Pre-season training

Pre-season training for basketball is a time of year where players are working on their skills and getting back into shape. They might be doing drills, practicing shooting, or just running sprints to get ready for the season. This blog post will give you some ideas about what you can do to prepare yourself for your upcoming season! You’ll find out how to train effectively. All players must have an idea of what they need so they can start prepping now as well as stay healthy throughout the season! In this article, we’ll cover everything from stretching exercises to strength training exercises. We hope these tips help you have a successful season!

Identify your weak areas

Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Are you a big man who can finish under the rim but has trouble making plays in the open court? Are you money from the three-point line but have trouble with your mid-range shot? Can you get to the hoop, make the shot and the foul but have a low free throw percentage?

These are the questions you should be asking yourself? Identifying your weaknesses and improving on them will help you become a more well-rounded player. You’ll be able to use these weaknesses when playing against an opponent with superior footwork, strength or speed.

Reaching your potential

If you’re not sure what you can work on to reach your full potential, take some time to think about it. You might ask yourself what you need help with at practice or in games to become a better player. Once you know this, it’s time to find drills or exercises that can help improve your game.

There are many different resources out there for players of all levels including our training page. There are also plenty of books and articles about basketball that can give you ideas about what you need to do to improve your skills.

Return to the basketball basics

The preseason is the time to go back to the basics.  Review the offensive and defensive fundamentals that you worked on in the offseason. Make sure you are getting plenty of repetitions in practice. Play in a summer league or play pick-up games at the park. Invite your teammates to run with you to help build the chemistry that will carry on into the season.

Things to think about on offense

Offensively, work on setting good screens, catching and shooting, making good passes, and dribbling with control.  Be sure to get plenty of reps in making your layups.

Things to think about on offense

Defensively, emphasize footwork, sliding and rotating, closing out on shooters, and rebounding.

Drill, Drill, and Drill

Now that you know what areas to work on, it’s time to put in the reps! You cannot become a better player unless you practice. Make sure to do your drills every day and make them part of your routine. Here are some ideas for drills:


Dribble with your left hand, then your right hand. Try doing crossover drills and figure eights.  Repeat drills until you can dribble without looking at the ball.

Dribbling the length of the court makes a change of direction near the foul line then take it strong to the hoop finishing with a layup or a dunk. Retrieve the ball then take off toward the other end of the court repeating the same thing with your other hand. Not only is this an excellent conditioning drill but will help you become comfortable with running the open court.

It’s good to be able to dribble with both hands because then you’ll always have a way of getting out of trouble.


Start by shooting the ball at a stationary hoop. Once you make a certain percentage of shots at that distance, move back and shoot from a greater distance.  Try making a certain number of shots in a row from each spot.

Key tips to shooting a basketball

There are a few things that you need to do before you shoot the ball. First, make sure that you have a good stance. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your knees should be bent. You should also have your arms out in front of you.

Second, you need to make sure that you are using the correct hand. Your shooting hand should be on the ball, and your guide hand should be on the side of the ball.

Third, you need to hold the ball especially. You should hold the ball so that your index and middle fingers are on one side of the ball, and your thumb is on the other side of the ball.

Fourth, you need to bring the basketball up to shoot it. Bring it above your head while keeping it at shoulder height. Then you want to step forward with your shooting leg and extend your arm. Finally, you want to release the ball at the top of your jump.

See our featured article The art of shooting

If you want to improve your shooting, getting a shooting coach is the way to go. There are plenty of great shooters who are willing to help players of all skill levels improve their shots. You can usually find these coaches at your local gym or even online.

Once you’ve found a coach, be sure to set up a plan with them. They need to know exactly what you are looking to improve so they can help you develop those skills. You should be able to work on your shot every day, even if it’s just for 30 minutes at a time.

You need to put in the time and effort to improve! If you have the opportunity to work with a shooting coach, do not pass upon it. You’ll be amazed by how much your shot improves!


Work on your passing accuracy by throwing the ball through a hoop or at a target. Try different types of passes, such as bounce passes, chest passes, and over-the-head passes.

You can also try passing the ball while you are in the air. This is a difficult skill to master, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Especially if you realize you don’t have a layup but have drawn a double team leaving your teammate wide open under the basket.

It’s also important to keep your passes low so that your teammate can easily control the ball. If you are passing the ball too high, the receiving player will have a harder time holding on to the ball, and a high pass gives a defender more time to steal the pass.

