Basketball Tips 1 – Improve Your Decision Making Skills

Sometimes you’re probably having these bad days – committing too many turnovers, coach is yelling at you, telling you that you’ve made bad decisions while all you want is to improve your game. Want to avoid these situations and dramatically improve your performance? – Read the following tip carefully.

Making the Right Decisions

Making the right decisions on a basketball game is one of the most important aspects a player must consider. It doesn’t matter if a player runs faster or jumps higher than any one else on court, if he turns the ball too often he will simply end up sitting on the bench.

Take Steve Nash for example, he is not taller or faster than other talented NBA players, yet, he was selected the NBA MVP… The secret is all about decision making skills.

Basketball tips to remember about decision making skills:

(1) An athletic ability is great – it will definitely give you the opportunity to play, however smart decision making skills will keep you on the court.

(2) While your team is on the offense, coach expects you to read the game and identify opportunities to take shots. All that, while you listen to his or hers’ instructions.

(3) Smart basketball players are those who think fast and quickly analyze the game, in order to find these opportunities that will enable them make the right decisions.

Want to Improve your Decision Making Skills?

Well, dribbling is easy for you as is following coaches’ instructions. Now, following coaches’ instructions from the bench while dribbling isn’t that easy.

Here is one of the best basketball tips that will improve your decision making skills on court:

Start by dribbling up and down the court; try to mix it up with between your legs or behind your back etc. While doing so, do the following:

(1) Spell the A-B-C, not that difficult. Don’t stop dribbling.

(2) Spell the A-B-C backwards Z-Y-X. Now it’s not that easy…

(3) When you master this drill, add your first name, age, phone no. etc. – everything backwards.

This exercise will help you think while you execute other basketball tasks. It will help you to perform better on the court.

Source by Gill Lavi

Basketball Skills

Basketball is one of the most complex sports there is. To master this sport it takes a combination of hand eye coordination, speed, power, agility, and most importantly the power of will. For the amateur this sport can be very difficult to play, especially against mildly difficult competition. I have played basketball since age four, and have also played at the collegiate level. I have a few tips on the basic skills of the game that the amateur can use to enhance their game.

1. Dribbling

Most amateurs want to be able to handle the ball like Allen Iverson and “shake and bake” their opponent at will, but this skill can be overrated. Basic dribbling skills are all that is required to be a sufficient player. Being able to handle the ball with both hands without it bouncing out of your control is the minimum you need for this category of the game. Some of the greatest players in the history of basketball, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, were not the best ball handlers.

2. Shooting

The object of the game of basketball is to put the ball in the hoop. In my eyes this is the most important physical skill on the court. The greatest players in the history of this game have had the ability to shoot the basketball, and at a very high level. While Ray Allen was not a great ball handler he made up for that in his ability to shoot the ball better than anybody ever has; he holds the three point shooting record in the NBA. This skill can be taught and perfected due to it being somewhat mechanical in nature. While someone may not be a good shooter the skill can be acquired overtime with repetition.

3. Defense

Maybe the easiest skill to perform in a game of basketball. No matter your skill level in the other categories, this particular category can make up for your other inefficiencies. This skill requires good footwork and mobility to stay in front of your opponent as well as jumping ability to block and alter shots. Mastery of this skill will almost guarantee you a spot on somebody’s team during a pickup game, everybody loves the person that loves to play defense.

4. Passing

Possibly the most underrated skill in the game today. Passing requires knowledge of where your teammates are on the court and intuition of where they will be once you make your pass. This is a tough skill to master, many basketball experts say either you were born a great passer or you were not. Magic Johnson, regarded as the greatest passer of the basketball, had a ken sense of where ever person was on the court and knew the exact spot to give them the basketball in order for that person to achieve optimal success.

5. Mental Toughness

By far the most important skill you absolutely need to have before stepping onto any basketball court. Basketball can be a game of trash talking, dirty plays from opponents, and tightly played games. A strong minded mentality is needed to endure these intangibles. The trash talking in basketball games is quite intense and sometimes many opponents can cross the line while doing so, the reason the do this is to get you to react and lose you composure. I’m guilty of trash talking my opponents on numerous occasions, it is the easiest way to make your opponent give up and retreat from competition. By having this mental toughness there is nothing on the court that you can not overcome.

