How to Train for Basketball? Tips and Strategies that you need to become ELITE

How to Train for Basketball? Tips and Strategies that you need to become ELITE


In this article we will talk about how to efficiently train for basketball and include some basketball tips that have helped us throughout our careers and even helped us get signed onto our professional basketball teams.

Keep reading to see how!

Is Shooting The Most Important Skill in Basketball?

This is a commonly asked question that we as trainers get on a regular basis, and the answer to this question isn’t black and white. Because for the majority, the answer is yes.

Every team at every level plays someone that is considered to be a great shooter. However, if you’re not good at shooting you can still make yourself very valuable at any level of the game.

Just Look at Draymond Green. He does all the intangibles (which we talk about in a different blog). But if you absolutely had to rank the importance of skills it would probably land 1st on most coaches’ list. 

Is it important to have a training program?

Yes, Yes, and Yes!

Some sort of basketball training program is a necessity. You need to understand what you need to improve on, and then you need to work tirelessly to get better at that thing or those things so that you can take your game to the next level. 

So the first thing would be to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses.

You need to also look at the importance of the things that you are weak in. For instance, if you’re a guard and your weakness is dribbling a basketball, you need to spend extra time doing so. But if you’re a smaller guard and you can’t dunk the basketball, that is not something that needs an excessive amount of time to work on. 

But great players understand their strengths and weaknesses and work on the things that they need to work on so that their strengths become stronger and their weaknesses become strengths. 

Some ways to improve your game game if you: 

  1. Shoot Poorly: Take hundreds of shots a day. Focus on form shooting. Be very detail oriented. 
  2. Can’t dribble with your left (or off hand): Take an extra 5-10 minutes every day and just dribble the basketball with your left hand. 
  3. Can’t dribble…at all: Walk around with a ball. Slap the ball as hard as possible, get a feel. Spend time, 15-20 minutes of ball handling every day. 
  4. Are a below average athlete: Do a lot of strength training and plyometrics. Get quicker and more explosive. Get stronger. Grow yourself to get better at basketball. 
  5. Can’t Catch: Do ball handling every day, and have someone throw a basketball at you as hard as they can and try to catch it. Train your hands to catch. 
  6. Finish: Practice close to the hoop every day for 15 minutes a day to get a feel for how the ball and rim bounce. Where to put it on the backboard, use different hands, etc. 
  7. Can’t learn plays: Watch film. Also, picture the play happening as much as you can and what you did in every scenario. Try to picture it from every position once you start to understand your own. Do this at different points in your day for a few minutes at a time. 

Will improving my vertical jump get me more playing time?

The answer to this is NO, but if you improve your vertical jump, then there are a lot of other things that you could be better at to get yourself some more playing time. Introducing weight training and getting into the weight room is a sure fire way to improve your overall athleticism long term. 

For instance, being able to jump won’t get you playing time. But if you’re jumping abilities make you a better rebounder then you will earn more playing time. If you’re jumping abilities make you a better finisher around the rim, that will earn you more playing time. 

They do not have jumping contests in the middle of a basketball game, and having the highest vertical jump will not get you bonus points in a basketball game. So simply jumping high will not get you more minutes, but what you do with your ability to jump high could earn you more minutes. 

Is playing 1 on 1 good for me ?

The answer to this question is an absolute, YES! Elite basketball players love playing 1 on 1s.

One on One is great for every player to play, regardless of their position. 1 on 1 will make you a better offensive player, and 1 on1 will make you a better defensive player. 

As long as you’re playing with a dribble limit, and each game has a purpose. 1 on 1 is one of the best things that you can do to improve your game. 1 on 1s drills are great to introduce into your basketball training routine.

Study the Game, Don’t Just Watch it

Please take note of this.

It’s okay to be a fan of basketball and watch for the sheer fandom. But if you’re trying to improve your basketball knowledge, watch basketball like its a class. Study it, break it down, learn from what high level players do, and why they do it. Just watching it is okay, but when you learn the game of basketball and have a better understanding then your own skills will begin to grow at a rapid pace. 

How Many Shots Per Day Should a Basketball Player make?

The answer to this question will vary a lot depending on your age, your skill level, your position, and some other factors. 

We also have an article talking about this.

You can also argue if its better to measure the amount of shots you shoot per day, or if you measure the number of shots you make per day. Regardless of which you believe is better, they are both shown to be consistent with improving your muscle memory.

So what we are going to give you is just a general idea. 

In a video while Steve Kerr (one of the all time great shooters) was with the Bulls, he mentioned that he took between 200-300 shots per day. However, the game has evolved and sped up and we believe that is the minimum for anyone that is serious about basketball and wants to play beyond high school. 

The safe number is to say that you should be taking around 1,500-2,000 shots per week, while still taking your off days. This way you can space out your shots depending on the intensity of practices and what not. 

Are Rest Days Important for basketball players?

Absolutely yes!

Rest and recovery are two of the most important things that a basketball player should be doing on a weekly basis. After having a hard week of doing things that require strength and power, its important to give your body ample rest. 

Peak Sports performance has been a topic that has been studied a lot of the last handful of years, and they’ve found that overuse is the main cause of injury. Not letting your muscle and joints have a break gives them a greater chance of breaking down. 

You can play basketball every week, but make sure you take a minimum of 1 but a suggested 2 days off per week.

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