7 Steps to Improving Your Basketball Skills This Summer
If you’re a serious basketball player, you want to get better! No matter how good you already are. If you DON’T want to get better, you won’t be a serious basketball player for long because the guys you had in your rearview you’ll soon see ahead of you. Here are seven steps to really improving your game this summer.
Get an Assessment of your Current Game
Don’t just look in the mirror! Sometimes our own vision of ourselves can be deceiving. Ask your coach, your teammates, your parents and your friends to asses your current game, including your strengths and weaknesses. I’ve done this before, and I still remember some of the feedback I got from one of my buddies one summer. It still sticks with me to this day, and it helped me get better at the time he gave it. Take the feedback from others who can see your blind spots, and combine that with what you know about yourself to get an accurate snapshot of yourself as a basketball player.
Identify the Player You Want to Be in the Fall
Sometimes players start to work on various skills without identifying what they want the end result to be. You definitely want to know what you’re working towards. If you’re not exactly sure how to decide “the player you want to be”, an easy way to do this is to look at your favorite NBA or college player. Find the player you really want to play like. Look at the skills he has and how he plays the game. You can use him as a temporary standard. You can say “I want to handle like Kyrie”, or “I want to pass like CP3”. Identify the skills they have that you currently don’t but that you want to acquire.
Find a Gym
This sounds simple, but it is important. Find a practice space where you have access to a dribbling space and a 10 foot basketball goal. This can be your driveway, or it can be the park down the street. It can also be your local gym where you have a membership. Nobody gets better by waking up with the desire but not knowing where to go. You want to wake up and get right to your practice area. Find a place where you know the times you’ll have that space to train so you can get on a consistent schedule as well.
Find a Basketball Trainer and a Workout Partner
You may know “what” you want to develop, but a good basketball trainer can give you the “how”. Again the concept of blind spots comes into play. You may think you look one way while shooting or dribbling, but you really look a different way. Your trainer can help correct and guide you. A workout partner is also good for accountability. You don’t need or want a partner all the time while you are working on your game, but having a partner to work with at least once or twice per week will help keep you accountable, focused and on enthusiastic.
Find a Good Pickup Game
You’ve got to find a good weekly pickup game to work on your new skills. You want to work on skills in a pickup setting because there are generally less restrictions than organized games and you can play more freely. If you are working on that new double crossover move, it’s okay if you mess up in a pickup game. If you are working on shooting and all you want to do is shoot the ball from long distance, that’s fine as well. You’ll get more confidence and key feedback as you try things in a pickup game setting.
Find a Summer League
Whatever you’ve been working on, you gotta do it with the lights on! We all know there is a different pressure and feel when playing in an organized game as opposed to playing with your buddies. Most players are more conservative in organized games and only display skills they are 100% confident with. You’ve got to convert some of your new skills into toolkit skills. And by toolkit skills I mean skills that are second nature to you. Get practice with your new game in this setting before your fall season comes. If you can be successful with your new game here, you can do it in your fall season.
Develop a Long-Term Practice Regimen
Lastly, a long-term practice regimen is important for maintaining what you’ve worked on. We all know that the basketball season starts in the fall or winter, but your summer vacation ends in August. You’ve got to come up with practice time to hold you over so you don’t lose your skills Even if your school has a basketball offseason class, that time is usually not dedicated to you doing whatever you want to do to develop perosnally. You still need personal practice time. Find a location and two or three days per week that you can work on your basketball game in the midst of homework, projects and the football season.
We’ve just given you 7 steps tips to improving your basketball game this summer. Get started now with an assessment, and contact us to help you with the process of developing into the player you want to be. Have fun practicing and playing games this summer. We can’t wait to see how you grow!