By achieving a greater level of skill than you currently have in each of these categories, you can become a better player and enjoy this great game even more.

Source by Taurean Suarez

Basketball – How Your Conscious and Subconscious Mind Can Improve Your Free Throw Shooting Skills

Basketball freethrow shooting: The importance of the “conscious” and “subconscious” mind in improving free throw shooting:

Once Upon a time there were three brothers who all lived in the same complex. Their names were ‘Conscious’, Subconscious’ and ‘Unconscious’. These guys play ‘mind games’. Obviously there must be some interaction between the nerves and corresponding systems of nerves. The Cerebrospinal is the organ of the conscious mind and the sympathetic nervous system is the organ of the subconscious. The cerebrospinal provides the avenue by which we get conscious perception from the physical senses and maintain control of body movements. This nervous system resides in the brain’s center. The Sympathetic system sets up shop in a mass of ganglions at the back of the stomach and is called the Solar Plexus and is the avenue for the mental activity which supports unconsciously the vital body functions like heart beat, blood flow, blinking etc. They are all very receptive to light and knowledge as well as one’s environment and the Universality of man and his connection to God.

The impact that the subconscious mind has on the body is tremendous. It could be considered a multi-tasker. It is responsible for our hard drive or the memory storage bank, it is from here that we get our inspiration, it channels our thoughts, tastes and many other intricate tasks like controlling our heart beat, blood flow, cellular growth, bone growth, formation of muscle and nerve tissues, blinking etc. Almost all the physical processes that we never think about that helps sustain our daily lives. These are definitely constant underlying activities that are all in production each and every time you shoot a basketball and you definitely don’t want to have any conscious thought focused on any subconscious activity. You will have enough trouble concentrating on just a couple, simple conscious tasks during a free throw attempt. Makes you wonder what really controls your life.

The subconscious while controlling all regular bodily functions mentioned above, also is heavily involved in mental processes dealing with the ‘subjective mind’ or interior power. On the other hand, we have the ‘conscious mind’ which is also referred to as the ‘objective mind’ which deals with outward objects and impressions of life on the outside with the help of the 5 physical senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Free throw shooting only requires 2 of these namely sight and touch.

I have to share a personal experience where my subconscious actually manifested to me a life changing career. It was 1972, (you remember, where terrorism raised it’s ugly head by using international athletics as a platform to make political statements, and where the USA men’s Basketball team lost to the Russians on a controversial call) while I was representing Australia for the Olympic games for the first time, we got to travel with the team prior to the games around Europe and play some of the European teams as warm up exercises.

On this one particular warm summer day in the late August, we were in Italy passing through and we had a chance to see the “Sistine Chapel” which was painted by Michaelangelo in the 1500’s. This excited me because I actually had read his Biography while in High School and his work fascinated me. Now that I had the chance to actually stand where he stood, well, I really jumped on the chance. I felt like Moses in the movie “The Ten Commandments” when he went up to Mount Sinai and approached the ‘burning bush’ and God spoke to him in his slow, deep and penetrating voice saying ” Moses, put off thine sandals from off thine feet, for thou standest on Holy ground”.

As I approached the chapel, I still recall that I had some funny feelings that I could not explain. A mixture of anxiety, curiosity and feelings of respect. As I entered and laid my eyes on this phenomenon I was blown away. After gazing upwards for a few hours I remember still to this day saying these words, “There’s no way in the world that this work was done by any human being. This work was guided by the hand of God.” Little did I realize that it would take about 15 years before the impact of inspiration would take hold. Remember that the subconscious is a marketplace for gathering and storing inspiration. And of course it wasn’t for many years later that I realized how powerful the subconscious was and what we subject our minds to. “As a man thinketh, so is he”. Well I never realized that Michaelangelo’s work embossed a deep image into my mind and I guess if something leaves such a strong message on your mind then you will act upon it. Somehow, sooner or later it has to come out.