On the other hand, don’t pass the ball too low or you could cause your teammate to have to bend over very far which puts them in a vulnerable position.

Basketball passing drills

10 repetitions of each drill for a total of 100 passes. You can pass with your left hand, right hand, bounce pass, and chest pass. In the triangle drill, make 10 consecutive bounce passes from one spot to another.


Practice grabbing rebounds by jumping up and putting your hands straight up in the air. Then, while staying in this position, grab the ball and pull it towards you so that it doesn’t get away from you when you land on the ground. Bring your elbows up to protect the ball

You should also practice boxing out your opponent to give yourself a better chance of grabbing rebounds. When you box out, make sure to keep your feet wide apart and your back straight. This will help you stay in control of your opponent and make it harder for them to get around you.


Stay low, nimble, and don’t reach for the ball. Instead of reaching for the ball, try to get in front of your opponent and anticipate where he is going to go with the ball.

Focus on your opponent’s hips. The hips are the first clue that an opponent is planning to change directions. You must have a keen eye to notice but the hips tend to be an earlier indicator of your opponent’s intentions than say watching the shoulders.

Do not overcommit. If you are too far out of position, your opponent may be able to dribble right past you.

Both your hands must be up at all times. Even when you are jumping up for the rebound or contesting a shot on the perimeter, keep your hands up so if there is a loose ball, you can deflect the pass.

Distribute your weight evenly between both legs. If you are too far on one leg, it will make it easier for an opponent to push you off balance and force a steal. In addition, be sure to bend your knees as this will make it harder for opponents to knock you off of your feet and give you more leverage to push back.

Off ball movements and basketball IQ

There are numerous ways to move around the ball, each being designed for a specific situation.

Cut to the basket. This cut is sometimes called a “rip” since you want to go past your defender in a straight line at full speed with your arms in the air. Once you are past them, immediately pick up your pace and move towards the basket to get open for an easy layup or dunk.

Remember speed is important but positioning is a more important component to think about when it comes to off-ball movements.

The most effective way is to look at the flight of the ball and know where it’s going. What area of the court the defender has given up. The spot that you want to give your teammate open access to with a quick pass. After recognizing this, move fast towards that location and cut across as soon as possible…preferably early enough so that no defender is in front of you.

Get your body in shape for the season

Stay healthy

One thing that players don’t think about is staying healthy during pre-season training for basketball. What they don’t realize is that if they are injured, then they have no chance of becoming a better basketball player.

Being in good shape prevents players from being injured and keeps them from getting sick. You can’t shoot if you don’t have a healthy body! Get into the best shape of your life.

Build up your endurance

Get in shape – do cardio exercises like running or biking to build stamina. Lots of players can jump high and shoot well but they lack the endurance to play the entire game. If you want to be good, then you should focus on completing your pre-season training instead of screwing around with other sports or activities that will not help your basketball game.

Build your agility

Healthy players are agile, nimble players. They can push off quickly to drive past defenders and change direction in the blink of an eye. It’s all about being quick so you have to be tough enough to train your body properly or else you will get injured easily.

Build your strength

Having great strength is extremely important for basketball – not only will a strong body be more resistant to injury – you will also be able to push opponents around and get open for shots. You don’t need to become a weight lifter, but you should do some basic exercises like squats, lunges, and calf raises that will help you increase your strength.

See our featured article Basketball Conditioning

Increase your flexibility by stretching regularly

Stretching is very important when it comes to basketball because you need to be nimble and flexible when you are on the court. If your flexibility is good, then you will be able to move your body in all directions without any problems.

In addition, stretching helps to prevent injuries. Make sure that you stretch before and after each practice or game.

Suffering from a lack of flexibility can be detrimental to your game so make sure that you stretch every day.


Eat healthy food that will give you energy during games  – avoid sugary foods that will make you crash afterward!

Make sure to eat healthy by eating breakfast every morning before your workout. This will help keep your body running all day long.

Don’t overtrain

On the other hand, don’t overdo it. Basketball is a very physical sport and you don’t want to wear yourself out before the season even starts. You’ll also increase your chances of getting injured if you’re not careful. Make sure to take breaks in between your training sessions.

Pre-season basketball training is extremely important if you want to improve your game. By following the tips listed in this article, you will be on your way to becoming a better player. Remember to focus on building up your endurance, strength, agility, and flexibility – these are the key. Identify your weaknesses and return to your basketball basics.


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