Professional Basketball Tips to Improve All Areas of Your Game!

Look, the number one key to be a great basketball player is to have confidence and heart. If you're not confident, you'll never reach the level you want to be at ... Without heart, you won't have what it takes to come through in tough situations when your team needs you most.

We have the basketball tips to help you become better, but you have to practice and develop confidence. Practice makes good, but confidence and heart makes perfect. You need hunger, drive, desire...

The first thing you should do is check out this Step-by-Step Player Improvement Plan that'll help you improve every part of your game, including your vertical jump, speed, ball-handling, shooting, and so much more...

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Below you can read the different basketball tips in this section, broken down into specific areas:

Ball Handling





Mental Toughness


Vertical Jump

Basketball Tips on Conditioning

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Basketball Tips -- Gaining Quickness and Improving Ball Handling

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==> Improving Your First Step

==> The Zig Zag Drill for Lateral Cutting Ability

==> Improving Your Ball Handling



Footwork involves getting your feet to the right place at the right time. Once you have proper stance, it is your first step that will allow you to move in the right direction with proper control.

Training your first step involves direction of movement, types of steps, and maintaining positive shin angles.

-Definitions and Basketball Tips:

The Negative Step: A common mistake is to take a step backwards before moving in the correct direction.

Positive Shin Angle: A Positive Shin Angle is one that allows you to apply the proper force against the ground. To achieve this, your feet should hit slightly behind your center of gravity. This puts you in the best position to use your powerful hip extensors. A Negative Shin Angle would be one that is too far from your center of gravity, causing you to pull yourself towards your foot.

-Types of First Steps:

Open Step: For short distances and quick movements, your lead foot will step out while you push off with your back foot.

Crossover Power Step: When you have to reach a great distance, this is the one to use. Your lead foot stays and your back foot crosses over it. You push off with your lead foot.

Jab Step: For quick reaction and shorter distances, your lead foot can actually move backward relative to your center of gravity, then push off with your back foot.

Drop Step: When you need to move backwards or diagonally backwards, your lead foot moves back and you push off with your back foot.

Your first step is the one that can make the move or allow the defender to anticipate your movement. Proper knowledge of your center of gravity and those defending you will help you to catch them off guard. Often a good first step is all you need to stay a step head of them and make the play. Read the basketball tips until you fully understand, it is extremely important!



Sure it's great to have 4.1 speed and a 40" vertical jump. However, among players with equal speed and hops, it's lateral cutting ability is what often separates the superstars from the mere journeymen. Jim Brown, Gayle Sayers, and Barry Sanders could shake free from defenders as if they had higher gear. What they had was superior lateral hip strength. You can improve your lateral hip strength dramatically with the Zig Zag Drill.

Basketball Tip: Zig-Zag Drill

Lay out two 10 yard lines of masking tape on the floor. The lines should be 24" apart. Stand on your left foot only and hop from one line to the other and back.

You should be able to do about 15 hops over the course of 10 yds. Repeat the drill off of your right foot. Now, here's where the drill gets interesting: When you've gotten used to lines 24" apart, space the lines farther apart at 36" and do the same drill. Very difficult. Try 42" apart. Super difficult!



In basketball, dribbling and controlling the ball are key aspects of the game. When defenders rush you, you have to be able to control the ball, almost as if it were part of you. Exercises like the Figure-8 Drill can help with your ball control.

The Double Figure-8 was used by Golden State's assistant coach Tom Sterner to coach Gilbert Arenas, who received the 2003 Most Improved Player Award.

Basketball Tips: Figure-8 and Double Figure-8

The Figure-8 Drill - A commonly practiced exercise. Bend your knees and rotate the ball through your knees in a figure 8. You do this by rotating the ball around your right leg with your right hand, passing it to your left hand, then rotating the ball around your left lsg. Make sure you can do it both ways, and speed up as you get better. The ball should never touch the ground.

The Double Figure-8 Drill - Now with a partner facing you, do a figure 8, then pass it to your partner, who does a figure 8 and passes it back. You should pass to the same hand, so your right will pass to his right. Switch sides and continue to speed up as you get better. The ball should never touch the ground.

Basketball Tips:

1. Try not to look down while you are doing your figure 8. Using your peripheral vision and using the muscle memory in your hands will help you improve your handles.

2. Use a 3 lb. Heavy Basketball to improve your strength! This drill will strengthen your arms and hands for better dribbling and control. Once you use the 3 lb. Heavyball, a regular basketball (1.3 lbs) will feel light and easy to handle.

Make sure to follow these two basketball tips above to get the most from your drills.


Core Power with the 3-Point Forward Roll - Get a spotter. Rest your forearms on a Swiss ball and keep your core tight. Slowly roll forward while trying to let your core do all the work. When the ball reaches your elbow, reverse the movement to the starting point.

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