A Beginner s Guide to Getting Into Basketball And Becoming a Pro

Are you looking to get into the sport of basketball, but unsure as to where you should start? Maybe you’re trying out for the freshman team at your local high school. Perhaps you’re interested in playing with friends down the street.

Whatever the case might be, it’s not as hard to get into as it might seem. While basketball has several individual aspects to it (such as dribbling and shooting), they’re easy to succeed at with repetition.

Here is how to get into basketball and develop your skillset. Be sure to take each step in stride to witness your skills grow each day.

  1. Have the Right Equipment

One of the most intriguing aspects of basketball is the level of fashion that’s within the sport these days. People who’ve never picked up a basketball in their life will walk down the street wearing the newest Jordan shoes.

Fortunately, basketball doesn’t require as much equipment to play as some other sports. All that you need are basketball shoes, a basketball, and a hoop to shoot the basketball into.

For shoes, you’ll want to make sure and wear something with high-tops. With all the different cuts in basketball, you’ll want a shoe that can give your ankle a bit more support.

There are many great shoe brands to choose from such as Jordan, Adidas, and Nike. Some of them can get pretty expensive depending on the model, but you’ll want to stick with something low-key to start.

  1. Set Goals for Yourself

You might think that you need to practice a while to see how good you get before setting any goals. However, that’s a huge misconception that people have these days.

Here’s a trick to remember: with the right amount of practice, there’s no limit to how good you can get on the basketball court. Setting goals before you start to practice will help you realize the level of practice it will take to achieve it.

These goals can be anything that you want them to be. Maybe you’re wanting to make the varsity team at your high school. Perhaps you want to receive a college scholarship to play basketball. Maybe you even want to make it to the NBA.

There’s nothing wrong with having lofty dreams. Take whatever goals you think you have, and make them even loftier. Then set out to achieve them one by one!

  1. Dribble and Condition

Too many kids nowadays focus on only shooting the ball, not improving upon the basic fundamentals of the game. Yes, shooting is an important fundamental, but you’ll never get an open shot by standing in one place. You’ll be the easiest person to guard.

An open shot happens by dribbling around defenders or moving off-ball to create an opening for yourself. Whether you have the ball or not, it takes proper footwork and conditioning to achieve that.

To start, be sure to improve your dribbling by getting in your stance and timing yourself for one minute straight, dribbling with one hand. When that minute is up, switch to the next hand and do the same thing. Do this for 5 straight minutes each day.

For conditioning, you’ll want to do a lot of short and quick movements. Try looking up some basketball workouts on Youtube that you can do at home. After all, you’ll have to pass that sports physical if you want to try out for your high school team!

  1. Improve Your Shooting

The task to improve your shot is overwhelming for a lot of beginners. However, as long as you take the right approach each day, it will become like second nature to you.

Start each shooting session by setting yourself up under the basket and banking the ball off the backboard, as you will for layups. Once you take ten shots, take two steps back, and do the same thing there. 

Do this again and again (ten shots, then two steps back) until you hit the three-point line. After your ten shots at the three-point line, go to the other side of the basket and do the same thing.

Once you’ve done it on that side, head to the free-throw line, and take fifty shots from your stance. Be sure to watch proper free-throw shooting mechanics on Youtube to perfect your shot.

As you improve your shooting, you can start to challenge yourself to make more and more shots before moving on to the next spot in your routine.

  1. Play Pick-Up with Friends

There’s nothing like the real thing. No matter how long you’ve been practicing your dribbling, footwork, and shooting, you need to play pick-up games to improve.

This is where you’ll learn how to communicate with teammates, play defense, getting in position up and down the court, etc. You can also try things like setting screens, give-and-go plays, and more!

If you don’t have friends that play basketball, go to the local park and play pick-up with the players you find. It can be 1-on-1, 2-on-2, or however many show up, playing each will teach you more about the fundamentals of basketball.

How to Get Into Basketball: Time and Effort

Now that you’ve seen how to get into basketball and improve your skills, it’s time for you to start!

Be sure to study each position you might think you want to play. Doing things like watching how-to videos and game film on certain NBA players can help you model your game.

Make sure to browse our website for more articles on basketball, as well as many other helpful topics!

Marcelo Villa

About Marcelo Villa

Marcelo is an associate editor at The Sports Daily, and has covered the San Diego Chargers for Bleacher Report. He also writes for Sportsdirect Inc.