Basketball, just like any other sport, gets easier the more you practice and play games. When you first start off, the movements will seem unfamiliar, but eventually, you’ll get the hang of it, and soon, you’ll be able to play the game with ease.
Simple, right? The more you practice, the faster you will improve.
However, the quality of practice is just as (if not more) important than the time you put in. And most beginners make a lot of mistakes while learning the game, which hinders their progress.
Here are a few common mistakes you should avoid in order to optimize your practice sessions and increase the pace of your improvement.
1) Ignoring Footwork Completely
This is a common mistake, and luckily, most players realize this early on in their careers.
Basketball is a game that requires all parts of your body to be in sync. Even the feet.
Most players tend to ignore this important aspect of the sport and work solely on their hand-eye coordination. But to truly excel at this game, you need to learn how to use your feet efficiently to travel all over the court.
2) Dribbling With Head Down
Most players need to look at the ball while learning to dribble in order ensure that it’s in their control. And while it’s perfectly normal to start off this way, it’s imperative that players soon learn to dribble while keeping their heads up. Without this fundamental skill, it’s extremely difficult for a player to advance very far in the sport.
3) Dribbling the Ball Too High
As you dribble with your head up, it’s difficult to gauge the exact position of the ball in relation to your body. Most beginners get into the habit of dribbling the ball too high, which in turn limits the amount of control you can exert over the ball.
Ideally, you must keep the ball below your hips.
4) Shooting With Straight Legs
Many novice players who learn the game on their own are used to shooting with their legs straight. This makes your body rigid, limiting the accuracy of your shots.
Instead, you need to start small and end tall while making a shot. This means squatting a little before you take the shot and standing up tall while you release the ball. This will generate enough momentum to make the shot easy and allow you to shoot with higher accuracy.
5) Acting Before Securing The Ball
This common mistake is a little harder to rectify as it pertains to a player’s state of mind rather than an actual skill.
Many beginners attempt to shoot or pass as soon as they receive the ball. And, most often, they haven’t even securely caught the ball yet!
When you’re learning to play, or teaching someone the game, remember to get hold of the ball securely with both hands before you decide to pass or shoot.
Just because you’ve made one (or even all) of these mistakes before doesn’t mean you aren’t heading in the right direction. It’s always easier to deal with the problem when you know enough about it, and mistakes help you learn.
So learn as much as you can about the game in order to avoid stagnating as this will help you improve your skills regularly.
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