talking to your child while playing basketball is highly important because of this, and this is something that every parent should remember. Younger kids can be taught the game with smaller hoops as well, and they can end up having a lot of fun as long as they have a constant practice partner. It is of vital importance to not criticize the child harshly if he is doing something wrong or if he is taking time to learn a certain concept. The whole idea here is to teach the child how to have fun and enjoy the game so that he does not view the sport as grueling or taxing.

Once the basics have been learned, you can start teaching your child the ideal positions and body movements for each action. Long drills and stamina building exercises will also prove useful as this will allow the child to play the game for longer hours without getting tired. You must also not forget the importance of the right diet and sufficient amount of sleep as well.

Most importantly, a parent should not obsess about his child becoming a pro at the game. He should allow the child enough freedom to choose for himself, and then work on advanced techniques only if the child shows a genuine interest. Learning to play basketball is not very difficult, it is keeping them interested in the game through encouragement and positivity that is the difficult part.

How to Do a Crossover in Basketball

How to Do a Crossover in Basketball

A crossover is one of the most effective moves used for deceiving the defender. This move requires the player to have a good hand-eye coordination and ability to move quickly. Crossover is a type of dribble that helps you get past the defender without making a foul. It requires great amount of practice to do this move correctly. A properly performed crossover move helps in earning crucial points for your team. Understanding the nuances and subtleties of this move should help you master it in quick time. Here are few useful instructions on learning how to do a crossover in basketball.

The Crossover Move

Dribbling activity in the crossover move should be initiated with ball placed in the dominant hand. Placing the ball in your dominant hands offers better control over the ball and enables you to move quickly. Best thing about the crossover is that it you can keep the defender guessing about your next move.

The underlying idea of initiating a crossover move is quite simple and it can be explained with three Ds: dribble, deceive and drive ahead.
You need to start the crossover with a dominant hand dribble.
As you maneuver the basketball, keep an eye on the opponent’s moves. This also means that you have to perform the dribble without watching the ball; it requires great practice to dribble in this manner.
Next step in the crossover move is that of deceiving the opponent. In order to deceive your opponent, take a step or two with that leg which is on the side of dominant hand; in the meantime dribbling should be continued.
Suddenly shift your body weight on the other leg and also throw the ball from one hand to other. This action deceives you opponent for sure.
There is a proper way to throw the ball from one hand to the other. You have to throw the ball downwards so that it bounces somewhere near your toes. The ball should be thrown in a manner that its path creates a V-shape while traveling from one hand to the other.
You would ask, why is necessary to throw in a V-path. Throwing the ball in a V-path means that you don’t have to look at it. Instead you can focus all your attention on the movement of your opponent; the ball just bounces at a point equidistant from both your hands; it lands safely from one hand to the other.
The action that you initiate from the point of suddenly changing the direction happens in a flash of time (even though the description sounds elaborate).
We now arrive at the last part of our crossover move i.e. drive. This action of driving ahead simply means to move towards the basket. Deception is a potent tool that makes it easy to clear hurdles (in the form of opponents) and move towards your goal i.e., the basketball.

Variations of the Crossover Move

There are many variations of the crossover move and which allow to maneuver the basketball in different ways. The killer crossover, double crossover, behind the back crossover, etc., are some of these variations. Short descriptions of these moves should help in differentiating one from the other.

Killer Crossover
This is one of the most popular and also amongst difficult moves to perform. Basics of the standard crossover move remain the same in this move. Main difference between a standard and killer move is the way in which dribble is switched from one hand to the other. In the killer crossover move, ball is pushed from one hand to other from between the legs. Chances of your opponent intercepting the ball are thereby reduced to a great extent. The Buzzle article on killer basketball crossovers and moves should help.

Double Crossover
The double-crossover is another interesting move to study. In this variation, ball is pushed from one hand to the other and a reverse of this action is implemented immediately. This move causes a great deal of confusion in the mind of your opponent. He is not only deceived, but also might trip over, out of utter confusion (yes, it actually happens). Ankle-breaking is the term specially used in reference with a crossover move that makes your opponent to trip over himself. The ankle-breaker is not necessarily a double-crossover; it can also be a killer crossover.

Behind the Back Crossover
This move is not different from the normal crossover except for the fact that ball is not dribbled in the front. Dribbling the ball at the back should keep it out of the opponent’s reach.

