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10 Things to Teach your Child to Improve their Basketball Skills, Today!

Students in our academy (and parents) always ask me, "Coach, what can I do to improve my game (or my child's game)?" My first response is usually, have you been practicing the drills we did in practice/training on your own time? If the answer is 'no,' then I'll quickly recap some fundamental drills (targeting areas of weakness for the student asking), and try to teach them some ways they can practice on their own.


A good coach not only tells you what to do but also shows you how to do it, a great coach will show what to do and empower you to add progressions as you continue to improve.


If the answer is 'yes,' then I'll usually show some challenging progressions that the student can work towards, or direct them to useful resources.

Speaking of useful resources... I have added 10 crucial game-changing basketball tips in this blog post! You'll notice a lot of what you read is psychological - believe it or not, psychology of the game is just as, if not more important than your physical ability when it comes to basketball!

We'll discuss sport psychology in more detail in a future post.

In the meantime, here are your 10 tips courtesy of ZOR Basketball Academy. Make sure you read through all of them and subscribe to our mailing list to receive your own copy.

If you want to receive a full FREE PDF document of the '10 things' listed below, SUBSCRIBE to our mailing list (scroll to bottom of your browser) !


1. Your Game-day Mantra Should Be, “SHOOT! DON’T THINK”

You should focus your shooting mechanics during practice NOT during games. During practice you should hone in on your form, and other shooting skills. Once you have honed in on these skills, your muscle memory slowly start to take over, and you will remove overthinking about shooting. Remember: Practice and perfect your form for shots during practice, not games.


Failure is not fatal! Do not be afraid of failing! Michael Jordan once said, “I've never been afraid to fail." Did you know professional basketball players miss more than half of the time? Do not be scared of missing your shots. The energy put into becoming scared, will cause you to tense up and that will affect your game performance.


Stay focused and stay determined!

Have you been in the zone before? When all of your shots were made with no effort and being on the court was just plain fun.

When you are in The Zone everything else doesn’t matter. So, make it a priority to be in the Zone when you are playing in games. Un-clutter your mind, and get into the mental space of optimal focus. Prioritize items on your to-do list before your game, so you don’t need to think of it during game time.


Relax your mind so that your body is as relaxed as much as it can possibly be. Your shooting will be lethal when your mind is more relaxed.

Taking a moment to relax before a game really pays off.


Using a coloured basketball during practice, will help improve the trajectory of your shot. The coloured ball will help you see the direction of the ball and way the ball rotates. Being able to see these will aid in correcting your shot pretty quickly.


Negative thoughts will impact your game! You must actively work towards eliminating negative thoughts. Once you eliminate negative, you have the ability to drastically boost your shot percentage!

Here’s a trick to help eliminate those negative thoughts. Before game-time whisper to yourself, “I don’t care if I make any of my shots today!” Whisper it to yourself a couple times and psych yourself into believing your words. Repeat your words as you are going up for your shots.

This process helps you to clear your mind of bad thoughts and relax. This tip will help you from getting too down on yourself, and maintain your confidence no matter the game-time situation.

7. Find Your Arc Optimization

Did you know a shot with a flat 45 degree shot has 5 times more of a chance of clearing the hoop than a flat 35 degree arc?! Making sure that the arc of your shot has perfect degree will decrease your margin of error!

8. Youtube Game Footage

Viewing the game footage of your favourite ball players over and over will help you see the form of excellent shooters. You can pick up tips of how to improve your confidence and form.

The pros have already perfected their technique. Watching their form will give you ideas of technique to incorporate in your game.

9. Shoot 50 Shots Before all Games

Take 50 easy shots before all of your practice and games. The repetitive motion of taking this amount of shots will help correct your shooting form, and increase confidence. You will become better and better at these shots with every session. This is a very effective drill that all of the pros do!


In order to become good at anything (especially basketball) you have to put THAT work in. The more hours you put into practice, the better your results. Becoming a better player does not happen instantly. You have to work hard every day, to get to achieve your level of skill and fitness. There is no secret to your overall basketball improvement. It is the outcome of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.


Done? Ok, good! Now start applying these tips in your daily routine and basketball training. Also, don't ask me to pick a favourite tip because, honestly, I can't! They are all VERY helpful tips!

Until next time #ZORFam

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