Basketball Training

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Effective basketball training requires a mix of fundamentally sound skills, on-court practice, and physical conditioning. Those athletes who are truly committed to excellence will find ways to incorporate all three into their development. While practice and conditioning may be undertaken alone, a grasp of the game's techniques, strategies, and tips demands a knowledgeable teacher, which isn't always easy to find.

In lieu of a coach, an athletic parent or sibling, or some other mentor, training books, tapes, and DVDs are the next best option for basketball training. While books are great for describing the physical positioning, proper stances, and court-coverage techniques players need to succeed, a lot of students find their fixed images too limiting. Tapes, CD ROMs, and DVDs, on the other hand, show budding basketball stars exactly how and where to move as well as the best ways of positioning their bodies to box out defenders, grab rebounds, and shoot jumpers.

The Breakdown of Basketball Training

There are five major categories of basketball training that any good instructional medium must cover (though there are dozens of sub-categories as well). These are, in no particular order, shooting, passing, ball-handling, rebounding, and defense. Skills such as screening, rolling, slide-stepping, and shuffling all fit under one of these topics, though some areas of play (such as on-court instinct, good decision-making, and hustle) seem to defy categorization. Suffice it to say then that these five headings describe learnable skills, not intangibles.

If you're new to the game, you'll want to invest equal time and energy into each of these five facets, none of which may be ignored by the well-rounded player. More advanced players are likely to have a better understanding of their own role on the court and may therefore focus on those aspects of the game that are most relevant. A center, for example, can afford to spend more time studying rebounding and defense than shooting and ball-handling, as the first pair are a much bigger part of his job description than are the second pair.


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