How to Become a Better Basketball Player: 5 Workout Tips

By Jamie Hill - 5 December 2019


We all want to be good at something. This is why you need to train extra hard if you’re going to sink baskets and dominate your opponents. Basketball is one of those games where you can’t just wake up one day and without breaking a sweat, you’re a pro… it just doesn’t work that way! It takes the right mindset, will power, determination, practice, and a heart that never quits. You’ve heard it said that training makes perfect. This statement couldn’t be any truer because this is the only magic there is for getting better at basketball.

And remember, basketball is a game that requires speed, superb flexibility, and lots of stamina. These are things that you can only acquire from consistently working out. You may have to spend countless hours in the gym and at the pitch before you get to your super best, but it gets easier, and most importantly, the effort is all worth it. 

To break it down for you, below are some basketball workout tips that could be a game-changer for you.

1. Create a Workout Plan

Having a good plan of the things you want to achieve from your workout is key to improving your skills and performance in the game. You just don’t want to be seen walking aimlessly at the gym because you finished your 10-minute workouts too soon. Carefully planning your day will help to determine the type of drill to practice, the number of shots you want to make in a day, and the techniques you want to learn. Also, you’ll want to free up your schedule so you can have enough time for practice. 

In a nutshell, you need a timetable or a basketball practice scheduler. You can download one on your mobile device or alternatively go old school and draft one yourself. You also need to treat your workouts like they were a doctor’s appointment! Why? Because the success in becoming your best basketballer depends on it!

2. Improve Your Jumping Skills

Most of you would have wanted this point to appear closer to the ending. But sorry to disappoint you, folks! Your jumping skills are just as important as your shooting skills. This is because it will help make up for the inches you’re short on… kidding! Improving your jumping skills will help you to gain more speed, more accuracy, and while at it, it will help to improve your dodging skills. Don’t be fooled, though, by false advertising claiming that all you need is a pair of good shoes. While that may be true to give you an extra push, you need to look for shoes that also caters to your vertical jump instead of focusing on comfort for your feet. Shoes that make you jump higher should offer you comfort and support the given force more effectively for a higher jump, but only by a little, not a lot.  Meanwhile, personal trainer and renowned basketball aficionado, Jesse Parker, recommends the vertical leap training programs instead like Jump manual, Vert Shock, and Boing Vert, which are centered on habitual jump training to improve your vertical flight, speed, and athletic performance. These are easier and cheaper than Air Alert, which has been around longer, but the science behind it seems a bit outdated. In a nutshell, the more your legs get used to jumping, the more force they’ll generate, allowing you to jump higher.

3. Perfect Your Shooting Skills

This is the part you’ve all been waiting for. Contrary to popular belief, shooting is the most important skill you are supposed to learn in basketball. But here’s the blunt truth, whatever you do on the court to help your team gain more points is just as important. Nonetheless, it’s important that every player practice and perfect their shooting skills. Now, to be better at shooting, you’ll need to follow the steps below: 


  • Before you start shooting, prepare – this is known as shooting preparation

  • Be keen on how you place your hand on the ball

  • It’s important to maintain your balance

  • The elbow rule – the elbow should be under the basketball and not on the sides

  • Keep your eyes on the target

  • Balance your hand and follow through your shot

When practicing your shots, you want to try shooting at different angles and at different ranges. Start shooting closer to the rim and gradually extend your range. This will help improve your precision and shooting speeds.

4. Condition Your Workouts

When working out for basketball, always practice under game-like conditions. Like football and soccer, basketball is a demanding sport that will wear you out. You, therefore, want to condition your body to execute even when worn out and fatigued. Because in a real match, you’ll not have the time to take a ‘nap’.

5. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

The key to becoming the best basketball player is to evaluate areas that you’re not good at and working towards improving them. If you can, have someone record your matches and in your free time, replay and take note of your faults. This is important because it helps teams to put together workout routines that help to improve their game. Additionally, the coach’s input shouldn’t be ignored. As long as you are honest with yourself, you’ll always find areas in your game that are wanting.

Finally, it’s not only about you. Basketball is about team effort and you should always strive to build each other. As much as you want to train and workout alone, teamwork will help to build cohesion and harmony. Many teams lose because some team players are selfish on the pitch or are outrightly not where they need to be. As you work on your individual skills, it’s important that you also work on building a team spirit.

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