Basketball Training Mistakes To Avoid

Basketball training mistakes will cost basketball players great disappointment knowing that there entire off-season efforts have resulted in very little improvement, if any improvement at all.  Whether your preparing to move up from the junior varsity to the varsity team, your in your senior year of high school looking to attract college scouts or your already playing college ball and looking to take a larger role on the team, you must avoid certain training habits in order to see the fruits of your off-season efforts flourish.

Lack of Focus

At the end of the season a player must sit down and reflect on the entire season as a whole and make a list of the top 3 – 5 skills they want to focus on improving.  A lot of players have good intentions and want to improve on every aspect of there game which is fine but one must make sure there desires to improve is backed by a strategy and system to help them get from where they are to where they want to be.

NBA Basketball Training

Not Developing the Mentality of a Champion

At the end of the day the player who is more mentally tough will succeed.  You must develop habits of success beginning with your mind as well as your body.

Know Your Weaknesses and Know Your Strengths

It’s critical to allocate more time during the off-season on your weaknesses.  During the off-season I recommend breaking down your game and workouts into categories.  Remember the off-season is when you take your strength and conditioning to the next level as during the pre-season your basketball coach will allocate more basketball specific drills.

  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Vertical Jump and Explosiveness
  • Footwork, Speed, Agility and Defense
  • Shooting
  • Dribbling
  • Ball-Handling
  • Passing
  • Game Situation Moves (Post Moves & Perimeter Moves)
Not Having a Realistic Basketball Training System
This is especially true with high school players.  Many players make this basketball training mistake without realizing.   They spend there entire off-season just playing pick up games at the park or gym and think there getting better.  This is completely false especially when playing pick-up against weaker competition and picking up lazy basketball habits because there playing against scrubs or weekend warriors.  You have to focus on developing winning habits and improve your strength, conditioning, and basketball skills. To give you an example, if you had 10 workouts a week you may consider 1 – 2 workouts as pick-up games.  Focus on improving your game, not just playing pick up games.
Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect, Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.
Initially do your moves slow right rather than fast and sloppy.  Once you feel comfortable with your form, begin to work on game moves at game speed during your training sessions.  This is true to both perimeter players working on full-court dribbling moves as well as big-men working on there post moves.
Avoid Basketball Training Mistakes


Develop Your Basketball Fundamental Training Regimen

Prepare for success by emphasizing the fundamentals:

As a basketball player it is critical to improve in all aspects of your game and during the off-season it’s a common and legitimate strategy to turn your weaknesses into strengths.  Sometimes in our search to turn our weaknesses into strengths we lose an edge in our basketball fundamentals.  It’s critical to remember “Practice doesn’t make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect” (John Wooden).

Breaking Down Your Basketball Fundamental Training Regimen into Categories:


You can be the most physically fit person in the world but if your mental outlook is questionable and you don’t believe in your abilities you will always be limited and your opponent will expose your weaknesses with ease.  When you believe in your ability to succeed and improve in all you do, your attitude, body language and game will reflect this and you will be a force to be wreakoned with on and off the basketball court.

Refer to one of the most influential books of all time in helping improve your mentality in order to help you succeed in reaching your desired goals.

Think and Grow Rich (Napolean Hill)

Think and Grow Rich Illustrated (Comic Version) is also a great resource that allows for a more visual form of learning.

5 Habits Of A Champion

1 – A burning desire to succeed.

2 – Discipline to work on improving yourself even when you don’t feel like it.

3 – Learning a system to improve…. Taking action and implementing what you learned…  Getting positive results… Sharing what you learned with your team mates.

4 – Supreme focus and the ability to concentrate so intensely that when your able to workout in a gym alone as if there is ten thousand people watching you and your able to play in a gym with ten thousand people watching you as if your alone.

5 – Conquering the fear of failure.  You must be willing to fail so you can reach the highest peaks of success.  As they say, if you don’t try you won’t fail, but you won’t succeed either.

Physical Conditioning

Footwork – Footwork is categorized by speed, quickness, explosiveness and agility.  All factors of footwork are critical and by far the most influential segment of basketball because every aspect of the game both with and without the ball requires proper execution of footwork.

Basketball Fundamental Skill Work – One of the all-time great basketball players “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s DVD Collection focuses on both the fundamentals and advanced fundamentals of dribbling, ball-handling, shooting and passing.  This timeless DVD collection is a critical part of any real basketball players library.

Game Situation Drills

I remember back in the days when I was playing basketball for one of the best High School Basketball teams in New York in the late 90′s one of the biggest mistakes I made in the summer of my sophmore year prior to Varsity tryouts was practicing in a non-chalant fashion.  There was very little game situation drills and the competition I was playing against at the parks was questionable.  The competition wasn’t bad in the sense that everyone played hard and physical but it was bad because their was a lot of poor habits being repeated.  Such as one-on-one basketball with the emphasis on too much dribbling, poor ball movement, no sense of urgency as a weak side defender as the main priority was on the ball defense.

In order to get you from where you are to where you want to be on the basketball court YOU MUST LEARN FROM ONE OF THE GREAT BASKETBALL TRAINERS OF OUR ERA.  Ganon Baker is one of the best at teaching the fundamentals as well as the creative fundamentals in a way that will allow you to translate those skills to the game.  Check out this video of Ganon at work…