Like many sports in the world basketball is a team sport. Basketball is one of the most popular sport in the US. Every amateur basketball player would dream to play in the NBA. If you were to compare this to football, every aspiring football player would want to play in Europe. That is where the best teams in the world are located and of course the pay cheque is very appealing. During the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, the Unites States of America formed the most impressive lineup ever in the history of basketball. They brought on the elites of the NBA to participate in the games. They had big names like:
David Robinson Patrick Ewing
Larry Bird Scottie Pippen
Michael Jordan Clyde Drexler
Karl Malone John Stockton
Chris Mullin Charles Barkley
Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr. Christian Laettner
If you know anything about basketball, you will know that those were the top guns at that time. They were called the dream team for a reason. There is no doubt it was a dream to put so much talent into a single team. Every other team during the Olympics just came to fight for the second position aka silver medal. The dream team cruise their way to Olympic gold and nobody was surprise. That was how great they were. They could have just handed them the gold medal without even playing a game and nobody would have been offended. This team was not the only popular formation in the history of the game. The Harlem Globetrotter also had a profound impact on the popularity of basketball. They put fun into the game and brought more people to the game.
With these in mind, where do you stand? The fact that you will never make it to the big time doesn't mean you can't be a better basket ball player. You shouldn't let that stop you from playing even when you feel that you have no one to play with. The beauty of the game is that you don't need that much space to practice. If you can get a ball and a basket, you are set. That is where the name comes from, basketball. Here are a few steps to become a better player.
Good Height: if you've paid enough attention to the popular players in basket ball history, there is a fact that cannot be denied. Short people don't make it into the NBA. If you are about 5 foot 10. You are short in NBA standards. There have been notable short players in the NBA. Height is not an issue but being at least 5 feet his very helpful. If you are too short, you might never know the joys of dunking. There have been good basketball players under 6 feet. They compensate for their height by being more agile and fast on their feet. You can learn from that, speed is not equal to being over six feet.
Running: You need to practice and learn to run at short burst. The basketball field is not like running a marathon. The fact that the court is short means you need to get from point A to B as quickly as possible. How do you improve? You need to practice running on a regular basis. If you set yourself the goal of running a few kilometers on a weekly basis, you will build up endurance that will be helpful during a basketball game. Your body will get used to longer distance and you will get less tired running shorter distance. That being said, you still need to practice sprinting. Basketball field is a court which means it is all about short burst of energy and combining running and sprinting will make you a better player.
Dribbling: Basketball is not always about running with the ball and shooting the ball into the basket. If you are playing against opponents, their aim will be stop you in your tracks. They will try to steal the ball away from you. That is where dribbling comes into play. You need to be able to keep your eyes on the ball, on your opponents, on your team mates and on the basket. Dribbling takes a lot of coordination. You will almost need to have eyes all over the place in order to be able to effectively dribble. Those who are masters at dribbling, tend to always be on the move. You need to learn to keep moving forward, backward, sideway and on the spot. At the same time, you need to keep bouncing the ball. Dribbling is combining sprint, agility and all the other techniques in order to be able to outwit your opponents and score. Dribbling also means you don't have to be selfish with the ball. You need to bounce off your team mates. Dribbling also implies passing the ball and being able to receive. Your anatomy is your friend when it comes to dribbling effectively during a basketball game. You have to learn to pass the ball within your legs and throw it behind you while letting your other hand direct the ball to your destination. If you've ever watched any of Michael Jordan's game, you will know that he is the master. This comes with time and consistent practice. Start by bouncing the ball up and down without look at it. Stay in one position and bounce the ball using both hands without looking at the ball or at your hands. Once you become comfortable with this, trying bouncing the ball with one hand while strolling along. Then, pick up the pace while still bouncing the ball. You have to try and achieve this without looking at your hand or at the ball. This should help you get a feel for what dribbling is all about.
Watching Game Reruns: Watching good basketball players is a good way to learn how to become a better basketball player. You can slow down the video and watch how they keep their eyes focus and on the basket whilst defending and maneuvering the ball.
Dunk: You could still be a good basketball player without being able to dunk. Dunking in other words is mostly about showing off. If you can, there is nothing stopping you. It adds a little bit of flair to your game but it is not that essential when it comes to being a better basketball player. It is analogous to the scissor kick in football. It looks good on camera and that is all there is to it.
Good Shoes: Sports can put strain on your feet. That is why thinking about your shoes is very important. You wouldn't think of playing basketball in high hills or in clogs. It doesn't mean you need to buy the most expensive sport shoe either. It just means you need something comfortable. Expensive shoes will not make you play like Michael Jordan. Don't believe the hype of the commercials.
Diet: Basketball is a sport and a good diet will contribute to your general health and make you fitter. If you get easily tired, you might need to look at what you eat and try to reduce fatty food. They might be tasty but they wouldn't make you a better basketball player.