Basketball Training Tips for Young Athletes


“The best way to improve the team is to improve yourself.”

– John Wooden

The Importance of Hard Work

The key to life’s success is hard work. Hard work is the backbone of success in any endeavor you want to tackle. Find positive influences in your life that will motivate and push you to achieve your ultimate greatness. Have a willingness to learn. It is too easy to shy away from challenges and try to take the easy way out. Learn from people who have been successful and understand what they did to achieve that greatness. And, lastly, train hard because YOU want to. Other people can push and motivate you, but ultimately, training hard should come from you. Let’s take a look at some basketball training tips that young athletes can take advantage of to help elevate their game to the next level.

Identifying Your Training Regiment

Before training can begin, it is essential to consider what goals you have in mind for the upcoming basketball season. One of the first goals that you have to set for yourself is setting up a training regiment. 

  • Properly Stretch
    • This should include actual basketball moves. Your stretching routine should consist of lunges, squats, high kicks, slow job, and end with sprints.
  • Building up Endurance
    • This can be done with long runs. Basketball requires a lot of running up and down the court for an extended period. Basketball players must build up their lung capacity to keep up with their competition. 
  • Skill Work
    • This should include dribbling a basketball up and down the court, switching hands, and maintaining a level of eye focus. Partner up with someone and shuffle up and down the court while bounce and chest passing. This works on proper footwork, coordination, and accurate passes on the move.

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

– Michael Jordan

Dribbling Tips

Dribbling a basketball may seem like one of the most natural parts of the game, but don’t be fooled by that notion. Dribbling takes a lot of practice and skill. It can easily set you apart from the rest of your competition.

One of the most important tips about dribbling is to create space for yourself. This space can allow you to change your direction, change your speed, and retreat while you are dribbling. Learning how to have solid ball control can allow you to dictate the pace of the game.

To create this kind of space, you need to have the confidence to control the ball. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when understanding how to dribble a basketball.

  • Relax your fingers across the ball. Your whole hand will cover as much of the ball as possible, but your fingers should be spread out and relaxed. Younger kids like to keep their fingers together, but when you spread your fingers, you have more control over the ball. 
  • Fingertips are your lifesavers. It is crucial not to palm the ball because it will result in slapping it down and up. The ball can certainly touch your palm but allow your fingertips to control the ball.
  • Stay low. Players should be taught early on to stay low to the ground. Their knees should be bent. Staying low keeps you explosive. When your defender tries to come low at you, you can speed right by them. Standing upright makes it much easier for defenders to steal the ball.
  • Push the ball into the ground. There needs to be some force as you dribble the ball up and down the court. Your elbow should be extended as you snap your wrist to push the ball towards the ground. If you are too casual, the ball will not remain in your hands safely without someone swatting at it.
  • Protect against defenders. While dribbling, use your non-dribbling arm for protection. It can help to shield them from the ball. The same can be said for using your body as a shield. Turn your back or shoulder towards your defender, making it more difficult for them to get around you.

“We don’t quit, we don’t cower, we don’t run. We endure and conquer.”


Shooting Tips

The final basketball training tip that we’ll explore today will be shooting. If you have ever watched an NBA basketball game, you will notice some of the different shooting styles the athletes use. Even though their techniques might be different, their forms tend to end in the same way before releasing the ball to the hoop. Let’s look at a few things to keep in mind as you train to shoot your basketball.

Balance Your Stance

It is imperative while you are training to shoot hoops that you make a conscious effort to get your body into a balanced position before shooting the ball. Feet should be shoulder-width apart while your knees are slightly bent. Once in this position, be sure to square up to the hoop.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

That prize is that glorious hoop! Your dribbling exercises will help teach you to keep your head up at all times. This will be helpful when you are ready to take your shot. You will be able to see if you have enough space to get the shot off and how you can square up to what you see.

Gripping the Ball Before the Shot

As you are ready to take your big shot, your fingers should be spread far enough apart to balance the ball in one hand (on your finger pads) while the other hand helps guide you along the way.

Smooth Delivery

When you are ready to shoot, your elbow should be right under the ball with your shooting hand in a direct line to the rim. The ball will always stay in front of your vision as your elbow and wrist expand in a straight line towards the hoop.

Follow Through

Your wrists need to remain relaxed as your fingers are pointed in the direction of the hoop. Your eyes should be able to see these fingers in the direction of the backboard.

Academy USA offers many programs to help take players to whole new levels. Take advantage of the Academy’s The Gun by Shoot-A-Way with its technologically advanced system that helps to improve players’ shooting percentage, technique, and overall needs. 

“I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.”

– Michael Jordan

Today’s YOUR Day

Basketball is a challenging but fantastic sport. There are so many components to the game that people can work on to get better. The best part of all—there is always something to work on every day. Develop a training routine that works for you and use that to work on your dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. When you have a full understanding of the mechanics of those game components, defense will be your next step to becoming the complete basketball player.