Skills that will get you ready for basketball season

Do you want to know the skills it takes to improve your game? Read on to learn more.

Jonathan Barreto, Editor

Basketball is one of the most popular sports worldwide; the sport has difficult competitions at every level because of its growing popularity. Approximately 3.5 percent of high school basketball players end up playing at the college level and 0.02 percent play at the professional level. Many players aren’t ready for try-outs due to minimal preparation, low discipline or poor physical shape. Whatever the situation may be, here are some skills that an athlete must have to make their team.



A must-have skill to play basketball and be on the team is discipline. Many don’t understand what this means, but a perfect example is if a player is 6 feet 8 inches tall and plays center, practicing a step-back three shot won’t translate to their game because the majority of the time, their scoring is in the paint. The beauty of basketball is it’s creativity, so get creative; set a boundary in which you know that you will use in a game/practice.


Knowing how to hustle is a very important skill for all players to have because it’s used in every position, at every level. Hustling is chasing for rebounds, playing hard defense, running up the court and so much more, it’s basically “the dirty work” that no one wants to do, but it wins games. Hustling helps someone look like an excellent player and creates an aura around the basketball court that can intimidate the opposing players. In order to do this, you build on your discipline and maintain a healthy state in which you’re athletic. NBA players such as Russel Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, Draymond Green and Dennis Rodman are well known for their hustling skills.

Three man weave

The “Three-Man-Weave” is a basic drill in which three players sprint up the basketball court while passing the ball to one of the others and cutting behind them. The drill ends in a layup or playing two on one. The “Three-Man-Weave” is used at every level of basketball from recreation, AAU, high school and college.

For more information on how to run the “Three man weave” watch this video

How to Run a Three Man Weave


Proper shooting form

Not having a proper shooting form is equivalent to showing up to a wedding in sweatpants: it’s not acceptable and people will look at you weirdly if you do. Always work on having a proper form. The universal technique for shooting, is one hand behind the ball and another on the side leading it. Klay Thompson, Ray Allen and Steve Kerr are great players to watch when learning the proper shooting form.

In this image, you see perfect form. The basketball is above the shooter’s head, there is one arm catapulting the basketball and the arm other arm leading.


Be in shape

Many believe that basketball is a game that is all skill and no athleticism: this is completely false. There are some outlier players, such as Nikola Jokic and Dirk Nowitzki, that aren’t that athletic, but still play excellent basketball. Besides a few exceptions, almost all NBA players are in very good shape. Being in shape doesn’t mean being strong and big, but having good endurance, balance and speed because all these factors lead to efficient scoring and keeping up with this fast paced game. In fact, the average basketball player runs about two miles or more per game. Once in shape, a player can keep up with the game, play more confidently and are less likely to be injured.


Play confidently

The most important skill in any sport is confidence: mental toughness will help you thrive in any environment. My freshman year of basketball I played with a lot of hustle and discipline, but lacked confidence which led me to taking less shots and passes that I knew I could’ve done. I always thought “what if I don’t make it,” and this led to me making more mistakes instead. It’s okay to make mistakes if you learn from them, some even say confidence and mental toughness is everything in sports.  “In reality, sport is 100 percent mental. Our thoughts influence our actions and our actions influence our thoughts,” states “This never-ending cycle often leads athletes and coaches to attribute poor performance in practice and competition to thinking too much.”


Communication glues the basketball team together; having communication will build trust with each team member. When teammates talk to each other during a game, it leads to more efficient scoring because everyone is on the same page and looking out for each other. Call for the ball if you are open and point to other players that are open, when you do this, you act as an extra set of eyes which helps your point guard envision more plays. You can build up great communication with your teammates by simply being friends and talking outside of practice, when any of your teammates mess up, instead of criticizing them, you should encourage them.


In conclusion, all of these skills besides knowing the three-man weave and having proper shooting form will help you be a better athlete in all sports. Study the game of basketball, all of these capabilities takes time to learn. Patience is key when becoming a versatile player in basketball.