Tips To Improve Your Offensive Game
In order to be an effective offensive player at any level, you must have a firm grasp on a couple incredibly important traits. They might not always be flashy or popular things, which often means it goes overlooked, but they are absolute fundamentals for any aspiring athlete. No matter how big, fast, or strong you are, you won’t be able to out run, dunk, and dribble everybody and these details will help you build an overall more well-rounded game.
Take CoachUp’s tips with you to practices and games from here on out, you’ll most definitely see an improvement in your game over time. For most situations and scenarios, it isn’t the flashiest or the strongest player that gets the most playing time, but instead the most fundamentally sound. Remember, you can always get better!
Practice Your Shot
Work with your shooting form, starting with your feet to get a firm foundation. Learn to shoot with your fingertips and get good rotation on your shot. No matter your age, 'shoot' the basketball and don't just chuck it or aim! Practice, practice, practice -- the more it’s reactionary and instinctual than purposeful math, the better.
To perfect your shooting technique, practice shots within just a few feet of the basket, then gradually increase your distance from the basket to the wing, to the elbow, etc. Practice lay-ups with proper form from both sides of the basket as well. Don't forget about free-throws, either! In games and practice, don't be afraid to look for shooting opportunities, but don't force bad shots.
(Related: Read about improving your shot here.)
Become A Good Dribbler + Ball-Handler
Dribbling and ball-handling are fundamental skills for almost any offensive move with the ball. Practice dribbling drills and moves for at least fifteen minutes every day.
(Related: Read about your ball-handling skills here.)
Learn the Triple-Threat Position
The triple-threat position is so incredibly important for keeping your defender on their toes. A viable triple-threat will have you pivoting to face your defender to have the option of shooting, passing or dribbling. You control the defender, so don't limit your options by holding the ball in just one spot.
Be A Good Passer
Bad passing and turnovers will destroy a team faster than anything absolutely anything else. Make crisp bounce passes as they are harder to intercept. Avoid long cross-court passes unless your teammate is wide open and it fits your offensive scheme. Give your teammate a good pass so they can easily catch and transition into the triple-threat position.
(Related: Read about the point guard position and their responsibilities here.)
The keys to better court awareness can be broken down to three main points! Always know where the ball is, keep your head on a swivel, and never, ever turn your back on the ball. This means paying attention at all times, staying weary of back-door cuts, possible passes, or broken plays to take advantage of. Learn find an open areas on the floor for easy, high-percentage shots.
Go Hard For The Offensive Rebound
Many easy baskets are scored on second and third chances, so stay at it no matter what. Get in the habit of following your own shot as well. Many times, if your shot is too short or hard, it will come off the rim right back towards you. Depending on the style of play your team has, you may attack rebounds more often than others, but weak side rebounds are often there for the taking. Again, you might be surprised to find out that those hard-working players will find the floor more often than those more technically skilled.
(Related: Read about becoming a beast on the glass here.)
Get The Ball Down The Floor Quickly
Fast-break whenever possible to beat the defense down the court, but play under control at all times. At all costs, avoid turning the ball over! Obviously, you can’t score if you don’t have the ball, so don’t be afraid to slow it down and get into your half-court set if that feels more appropriate. Remember, you must be quick, but never hurry.
(Related: Read about running the fast break here.)
Avoid Too Much Dribbling
Too much dribbling allows the defense time to reset -- quick passing and cutting is the key to smooth offensive basketball. When you receive a pass, consider not immediately dribbling, but instead going into the triple threat -- it will make you a much more tougher assignment. Coach John Wooden told his players to end their dribble with either a pass or a shot -- which may seem odd, but it’s actually incredibly sound advice. Don't stop your dribble until you can do either of those things.
(Related: Read about improving your weak hand here.)
Move Without The Ball
Don't stand still, set picks, make cuts through the paint, and go back-door on your defender. Too often, teams will play a very ball-dominant player and, typically, his teammates will end up watching him more than they’ll play. The style of offense you run may dictate some of this, but you should never stay in one spot on the floor for more than a couple of seconds because it allows the defense to guard you with little effort.
(Related: Read about moving without the ball here.)
In the end, these aren’t every trait that you need to focus on during your training -- no, in fact, this is just an incredibly small sampling. But, we’ve given you a couple ideas for each to build off of -- if you find yourself further interested, check out the related reads under each section. Those specific articles will go into deeper detail than we’ve done here, so we strongly recommend checking those out.
However, if you’re still struggling with some of this, consider booking one of CoachUp’s private trainers to help you out. Our team’s advanced knowledge and expertise will help you get out of any bind, drama, and last-second situation with confidence -- so what are you waiting for?