I had no idea that I had artistic tendencies since after I took an art class in High School, I really didn’t connect with it. I did enjoy technical drawing which was more about lines, symmetry, depth and 3 dimensional work geared more towards architectural vocations. To make a long story short, I did my Master’s degree in 1981 at Brigham Young University and chose as my Thesis and Dissertation to do an artistic project based on the greatness of man reaching his potential. I wanted to do something that would last a thousand years. So I chose to do a rendition of several athletes in action extending to their max in striving to reach their greatest potential and I decided to do it in tile, concrete and steel. I chose to do a 3-dimensional mosaic, which would weigh a half ton upon completion, would take over 400 hours to complete and it was done upside down and backwards, in my living room. Why a mosaic? Well I was so inspired by all the old masters I saw in my European travels I felt like I wanted to leave my mark using their medium.

The point I am trying to make here is that my subconscious changed my conscious processes into actually changing careers from a high school basketball coach to a full time traveling Sports artist where I painted Basketball court floors and wall murals with school mascots. This is powerful stuff and I have a testimony that won’t stop. You could say that I actually do exactly what Michaelangelo did over 500 years ago. Except he traveled by donkey and I fly in jets to get to where I need to go.(If the price of fuel does not go down then I may be riding a donkey to work). Also he mostly laid on his back and I spend most of my time on my knees painting floors. Also, He was one of the greatest artists of all time and I am just a commercial artist trying to make a difference by improving the aesthetics within institutions. You could say that I did succeed in this at least because according to the floor companies they say I was single handedly responsible for changing the face of graphics on sports surfaces in the United States and even the Globe. So you see one person can make a difference. It wasn’t my initial goal to do this. It just happened.

When we talk of ‘consciousness’ or the ‘conscious’, it may be a good idea to at least define the terms. According to Funk and Wagnall’s Standard College Dictionary, the word “conscious” means awareness of one’s own existence, feelings and thoughts, or of external objects and conditions; mentally awake.

On the other hand the term “consciousness” is the knowledge of sensations and mental operations, or of what passes in one’s mind.

It is the conscious mind that is responsible for the most valuable thing we have in life and that is the ability to “choose”. The conscious mind has the power of deductive, inductive and analytical reasoning. It is responsible for the “will” and all its capacities. Are you starting to see how your average free throw shooting process is going to take on a whole new life? We are talking about mind over matter, process over product and the beginning before the end. I would venture to say that most and I mean over 90%, no let me be more specific, over 99% of basketball players think of making the basket, or not missing. I have been asking players all over the world of every age and both genders for many years, what they think about at the time of release of the ball and you guessed it, all responses are the same. They think of the end result as opposed to the beginning mechanics which are the most important thing. More on this later.

Common sense tells us that the when a child is born the human mind is born with a blank slate or more specifically a blank tablet more commonly known as “tabula rasa”.

As time passes this “tabula rasa” starts to absorb and store a lot of information, just like a computer. There are actually 3 conscious stages that once we understand them it may enlighten us about our own behavior. How can we get better if we don’t know our problems? This can apply to many areas of life and not just shooting, which is really all we care about here.

First, there is the Pre-Conscious stage where voices and visions basically dictate and tell you what to do. You automatically obey the “voices of authority”. In this stage ‘obedience’ is paramount.

Secondly, there is the Proto-Conscious stage where automatic thoughts and feelings dictate your behavior or tell you what to do. Those in this stage are true believers, fanatic fighters for a great cause, perhaps a suicide bomber, or a kame-kaze pilot. It could be a helpless ‘wimp’ always complaining and languishing in apathy. Or it could be a self-righteous preacher who makes himself look “right” and others look “wrong”. In this stage being “right” is paramount.

Thirdly, there is just the “Conscious” stage where you are basically a master of your own emotions and feelings. You now have the ability to examine critically every concept, thought and action. You strive to increase your own competence in every aspect of your life that is important to you. You carefully observe the results you produce, using that as feed back to improve your concepts thoughts, actions and communications. In this stage producing results is paramount. This is where we need to be as coaches and players who have one thing in mind and that is to improve our percentages. Period. Become masters of our domain.

There are millions of people who constantly question and critically examine concepts, behaviors, beliefs, which are held sacred by their elders and contemporaries. These people want to produce improved results in their lives, in their careers, their relationships and their health and spiritual growth as well. It applies to any area where they think their results are below expectations, they seek to improve their knowledge, competence and skills. They also realize that some of their difficulties stem from their own destructive thoughts and behavior patterns acquired or developed during their own childhood. Their emphasis is on producing results and they are in control of the conscious stage.

