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Shooting – When practicing by yourself, start in close to the basket, right in front of the hoop. Shoot at least 25 shots from four feet and in, without moving. Take your time and slow down each shot. Think about the correct form (ball resting in the hand, non-shooting hand, arm position, etc.) before each shot. Take your time! Hold and exaggerate your follow through on every shot. Only then, begin to move back. Start right in front of the basket, shoot and then take one step back. Continue for five shots, which will put you about 15 feet from the basket. Go back to right in front of the rim and repeat. Shoot and take a step back; shoot and take a step back; continue for at least five shots. Do this five to ten times and move away from the hoop at different angles. Only now are you ready to work at full-speed, shooting game-like shots.
Dribbling – There is no secret or magic drill to become a better dribbler. The only way to get confidence in your dribbling is to dribble, dribble, dribble! You have to wear out the basketball. Simply dribble the ball anytime you can (while walking the dog, going out to get the mail, even while watching television – very difficult on carpeting!) Or just dribble the ball 1000+ times, every day, with each hand. (Your driveway, basement, the sidewalk – anywhere – you don’t need a court). A few things to break it up are: wear a blind-fold or “dribble goggles” while you dribble the ball. Or dribble two balls at once. But the key is to just pound that basketball over and over and over (of course using proper techniques – fingertip control, flexible wrist movement and snap, keep the ball low, etc.).
Passing – Often, if players throw one good pass or maybe a couple in a row that hit the target perfectly, then they think that they are good passers and have that important skill mastered. Wrong. We see this at camp all the time when we work on passing. Players will throw a few good passes in a drill, and then begin to lose interest because just passing the ball and consistently hitting their teammate in the numbers is “boring.” But when we start to scrimmage basketballs start flying everywhere (mostly out of bounds). Be the player who is mentally tough enough to practice throwing pass-after-pass-after-pass and hitting your target every single time (not some of the time, not most of the time, or almost every time, but EVERY time!). Throw hundreds of passes with this in mind (to a teammate or just a spot on the wall). Do it over and over and over. You will improve your passing skills, your confidence with all passes, and you will strengthen those important “basketball muscles” in your wrists and forearms.
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