How to Enhance Basketball Abilities off the Court

by Bill Brown, content editor of

Just like you have developed skills to thrive on the basketball court, there are many off-the-court aspects that you can embrace and take your career to greater heights. From working on your weak spots and improving your physical fitness, to eating healthy and continually learning, you can do so much off the court to enhance your basketball abilities.

That being said, this doesn’t mean you should discontinue your dedicated training program. Instead, these are only recommendations that, if followed correctly, will give you that little advantage of elevating your game.

outdoor hoop

Identify and work on your weak points

To become a complete player, you need to concentrate on improving your weakness. For instance, if you regularly struggle at the free-throw-line, set aside more time off-the-court to improve your free-throw percentage.

What about your passing skills? Are they top-notch? The ability to spot lanes and make a cheeky pass to your teammate considerably opens up your attacking arsenal. The good thing about passing is you only need a ball and a wall to practice.

Can you dribble with your non-dominant hand comfortably? If not, also devote some time off the court to brush up your ball handling with that hand.

In short, to become a good professional, you will need to identify and get rid of your weak spots so that you are well-rounded in every aspect of the game.

Improve your physical fitness and endurance

Basketball players need great endurance in order to give top performances during the game. Even if you learn all the basics of basketball but always struggle to keep up after every three minutes of play, then your dreams of becoming an elite player will just remain that — dreams.

To build endurance for the game, you need to lift weights to gain some muscles, perform sprint drills, and go on light runs daily. The endurance-building exercises will increase your stamina, and the added muscles will help you become a more resilient and aggressive player on the court.

Watch and study the best

Almost every professional basketball match ever played has been filmed. Although it may not often be easy to locate footage of a specific game, it is a bit easy to get game footage of a certain player. Given that you likely can’t afford private training lessons conducted by pros, you can learn much by watching them play. Ensure that you pause the video cyclically so that you can study every little piece of their movement. When you notice a player doing something that appears different and weird, don’t hesitate to replicate it into your game. Spend more time studying the techniques and movement of the very best players.

Even better, studying an unorthodox player would be really great. It’s a big advantage if you can do techniques that an opponent doesn’t expect. You might be taken aback at how many well-known and popular players use this little trick. The reason being; it’s likely to work against anyone. Even the most elite players in the world can be tricked if you use some techniques they have never seen before.

Try filming yourself

If you can study footage, you can as well make one. Pretty much any decent smartphone today has a camera that is quality enough for this purpose. Place it somewhere and film yourself practicing. Hopefully, since you have been watching some game footage from the professionals, you should have an easier time identifying your own mistakes. The whole idea is to study what the pros do and then compare your skills to theirs.

If you are fortunate to have a trainer or coach, it might also be helpful to show them the clip (video) and ask for advice about your movements.

Develop a healthy mentality

Mental fortitude and toughness are developed by repeatedly practicing every time you get a chance to do so. Of course, it is not always fun doing those drills after completing your official training program, but your game will, in due course, thank you for it.

Eat right and healthy

While almost everyone loves to feast on junk food, those wishing to better their basketball skills should stick to a healthy diet to give their game an edge. Read a book or two about dieting and nutrition, and slot in what you have learned into your training. A proper diet gives you strength and energy, which will show on the court.

outdoor basketball

Final thoughts

You may have realized that none of the above tips can be followed without dedication and hard work from you. But, if you follow these off-the-court recommendations and build upon the fundamental concepts that you have learned over time, there is no reason that you can’t reach the most elite levels of the game. All the best in your training!