By conscious, I mean critically aware, especially critically self-aware. Once I get into the finger placement and finger pressure accountability on the free-throw shot release you will better understand what I mean by critically self-aware. The proto-conscious person functions “on automatic” most of the time, like driving a car without thinking, or regurgitating automatic thoughts, or reacting emotionally like a puppet without critical awareness of the results being produced.

The critically conscious are definitely conscious of their consciousness. They critically monitor what they think, say, and do in order to produce the desired results. They develop the thinking skill of self-observation. The one critical aspect that I encourage we all inject into our own personal make-up if we want to improve our free throw shooting skills.

The conscious can and does actually instruct or direct the subconscious mind. It can be considered as a Big Brother or a bodyguard to the subconscious. But they definitely work hand in hand (excuse the pun). It is the conscious that dictates, controls and even overrules the subconscious thoughts if permitted.

Understanding the above paragraph will emphasize why during every free throw shot or any shot for that matter must have a conscious thought behind the action. You should never shoot a shot without a conscious thought involved because the human body as perfect as it is was not imbedded with a perfect shooting mechanism. We have the potential to create a perfect shooting mechanism but it must be consciously initiated only after a complete knowledge of perfect shooting principles is obtained and understood.

More specifically, your duty is to absolutely find out the reasons you do not make 95% from the free throw line. Children under 13-14 are excused from this high expectation. Usually it will be a physical and mechanical application which can be corrected and this is where the conscious, and subconscious start kicking in for your benefit and elevated shooting percentages.

Source by Ed Palubinskas

The Fundamental Skills of Basketball

To get better skills in basketball players need to first understand and master the basics of the game.

In basketball, there are 6 different fundamental skill areas that players should concentrate on in training.


Dribbling the basketball is done to move the ball around only when a passing isn’t a better option and a lane isn’t available. Both new and experienced players make the mistake of dribbling the ball when it isn’t needed. Ask any collage or professional basketball coach – they will all tell you the same thing. Dribbling should be done when the player (you) have some purpose to forfill. Dribbling while looking for an offensive option is a good way to lose the ball. When you are looking for that option, take the ball in a firm grip and put your body between you and the defender. Regardless of how good you are at dribbling, the defense will always have a greater chance for a steal if you are dribbling the ball instead of gripping it in both hands.


Passing is the number 1 option for moving the ball around the court on offense. Passing is quicker than dribbling and so it is a deadly offensive tool for reaching that open man so they can have the shot. Good passes are the hallmark of good teams because most offensive plays are set up by good passes.


Shooting is probably the most practiced skill for new and experienced players. Yet so many people still practice it wrong. In practice all drills should be done at game speed and done as you would under pressure. Players are usually too lazy to do this and instead of practicing the sweet jump shot that they are constantly doing in the game they lazy-it-down to a hop-shot. Instead of jumping to give power they use their arms for the power and the legs give the rest. Practicing the wrong way to shoot is something that players do all the time yet they do not understand why they miss all their jump shots during the game…


Rebounding can come in two forms – offensive and defensive. Lots of newer player look at rebounding and immediately think that it is a big mans area. Yet this is not so. Rebounding is more than just being big. It even surpasses just jumping ability. To be good at rebounding you need skill and dedication. Skill is mainly the ability to position yourself and read the shots – something that comes quickly with practice. Dedication is probably the most important factor in rebounding. The person who gets the ball is the one with the most hunger for the ball and who is willing to do whatever it takes to get it.


Offense is a fundamental which encompasses all aspects of the offensive court. Shooting has already been covered (and is covered more in the basketball website listed below). Yet moving off the ball to give offensive options to the player with the ball is another thing that is essential for good offense. Supporting your team mates with screens and being able to locate the best offensive option and get the ball to them are also essential things on offense. These skills are often overlooked.


The best defensive teams in the NBA are often the ones that make it into the playoffs. This is seen year after year so a simple conclusion can be made here – defense is key to victory. Defense is not only about getting the steal or block but also about intimidation of the opponents.

Source by Paul Daniel