Basketball is a sport where practice literally makes perfect. Most good coaches will tell you to shoot at least 500 shots per day, while working on your left hand layups and focusing on taking at least 100 free throws. John Wooden once said “it’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen”. This quote really touches base on how important practice is. Coach Wooden knew that everyone wasn’t going to be the best athlete or the best shooter but he always coached his players to understand and play to their strengths. If you’re not a solid offensive player try and work on your ball handling as often as possible. It can be as simple just watching an instructional video on ball handling, also figuring out what you need to work on by taking the initiative and asking your coach is one of the most important things in being a student athlete and basketball player.
When you want to practice some advanced rebounding drills or ball handling drills you can always practice by shooting free throws. If you miss the free throw, run after your rebound and try to grab it at its highest point, once you get it, hold the ball and start to practice dribbling between your legs multiple times. Once you get into rhythm head back to the free throw line and shoot until you miss. And then repeat.
For those of you who want to practice their left hand layups there is a very easy and efficient drill you can run. First you want to start on the left side of the basket, facing it. Then lift your left leg towards your chest, place the basketball in your left hand, and make sure it’s sunken and fit into your palm. Once you have done that start practicing by letting the basketball slowly come up off your fingertips as if you were trying to make a layup. Once you feel comfortable or have made at least 10 in a row. Start to run towards the basket while dribbling with your left hand and performing the same routine and try to lay it up as well as you can. Another drill you can try is called the “George Mikan Drill”. This drill consists of you standing under the hoop and trying to lay the basketball up on both sides as quickly as you can using both hands. Left hand for the left side and right hand for the right side. Keep in mind you are not moving or running at all but standing in place and working on your finishing under the rim. This is a great drill for big men who cannot finish at the rim. It will give them the opportunity to gain off hand strength which will truly help them in the low post.
Basketball is one of the best sports around because it literally comes down to how much work you want to put in. At the end of the day, if you only workout and work on your game for 4 hours a week and the guy you have to guard has been working his butt at 4 hour pace everyday then he will undoubtedly always have the upper hand on you. His handle will be solid, his jumpers will fall and it’s all because he has the confidence in himself because he has been working his butt off all week. Keep in mind that your ethic is what will make and break your basketball career. The harder you work the better you will be. Its simple.