Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

It’s every player’s dream to be as good as Michael Jordan, Bryan Kobe, Shaquille O’Neal, and LeBron James. 

However, you can’t become a standout basketball player without knowing what to do and how to develop yourself as a player. So, this article discusses eight ways to become a better basketball player. 

1. Master all the basketball skills

Basketball is more than running with the ball and throwing it inside a basket. Great basketball players spend quality time learning and mastering all the basketball skills, including shooting, dribbling, rebounding, defending, and passing. 

You must develop top-notch ball control techniques. Know when to shoot, pass, run, and perform acrobatic skills to help your team win matches. 

Learn to dribble with both hands. Master the three fundamental ball-handling moves in basketball, including the crossover, between-the-legs, and behind-the-back. 

Learn to force opponents into committing fouls and errors so your team can amass more points from the resulting penalty. 

2. Work On Your Flaws 

Magic Johnson didn’t become one of the best NBA basketball players of all time overnight. He didn’t start as a flawless player; he identified his weaknesses and improved them. 

For instance, practice dribbling with both hands if you can’t dribble with your weaker hand.

Don’t stop practicing until you can dribble past your opponent regardless of the hand. 

Find time to train daily because successful athletes and basketball players spend quality time on the court trying to become great all-around players.

3. Know And Obey Basketball’s Rules and Regulations 

You can’t become a better basketball player if you don’t know and obey the rules of the game. 

For instance, have you ever seen Jordan Michael wear mens wedding rings during matches? What about Lindsay Whalen? 

That’s because basketball rules prohibit players from wearing jewelry on the court for safety purposes. 

Surprisingly, many young basketball players don’t pay much attention to the rules. They believe it has nothing to do with their performance and growth. 

Ensure you study the game’s rules and regulations. Obey them to avoid sanctions and fines that might ruin your career and reputation. 

However, you can wear any men’s wedding ring and jewelry anytime you aren’t on the basketball court. 

4. Know And Execute Your Role In The Team 

Basketball is a team sport, and every member has a unique position and role. Meanwhile, the positions in basketball include:

Centre: Player in this position is always tall and fit. Their roles involve blocking opponents’ shots due to their height, strength, and athleticism. 

Watch Shaquille O’Neal, Rudy Gobert, and DeMarcus Cousins’s video clips and see how they execute their roles. 

Power forward: The players in this position are neither tall nor short. Their role in the team is to shoot from mid-range when the team attacks. 

They also prevent opponents from getting close to the basket when the team loses the ball. 

Small Forward: Players in the small forward position aren’t always tall. They must be versatile and fit enough to play from the inside and outside. 

They create space for teammates and are known for quality shooting and passing prowess. 

LeBron James and Kevin Durant are great examples of small-forward players.

Point Guard: Players in this position direct their teammates and help them improve their positional awareness during games. They must have good shooting skills too. 

Shooting Guard: This position is mostly played by the shortest player on the team. 

They possess great long-range shooting skills and abilities to pass at tight angles. 

James Harden and Klay Thompson are arguably the most successful shooting guards in the world. 

Hence, you must know your role in the team because it will help you develop the required skills and attributes. 

Have a productive discussion with your coach if you don’t have a preferred playing position. He will give you the role that suits your skills and potential. 

However, it’s advisable to be a versatile player who can seamlessly feature in multiple positions. 

5. Practice At Game Speed To Develop Your Mind 

It’s one thing to master all the basketball moves and skills, but it’s another to perform under intense pressure from fans. 

Playing in a big stadium comes with pressure which could affect your performance. 

The importance of the match and hostile reception from the opposing fans could affect your concentration. 

Hence, you must train at game-time speed to be psychologically prepared for competitive games. 

If possible, practice in an open place where a few people can watch, applaud and criticize your moves. This will improve the psychological part of your game. 

6. Pay More Attention To Your Physical Strength 

Basketball is a game of contact. You need impressive body fitness, endurance, and agility to improve your performance. 

You can’t become a better basketball player if you only possess the skills and ideas. You must develop muscles, endurance, and strength to become one of the team’s prominent members.

Engaging in light runs, weightlifting, and sprint drills will help you build all the physical attributes you need to succeed in the game. 

Ensure you eat healthy food that will enhance your physical fitness and strength. 

7. Learn From Many Experienced Basketball Players 

You can’t rely only on your coach’s advice to become a great basketball player. 

Learn from other experienced professionals who have made their mark in the sport. 

Watch YouTube tutorials, read books, and ask questions from experts. Learn and keep practicing until you become a better version of yourself. 

8. Always Give Your Best In Practices and Games

As mentioned earlier, you can’t become one of the most celebrated basketball players if you don’t work hard. 

Working hard is one of the ways to succeed in any chosen career. Train harder than your teammates and give 100% effort in games to convince your coach and the crowd. 

Be confident in your ability. Don’t be afraid to dribble, shoot, or block, depending on your role and position in the team. 

Final Thoughts 

It’s not just a cliche, “you can become an outstanding basketballer”. Just ensure you focus on your growth as a basketball player, and don’t stop until you are successful. 

Also, you must obey the rules of the game, including rules guiding fouls, violations, player positions, pieces of jewelry like wedding rings, etc.