Basketball 101: How To Get Better At Basketball

If you are just starting out in basketball, you may look to further improve your skills. That’s a good tradeoff since becoming good at basketball boosts your self-esteem. How would you begin that journey? Let’s take a look at some tips on how to get better at basketball.

Tips on How to Become a Better Basketball Player


Know where you are in your development
Are you just starting out or do you know a little about basketball? If you are a total newbie, it would be good to study a little bit more about basketball concepts such as positions, rules, and so forth. There are websites and Youtube channels that will help you familiarize the game a little bit more. In short, you need to study the game.

Improve on your weaknesses
Theory can only take you so far. You need to actually put in the time to transform your weaknesses into strengths. It would help if you can have a practice plan so you go into the skill-improvement sessions with a clear goal in mind.

Give it your all
Anything that you do half-hearted is not going to cut it. Just give maximum effort every single time with no complaints.

Accept feedback and criticism
Be humble and let the criticism of older players be a motivation to keep on going. Learn from your mistakes and continue on.

Stay in shape
Even if you’re a total newbie when it comes to basketball, just know that it is a contact sport that demands a lot of energy and stamina. Training your body by eating right, doing cardio exercises, and doing strength training will give you that physical edge.

Do not be afraid to fail
Hey, we all fail. It’s nothing new. Always try to improve and if you are set back by something, push through it and continue the journey.

Understand that this is a process
Nobody became good at basketball overnight. NOBODY. The secret is dedication and discipline and that understanding that it takes an insane amount of work to get there.

Fundamental Concepts On How To Get Better At Basketball

1.) Passing

Passing is not taught and emphasized enough but to get better at basketball, you need to have a good grip about passing. It is a truly difficult skill to master because more often than not, it comes with experience. 

There are a number of fundamental basketballs that you can do to improve passing. The most basic is the one-hand passing drill, where you face a wall, bounce the ball in a spot, let it come back to your hand, repeat, and do it with the other hand. This builds the necessary hand strength to make a pass, whether that’s the chest, bounce, or overhead.

The basic concept about passing is the spacing. You need to learn the optimum distance in which you can make a pass. If it’s too far, it may get intercepted by the defense. If it’s too near then your teammate may not catch it or it may bounce on his foot, leading to a turnover. In the case of the former, there is a thing called “shortening the pass,” which simply means that the passer takes a step or a dribble before making the pass.

2.) Rebounding

Rebounding is more about positioning and desire. You have to know how to box out and position yourself. Desire is that “I want this more than others” attitude. A simple rebounding drill is by bouncing the ball off the backboard, grabbing it with two hands, and repeat.

Still, like everything else in basketball, to get better at rebounding you’ll need experience. From experience, you’ll learn angles, where the ball might bounce, keeping your motor, using leverage, and so forth. 

3.) Offense

Offense is not just about shooting and scoring. There is more to offense than making baskets, or making passes, or handling the basketball. Another aspect of offense, often considered one of the most overlooked offensive skills, is moving without the ball. Still, there are also offensive skills like setting screens, running the rim, and so forth.

3 Basketball Drills to Get Better at Basketball

1.) Sprints and Free Throws

Nobody’s guarding you when shooting free throws but it could be the toughest situation if you are against yourself. In a real game, you rarely shoot free throws with all your faculties intact. It’s either you’re exhausted or feeling that bump and hack on your way to the basket. This drill does a good job of mimicking this situation. All you gotta do is sprint the entire length of the court and back and then shoot, say, ten free throws. Every miss means you’re doing the same amount of full-length sprints. 

2.) Ricochet Ballhandling Drill

The ricochet is a simple and yet terrific drill to improve ballhandling skills and hand-eye coordination. The video above will show you how to do it, but if you want to read, go on.

  1. Spread your legs and lock your knees, while holding out a basketball in front of you. 
  2. Bounce the ball between your legs and catch it with your hands behind the back. 
  3. Bounce the ball back to the front and catch it in front.
  4. Repeat as many as you’d like in 2 minutes.

3.) The Mikan Drill

The Mikan Drill is another simplistic drill that every basketball player should do. Named after the legendary George Mikan, you’ll find yourself finishing a lot of difficult layups like Kyrie Irving. To do this, here are the steps:

  1. On the right side of the hoop, go for a layup with your right hand and take off with your left off.
  2. Before it drops in the ground, catch it and do the same thing with your left hand.
  3. Do this for a minute straight.
  4. If you can do it flawlessly, you may progress to shooting reverse layups.

The Bottom Line: How to Get Better at Basketball

To get better at basketball, you don’t do anything half-assed. Give it everything you got and consistently work on your weaknesses. There are no easy ways to do this. Keep working on the fundamentals such as dribbling, shooting, passing, rebounding, and so forth.

The videos included in this article will help you. I feel that the three really simple but effective drills that we got such as the sprint and free throws, ricochet, and the Mikan Drill covers everything there is from conditioning, ballhandling, and finishing. I also encourage you to do extra strength training to build muscles and keep them strong. There are a number of excellent Youtube videos for that.

Remember that hard work is necessary to get to where you want. There is no other way. How to get better at basketball is no different. Hopefully, we got you pumped up and motivated you enough to be the basketball beast that you really are. The best part about the drills is you can do that at home. Either way, focusing on how to get better at basketball will reap results sooner rather than later.

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