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How to Get Better at Basketball – Tips for Beginners to Improve Skills

Last Updated July 15, 2024 Last Updated October 18, 2023 by Edward Pullen

Are you going to play competitive games in two weeks and looking to improve your basketball skills fast? Here, we’ll provide tips on how to get better at basketball for beginners and experienced players. From practicing your ball handling to improving your strength and conditioning, we’ll cover everything to train you like NBA legends.

Wondering if you can perform these steps at home? YES! These ways will help you practice, train and develop all the necessary drills needed in order to become nearly unstoppable on the basketball court. Remember there’s no overnight process, it takes time! You just need some determination and a couple of hours each week.

We recommend getting a basketball hoop in your driveway to practice at home by yourself or with family/friends!

how to get better at basketball

How to Get Better at Basketball – Learn to Become a Better Player

You should train harder every day in the beginning to get good at basketball. What do professional leagues players have in common? good position, great endurance and better ball control! Beginners should follow these advises to be better at playing basketball;


1. Develop Your Ball Handling

Controlling the ball is the most important factor to become a better basketball player. You will need the ability to dribble with both hands around tight defenses in order to get past your defender. You will want to work on moves like the crossover, behind the back, between the legs, and more. We recommend practicing it on both feet.

In order to get better at basketball handling, start by holding the ball in one hand and bouncing it, then alternate hands while keeping your eyes on the ball at all times. This will help you get faster at switching the ball from side to side and eventually you will learn how to dribble with both hands. Use a ball hog to strengthen your grip and enhance control over the ball.


2. Learn to Dribble

how to get good at basketballThis is the first skill you will need to learn as a basketball player. Learn and develop a habit to dribble by using your fingertips instead of your palms. In my own experience, I found an adjustable dribble stick very effective to get better at dribbling at different levels. Keep practicing until you can dribble the ball quickly without looking down at it. This will help your ball handling ability and allow you to read the court better on both sides of the ball.

Want to get better at palming? Here’s a guide to perfectly palm a basketball.

3. Learn the Fundamentals of Shooting

You always want to perfect your form before shooting the rock. This will ensure you hit most of your shots and that every shot is coming off good footwork, good body position, and proper shooting mechanics.

You can improve shooting skills by shooting a lot of free throws. Free throws are the best way to practice because it’s just you and the rim. It forces you to get in a rhythm and allows you to focus on your technique for each shot, so it is recommended to take at least 100 free throws every day to get good at basketball!

We recommend training to shoot with a player, and if you don’t find one – get yourself a dummy defender to perfect your shots.


4. Play One-on-One

Playing one-on-one improves basketball skills faster than you think. Try to play as many games as possible and use good footwork so you don’t get beaten by your opponent. Never give them an open look at the hoop and play tough defense. And, do not forget to wear ankle support shoes and knee sleeves to protect your joints from hard contacts.improving basketball skills

If you want to take your game to the next level, find a local gym that offers pickup games. You will get a lot of experience playing good defense against other good players and this is the best way to learn how to play great defense in competitive games.

You can also work on your shooting skills by playing one-on-one with a friend. Do this by driving to the basket and taking turns shooting jump shots or layups. This game forces you to make quick decisions, develop good ball handling skills, and learn how to think quickly on your feet.


5. Practice Your Footwork

This includes learning how to dribble, pivot, crossover, shoot off the dribble, stop, and back up. It is very important to know how to move on the court with good footwork because it will help you get past your defender, drive to the basket, and stop on a dime. You can do these moves by yourself or find someone who wants to play one-on-one.

You can increase footwork skills by practicing with a coach or in a gym when no one is around. Moreover, you can use cones, tennis balls, or an agility ladder to work on your footwork. We teach all trainees to wear good traction shoes to reduce the chances of slippage.

basketball train

6. Improve Your Strength and Conditioning

The best basketball players are not only skilled, but they are strong. They can dribble against a tight defense, improve their shot with ease, and protect the ball.

Start doing some pushups every day to get your upper body stronger, and then work on your legs by doing squats or lunges. You can also train your endurance by running up hills, running sprints for time, swimming, riding a bike, or pushing yourself on an elliptical.


7. Improve Your Jumping Ability

how to play basketball for beginnersIn order to shoot over defenders or dunk the basketball, you will need to learn how to jump higher. You can do a lot of different exercises like squats, pushups, and box jumps in order to improve your vertical leap.

Start by doing squats every day when you wake up. Try three sets of twenty reps and then add weight as you get stronger. Then work on your jumps by jumping off of one leg, and then do three sets of eight reps.

The most effective way to improve jumping ability is by taking up plyometric exercises like box jumps, where you jump onto a box with both feet.


8.Improve Your Vertical Jump

Work on your vertical jump to dunk the basketball or enhance your jumping speed. You can do many exercises like box jumps or standing jumps to help improve this skill. Basketball jumping shoes boost the bounce off the ground to reach the rim.

Start out by standing underneath an object like a basketball hoop, then jump up and touch it with your fingertips. We advise working on your legs before increasing the vertical jump. Speaking of the experience, one legged squat make the legs stronger in no time.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to increase vertical jump to dunk a basketball.

9. Watch More Basketball Games

The more you watch basketball games, the better ball handler and shooter you will become. Watch how NBA players play and identify your strength and weakness. These are the best videos and movies you can watch to learn basketball;

Do you love animes? Here are some basketball anime shows that worth watching.




The above mentioned guide will help you to get better at basketball in weeks. There’s no need to be elite at every single one of these tips in order to play the game well. Focus on just a few areas that interest you, but make sure that you are working hard every day in order to improve your skills.

Also, if you want to be a professional athlete, then there are specialized workout routines and exercises that can help you become a stronger basketball player.

  1. Vary your training routine to work on different areas when trying to improve at a sport. These areas generally include speed, strength, stamina, power, flexibility and team coordination.
  2. Focus on your weak areas if you are serious about improving your game. It is unrealistic to be the best at every drill, choose two or three areas that need work and dedicate your time to practice them.
  3. Practice, practice, practice: if you want to get better at something, it is obvious that you have to practice. No one is perfect right out of the gate so expect some bumps along the way. You won’t be a superstar overnight and you probably won’t get a triple double your first time out either.



Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

How do I get better at basketball at home?

There are many exercises that you can do to get better at basketball at home. You should work on your physical strength by doing pushups, squats, lunges and vertical jumps. Also, improve your shooting ability by practicing free throws or layups.


Can you get better at basketball by yourself?

Yes, it is possible to get better at basketball by yourself. You can do many drills at home to get better. Try to challenge yourself by practicing dribbling, layups, and free throws.


How can I get better at basketball in 2 weeks?

It is quite difficult to improve basketball in 2 weeks. However, if you only have two weeks to get better at basketball, try to do some cardio workouts. Work on improving your vertical jump and explosive power. Run sprints to improve your overall speed and agility. Stretch out before and after workouts to keep muscles flexible, which will prevent injuries.


Can I get better at basketball in 2 months?

Yes, you can get better at basketball in 2 months. Work on your shooting and ball handling skills to improve your coordination. You can also work on your coordination by juggling the ball with one hand.