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How to take your basketball game to the next level this summer
Now that the regular season is over, the real work begins.
You need a plan to perfect your game over the summer. Don’t try to do too much. Pick a couple of aspects of your game that need work and focus on them. The following tips are a surefire way to help you bring your game to the next level this summer. After all, we all know champions are made in the off-season.
1. Become one with the ball. One of the biggest areas needing improvement among younger players is handling the basketball, especially the left hand. Take time each day for 20 minutes of stationary ball handling to becoming more comfortable with the basketball. Remember, it doesn’t have to mean a trip to the gym. Use your basement, garage or driveway. Push yourself to do each drill fast and make it comfortable. It’s okay to lose the ball - that’s how you get better!
2. 100% BEEF. It can be difficult to shoot the correct way - especially when you’re young. Take extra time to shoot the correct way, even when it feels awkward. Focus on BEEF - Balance, Eyes, Elbow and Follow-through. Set time aside each day to focus on repetitions of shooting with the proper form.
3. Just Do It. Then, do it again. Summer is the perfect time to go to the park or YMCA and get into pick-up games. The more you play the more you learn and the more comfortable on the court you become. Also, don’t be timid about playing with guys - sometimes that is the best way to improve your game. Don’t forget to work on your basketball IQ. Don’t just improve the physical aspect of game, take the summer to work on the mental aspect of the game. Skip a video game session and read a book such as (insert book titles here). Don’t forget to watch WNBA games, listen to the commentary and analyze what’s happening. The mental aspect of the game is one of the most important components to being a champion.
4. Be a happy – and hardworking - camper. If you are able to, enroll in a basketball camp. Summer camps are a terrific way to improve skills, learn new drills and have fun! They also offer a great opportunity to meet other players.
-Ed Swanson - Head Women's Basketball Coach - Sacred Heart University
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