We all know that basketball is a team sport. Winning or losing a game mostly depends on team effort. You need to play and practice with a team in outdoor or in the indoor ground. However, practicing alone can always be a great idea when you have no one to play or practice. You can practice basketball alone and improve your skills to the next level. I am providing you some essential tips in this article on how you can practice and improve your skills solely. You can follow these tips and see how it works for you. Let’s begin!
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1. Feel your need of practicing alone
As a basketball player, you must have the desire to improve your skills and practice alone; that’s the first thing you need to have in your mind. That’s the same as doing the study. Once you have an exam, you get yourself busy with the hard study to do well in the exam. Although you probably do group study, sometimes you get prepared by yourself. In the case of basketball, you need to have the feeling of practicing by yourself. And with your entire busy schedule, you need to make time for yourself to practice basketball alone.
2. Make a schedule
You do have many other works apart from playing basketball or having some practice. So you need to make a proper schedule for practicing on your own. Once you have an appropriate plan for everyday work, then it would be easier for you to manage all the daily work. If you are a college-going student, you need to have a spare amount of time for your studies, and in free time you can practice basketball. You need to make the schedule by yourself considering the flexibility of your daily work.
3. Choose a better location for practice
You need to choose a proper location for practicing basketball. Your area doesn't need to be extravagant, but you need to pick up a place that is spacious enough. Once you have the position set up, don’t just practice your dribbling skills in the corner of the basketball court. Move around the full court and make the best out of it. You need to have ample space for cross over moves, pivoting, and quick change in the direction, dribbling, fakes, and others.
The great thing is you can have your basketball court for practicing in a yard or driveway near your home. But it would be better if you have a location in the backyard of your home. That would give you more privacy, and you will feel comfortable because no one from outside could able to see when you will have your practice session.
4. Arrange necessary gears for the practice
Remember to arrange all your necessary equipment for practice. Make sure that the hoop and the ball are there for you. Don’t go for the practice with less stuff, and then you will not get the optimum result. If you want to develop your basketball skills, then you must have access to all the necessary gear.
Besides that, wear your sports gear. Like – jersey, shoe, sock, shorts, etc. It’s okay if you don’t wear any jersey or t-shirt, but wearing shoes will protect you from any unwanted injuries.
5. Do some workout before the practice
Be sure to do some workout before you start your practice session. This will help your body muscles to get ready for the practices, and you won’t have any back pain or muscle injury. You should do warm before starting the practice, and after the practice as well, that will help to keep your body fit all the time.
6. Make a list of your necessary skills
Create a checklist of the skills that you want to improve by yourself. This will guide you to do practice more level headedly. Try to focus on each expertise at a time. For example – if you want to improve your footwork, then start working on it. Once your footwork improves then go for other skills
7. Eliminate negative thoughts out of your mind
Once you can eliminate negative thoughts from your mind, then you can dramatically improve your basketball shooting skills. In this regard, I can give you a simple little trick, which will help you eliminate negative thoughts – Before starting shooting practice, tell yourself that you don’t care if you make any mistakes or miss any shots. Then when you intend to take a shot (or catch the ball), say to yourself some words like – “Nice shot, I can do better.” This simple little trick will help you relax your mind and improve your shooting skills. This will also help you with gaining your confidence as well.
8. Use a color basketball during practice
Colored basketball will improve the straightness of your shot, so better use a colored basketball during the practice. You can easily see the direction and rotation of the ball. Instant feedback will help you to adjust and improve your shots.
9. Try to dribble without looking at the basketball
When you start practicing alone, one of the essential primary skills that I should mention is to try dribbling without looking at the basketball. Initially, this will be difficult for you. But after practicing for a few days, you can feel the ball and dribble without even looking at it. If you are beginner level basketball, you need to practice more to get used to it. Always remember to keep your eyes up while dribbling.
10. Hold your follow-through
In any outdoor games, you need to move a lot, and holding your follow-through gives an extra advantage. You probably have heard about this many times. It will help you solve many shooting problems. You can even maintain excellent basketball shooting techniques even without thinking about it.
11. Keep balance and land in front
During practice alone, after the shot, try to land in front where you have started. You can do this when you make sure that in every catch, your momentum goes towards the basket. For shooting balance is very important. You can achieve balance by using your footwork and proper stance.
12. Don’t try to shoot like Kobe Bryant
Many youngsters these days try to follow Kobe and end up with bad shots. Kobe is a natural player; you need to work hard to reach his position. Once you follow him, you may fail to shoot like him and get frustrated. Better try to create your style of play.
13. Don’t spend your money on gimmicks and shooting gloves
Many players used to use shooting gloves and gimmicks and spend an extra amount of money on these. They think it will improve their shooting and make them great shooters. It doesn’t work. You shouldn’t use these devices while practicing alone. You need to practice shooting without using these devices.
14. Film video of your shots
While practicing alone in the court, you can record video. You will get surprised how shooting can help you in your practice session. You can use a tripod, or if you don’t have a tripod, you can use a chair to put on your camera for filming. After practice, you can check out the video that you shoot and detect your weakness and refine your shots for further improvements.
15. Watch great players video
You can watch great basketball player’s videos to check out how they play, their movement, dribbling styles, etc. No need to spend extra money for that. There are thousands of videos available online or YouTube. Before starting the practice, you can watch the videos. This will encourage you to improve your basketball skills to the next level.
16. Trust your feelings
Great basketball players have a feeling of what a good shot or defense is. Once they make a shot, they know it is a good shot or not. When they block a shot, they know it is a good defense or not. When you practice alone, you must have a feeling inside that you can do well, and you need to trust your intuition.
17. Meditate before start practicing
Before you start practicing alone, you can do some meditation so that you can get proper concentration. Concentration is essential for a basketball player. And you can see the change in yourself after trying it for a few days. Make it a habit. 15-20 minutes of meditation each day before start practicing can be very useful. Some great NBA players used to do meditation before the game. Like - Phil Jackson. You can follow them.
18. Fix instantly and correcting your shots
This is a straightforward way to make corrections of your bad shooting while doing practice alone. You can do it by yourself. For example – if you forget to hold your follow-through, then instantly after your shot, you can raise your hand back up and keep your hand in the correct hand follow-through position. This simple technique will immediately correct your shot and improve your gaming skills.
19. Appreciate that you get the chance to practice basketball alone
You must need to appreciate and be thankful that you get the chance and have the time to practice basketball on your own. It is your personal decision that you choose to practice alone to enhance your skills and knowledge in the basketball game, and the player who decides to practice alone values the essence of growth. You may take it professionally or just for passing your leisure time, but one thing for sure this will open up the opportunity to improve your basketball skills.
20. Enjoy practicing basketball by yourself
Whatever you do in your life, you must enjoy it. Otherwise, you will not feel interested in your field and end up getting frustrated. You must also enjoy while having a practice session alone. There is nothing like getting the opportunity to play the game you always love to play. Besides hard work during practice, you must enjoy your time and have fun when practicing. This will give you the encouragement to do better.
Lastly, spend more time practicing alone. By doing this, you can discover yourself and the skills you possess.