Hope the article provides necessary information on how to do a crossover in basketball. Practice is very important from the point of mastering the crossover. Only when you are comfortable with the basic move, you can bring about variations in your game. Staying light on your feet and understanding the moves of opponents are the key points you should remember in order to excel.

How to Handle Ball Hogs

How to Handle Ball Hogs

You meet all types of people everyday. The same rule applies to the sport of basketball. You can meet the greatest of players, the lamest of players, the best shooters, the coolest dribblers and your playing buddies that make the sport great. And at some point of your basketball playing history, you have met the ball hog. You know a basketball ball hog by the way he holds onto the ball for dear life. He rarely or rather never passes the ball. From the moment the ball touches his hands, he is playing his own game of basketball. Rather than passing it to a teammate at the 3-point line or close to the basket, he’ll shoot an impossible shot that will never score.

Ball hoggers love to shoot, in fact, most think they are the only people on a team that can shoot and will ignore other free players. They love excessive dribbling and dodging around the opposition but will not pass the ball. Whether it’s showing-off, trying to impress the crowd or just an “I’m ignoring my teammates” attitude, ball hoggers are annoying to the extreme. But the rulebook doesn’t say anything against it. So how do you deal with a ball hog on your basketball team?

As a Coach

Alert the Player about His Hogging Habits
Sometimes a player doesn’t realize he is handling the ball too much. Or maybe he isn’t alert enough to realize that his teammates are open or in position, perhaps because he doesn’t look around enough or at all. Take the player aside and have a quiet word with him about his attitude. Emphasize team spirit and the unity that comes with the sport and how basketball is meant to be played as a team, not as a solo hero running around with the ball.

Remind Your Players “Who’s In Charge”
A good player can get cocky with praise and success might go to his head. He might feel he’s the one carrying the team and the way he plays, is the way the game should be played. So he may hog the ball, because his playing attitude is “if you want something done right, do it yourself”. As a coach, dealing with this attitude is of key importance, as such players will soon question your rules and threaten your authority. Talk to such players firmly but sternly. Let them know who’s in charge and who makes the rules.

Emphasize the Right Way to Play During Practice
The way your team practices and trains together, is the way it plays together on the court. So during practice, implement more passing drills and stress the need to pass to the open player. Make your players realize how to be realistic when taking shots. In situations where they can make a shot but the chances of scoring are slim, they need to pass the ball to their teammates. Organize drills where players must pass the ball after sometime, not just dribble and dodge to reach the basket. Another strategy is to carry out no-dribbling drills, where players must pass and play to score. Watch for ball hogs during practice sessions and nip hogging behavior in the bud itself. Praise players for assists and defenses and award unselfish players, who play for the team. Along with keeping score, keep a count of passes and assists as well.

As a Player

Organize an Intervention
Some players just aren’t aware of their hogging habits. As a team, present a united front and talk to the player straight out but do not confront or fight with the player. Explain what’s going on, how it affects the team and listen to what he has to say too.

Do Not Pass the Hogger the Ball
Give the hogger a taste of his own medicine by not passing him the ball ever. Discuss playing strategies with your teammates and try to keep the ball to yourselves. But don’t hurt your gameplay, just try to send a message. Do not end up becoming a hogger yourself. One ball hog is more than enough on a team of five.

Assess Your Own Gameplay
Are you really in the best location to make a shot? Sometimes a player will hog a ball, because his teammates just aren’t where he needs them at the right time. So he may not pass the ball because it’s more reasonable for him to take the shot. Game skills could also play a part. If teammates miss even the easiest of shots and keep losing the ball to the opposing team, a player is sort of justified in being a hogger. One strategy which involves handling the hogger and scoring, is to pass the ball to the hogger, only when he is within scoring distance from the basket. However, this will work only if the ball hogger is a good scorer.

Improve Your Gameplay
Let the ball hogger do what he does best. Meanwhile do not allow his behavior to affect your game. Ball hoggers can make you feel useless on the team and unneeded. Do not let such negativity affect you, instead work towards bettering your gameplay. Get the ball before the hogger, shoot to score and pass it to other teammates. You can also work on your skills away from the ball, like guarding or blocking shots. Hard work never goes unnoticed.

Dealing with a ball hog on your basketball team, is never easy whether you are a coach or a teammate. But ultimately the team’s needs must be put first, no matter how good at the game, the ball hogger is. Basketball is not a one-man show or a solo sport, it takes a team of five to score and defend and if team spirit, morale and gameplay are being affected by someone’s hogging, then take firm steps to stop it.