Become A Better Basketball Player

1. Be Fearless

Never fear failure. When you're afraid to fail, you're usually afraid to try. Do you avoid lifting weights because you're physically weak? Do you hate stepping up to the foul line during practice because you're a bad free throw shooter? You're probably afraid to fail and expose your weaknesses. No matter what your friends, family or others think, dedicate time to improving yourself. Don't worry about your reputation. Failure is temporary; use it as a learning experience and you will improve as a player.

2. Stop Complaining

Do you blame your coaches for your lack of playing time or compare your work ethic to that of other teammates? If your peers get away with something, do you feel like you can do the same thing? Stop complaining and eliminate your excuses. At some point everyone feels tired, hungry, upset or stressed. Such emotional distractions limit your ability to improve.  Try to look at any situation from a different perspective, eliminate negative thoughts and emotions, and accept that events are not always within your control.

3. Increase Your Position IQ

Become a student of your position by understanding the skills, fundamentals and conditioning required. Knowledge about your position should determine your training focus. When you know what types of passes, dribbling, skill work and strength are required for your position, you'll have a clear idea of the skills you need to improve. For example, if you're a center, focus your training time less on full-court dribbling and more on rebounding and post drills.

4. Know Your Role

Remember, you play a team sport. Not everyone can be the leading scorer, best shooter or top performer all the time. It's not about you; it's about your team. Have you ever considered your team role? If not, discuss it with your coach. Knowing your role will help you focus your time on skills your team needs. Thoroughly understand your team's style of offense and defense so you can contribute to a successful season.

5. Study the Game

If you are a true basketball player, there is a really good chance you enjoy watching a lot of basketball. You most likely have a few different favorite players and a favorite team that you watch consistently. But watching basketball isn't just a time to relax—it can be a great time to learn! Don't just watch the game to enjoy it as a fan, but watch it as a student of the game. Make notes of different moves, plays and details that make these players and teams elite. You can learn a lot simply by watching different games and trying to pick up on the little things that make great players and great teams successful.

6. Give 100 Percent Effort

Give 100 percent every time you train, play or practice. Don't let excuses or complaints get in the way of your effort. Always be willing to accept criticism from those with more experience. After receiving criticism, continue to give all you've got. Improving means learning from your mistakes and always trying your best.

7. Train Your Body

Sure, you love playing and refining your skills, but are you also working on your physical abilities.  Spend time enhancing your strength, mobility, power, speed and agility. Improving your athleticism will translate to better on-court performance.

8. Improve Your Skills

If you've followed all the other suggestions I've listed here, it's time to design a program for improving your skills. Knowing your role, strengths and weaknesses helps you concentrate on the skills your team needs most. Now that you are equipped with the tools of success, make a plan and put it into practice.

9. Ask Questions

Sometimes it is perceived as "uncool" to ask questions, but that's one of the dumbest stigmas out there. The players who ask questions are usually the ones who learn the quickest. If you don't understand something that your coach is talking about or simply have a question about how to handle a certain on-court situation, ask your coach or a knowledgeable basketball expert. You might not be able to ask your question right in the middle of practice, but good coaches find time for players who are genuinely hungry to learn. And don't just ask questions to ask them—ask questions to gather insights that you'll use during practices and games.

10. Learn From Other Players

Another great way to improve your basketball IQ is to learn from players who have a more advanced basketball IQ than you do. This will often be older players or players with more experience. If you note the coach consistently praising a player's basketball IQ, figure out why. Be a sponge and soak up all of the information that you can from them. If you play pick-up with older and more experienced players, watch how the intelligent players approach the game and how they impact their team in a positive manner. This will help you become a much smarter player and will allow you to have a much better understanding of the game.

Basketball Fitness Conditioning

Activities To Become Stronger



Stand up with your feet wider than shoulder-width distance apart. With your back slightly arched, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Touch your elbows to your knees with the basketball in front of you. With your weight in your heels, push yourself up to a standing position while lifting the basketball above your head.


Lie down on your back and place the sole of the right foot onto the basketball and your hands down by your sides. Lift your left leg toward the ceiling. Pressing your foot into the ball, lift your hips to the ceiling while keeping all of your weight on your right foot and shoulders. Hold for a moment in this bridge position before slowly lowering back to the floor.


Begin this move by holding the ball at your chest and standing with your feet together. Step forward with your left foot and lower into a lunge. While you are lunging, pass the ball under your left thigh from your right hand to your left. Press through your left heel to quickly return to standing, returning the ball to your chest with both hands. Repeat with your right leg, passing the ball from left to right.


Get into position by lying on the floor with your feet together and your knees bent. Sit up so that your back and thighs form the shape of a V. Hold the basketball out in front of you, keeping your arms and back straight. Explosively twist your torso as far as you can to the left, then reverse the motion and twist as far as you can to the right.


Lie down on your back with your legs in the air, toes pointed toward the ceiling, holding the basketball straight up over your chest. Engage your abs to press your lower back into the floor while lifting your upper body off of the mat. Continue lifting higher off the mat, reaching the ball toward your ankles. Pause for a moment and then lower your upper back again, stopping before you make contact with the floor.


Lie face down on the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you, holding onto the basketball. Slowly raise your arms and legs up as high as possible, engaging your back muscles. Hold this position for a moment before lowering your arms and legs back down to the floor.


Get into plank position with a basketball under one hand. Lower your chest to the floor to perform a push-up and then roll the ball to the other hand. Continue completing push-ups and passing the basketball back and forth. You can modify this by dropping to your knees, just as you would with a traditional push-up.

Basketball Mental Game

Basketball Mental Game Questions

What are the positions on the court and who are in those positions?

What is your opponents weakest offensive move?

Do you visualize your routines or just the outcomes?

What is your general temperament on the court? Are you aggressive or passive? How is this working or not working for you?

Activities To Become Mentally Prepared

Shut your eyes and visualize.

Take 5 deep breaths, feeling the air move through you as you inhale and exhale slowly.

Mentally replay three to five of your all time best moves.  See it in slow motion and replay the performances.

See, hear, and feel everything you experienced in a practice just as if it were happening right then.

Practice Itinerary

10 min - Accountability Followup

15 min - Aerobic Sport Workout

10 min - Skills Discussion

15 min - Sport Specific Drills

10 min - Stretching