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Basketball Games are NOT Practice

I hear it all the time, players saying that they practiced basketball yesterday or over the weekend or when ever, and then when asked what they practiced, their response usually goes something like this, ” I had a game.” or “My team had practice.” Sure in the grand scheme of things, that can be considered practice.  Games and team practices give you the experience of playing and also the ability to learn team concepts.  However, games are in no way an arena for individual skill development.  And, unless your coach devotes time to skill development in your team practices, then they are not much help when it comes to building basketball skills either.  So, when I hear that players believe that games are like practicing, I usually laugh and then give them these two points (that I came across):

  1. On average, players dribble the basketball less than four minutes in a game.
  2. On average, players take around 6-12 shots a game.

Based on this information, there is no possible way to improve the skills of ball handling and shooting in a game alone.  In order to improve basketball skills, players must devote time, time and more time to that particular skill.  Skills are developed through consistent repetition. Consequently, to have a good jump shot, a player must shoot much more often than six times.  To be able to successfully dribble the basketball a player must handle the ball for more than a total of four minutes.  How do they accomplish this? Simply stated…practice.  Go out each and every day and work on your basketball skills.  Then apply those skills to the games that you play in, and when you make a mistake learn from it and adjust your next basketball skill workout accordingly.  This is how average basketball players become good and good basketball players become great.  They know that games are for experience but skills are developed through individual practices.

Elite Basketball Training offers a variety of basketball skill development training sessions for all ages.  We are currently based out of the New Jersey Sports Academy in Edison, NJ and will travel to your area for small group training and clinics.  Please contact me through this site for more information on how you can develop your basketball skills with Elite Basketball Training.  And remember to let us know your thoughts on this post or any post in the comment section below.

See you on the court!

Rich Stoner, USAW

Elite Basketball Training, LLC


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