The sport of basketball was invented in the mid-1860’s by Dr. James Naismith during his school days in Canada. He devised a set of 13 rules of the game. After creation of the game he graduated from medical school and practiced sports physiology and was a Presbyterian minister. He was able to watch the sport he invented introduced to many nations and ultimately to the Olympics in Berlin in 1936.
Today basketball is one of the more popular team sports played from elementary school age to the professional level. Young children find that in order to achieve success at the high school and college level more and more practice time and extra work is needed to realize peak performance.
However, not only do elementary school children benefit from the extra work but so do high school, college and professionals benefit from the different drills, education and sports psychological effort put into working with athletes.
Shooting skills, passing, defense, offense and ball handling all improve when athletes spend the extra time and effort needed to improve those skills. In each case there are drills that help the athlete achieve the strength, coordination and neuromuscular integration in order to attain fluid movement and a sight line of game that will improve their performance.
To play better basketball athletes must take an objective view of their present performance in order to fully understand their personal strengths and weaknesses. This assessment is often best done by a coach or consultant who can review tapes of the athlete’s games and determine the individual’s strengths and weaknesses and then devise a set of drills to help play off those strengths and improve those weaknesses.
Over the years sports therapists and coaches have found drills that help to improve the skills of the basketball player that don’t involve playing more of the game. The drills include ball handling skills that can be done individually, without a team mate’s help. Pass drills can also be practiced against the wall if another person isn’t available for practice. The athlete can draw an X on the wall at different spots to help improve his aim at the team mate’s chest.
Shooting drills include working from all areas of the court to improve their shot as well as working on shooting form. When a player learns to shoot without first learning form they may have to spend hours and hours unlearning bad habits to improve the consistency of their shot and therefore their shot performance. Although it is possible to learn a good shooting form from reading it is much better to learn it from a coach and then to have their form evaluated consistently. It doesn’t take long to have bad habits form.
Other drills include using extra equipment to improve the explosiveness of the take off by using a parachute or the ladder and jump rope to improve balance and foot speed. Both of these skills will help to improve the athlete’s ability to move and react on the court.
Playing better basketball also includes taking care of the ‘head game’. This is the part of the game that is played before the player even reaches the court. The head game affects the players confidence level, psychological ability to continue to play confidently and their value to the team.