The beauty of basketball is that you can practise anywhere, even if you don’t have a hoop! While we have temporarily suspended our classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not mean that your kids can’t practise their basketball skills. Getting the ball into the hoop is only one part of the game. There are many other skills that contribute to excellent performance and a talented player. While at home, encourage your children to play basketball and improve their skills. It won’t only make them a better player, but it will also occupy their time, raise their motivation and ensure that they maintain an appropriate amount of physical activity. It’s easy to let your child fall into the slump of watching TV or playing video games, but letting them improve on something they enjoy will brighten their spirits and yours. There are obvious benefits to practising basketball skills at home. But which skills should your child be practising?
Dribbling is often called the great equaliser in basketball as it doesn’t require a specific height like shooting and is solely based on your skills. We consider dribbling to be one of the most important skills to master. It can easily be practised at home as it only requires a ball. There are a few ways to practise dribbling for full effectiveness.
- Weak hand dribbling
- Using a basketball, let your child dribble with their non-dominant or weak hand and practise transferring it to the other. Then, let them practise this whilst moving with their head up and eyes ahead. Emphasise that in the game, their eyes must be on the court so, it’s best that they practise this from now.
- Straight-line dribbling
- Have your child practise walking and dribbling the ball through each leg and behind his back. Start with a simple dribble and transfer to the other hand then, graduate to dribbling the ball through the leg and behind the back. As your child begins to master it, slowly add technicalities such as increasing the dribbles between switches and alternating it with constant switching.
- Object dribbling
- Set up a course of cones (you can also use whatever object is available such as chairs) in a straight line. Let your child practise their speed and crossovers by dribbling between the chairs. As they improve, make the space between the chairs shorter for a more intense challenge.
- Weak hand dribbling
If you have a hoop at home, it is easy for your child to practise shooting and free throws. However, if you do not, there are still ways that they can improve this skill from home. Remember, there’s more that goes into shooting than simply knowing how to get the ball into the hoop. Drills that focus on one’s shooting form, vertical jumps and shooting technique do not require a hoop and will significantly increase the level of your child’s performance.
- Instruct your kid to make an L shape with their arm. Then, with the basketball on the finger pad of their shooting hand, let them flip the ball into the air, flick their wrist and then catch the ball with that same hand. Allow your child to practise this in order to mimic the actual technique used to shoot. You can also use this same technique but against a wall; flick the ball onto a wall and catch it as it bounces back with the same hand.
- Jumping ability is a major advantage in basketball. It’s an indicator of the strength of a player and useful when battling for rebound or slam-dunking. Encourage your child to strengthen their leg and calf muscles in order to increase the height of their vertical leap.
You can always practice your child’s passing skills with them. However, parents or other persons aren’t always able to spend their time playing basketball. An easy way for your child to independently practise passing is by utilising a wall. During passing drills, your child should have spread fingers, feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent. Here are a few examples of how your child can utilise a wall to practise passing.
- Facing a wall about 2 metres away, let your child lift their hands up over their heads while holding the ball. Let them throw the ball and then catch it with their hands still over their heads. Allow them to do this repeatedly. It doesn’t only improve their passing technique, but it also strengthens their arms and shoulders.
- Using the same technique described above but at shoulder height, allow your child to throw the ball and catch it using one hand. Alternate between their left and right hands while instructing them to simultaneously move forward their corresponding foot.
- The most challenging lesson is to repeat the first lesson but this time, alternating between left and right hands. So, as your child throws with their right hand, they should catch with their left hand. Let them practice this repeatedly, ensuring that they keep their hands over their heads the entire time.
When the timeout is over, will you be ready to play like Stephen Curry? N1DP’s basketball shooting and training programs can help your child master their skills. We have brought together some of the most innovative basketball minds in Australia to turn your child into the next basketball star.
Do you want to join the N1DP family? Enquire today on 1300 33 N1DP.