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Find indoor and outdoor basketball courts at gyms, parks, public spaces, and sports centers.
Basketball shoes are sold in many different stores. Be sure to get fitted with a good pair. A sporting goods store will have all the basketball equipment you need. You can shop for basketballs, hoops, shoes and basketball apparel.
Outdoor basketball courts are great for practicing on your own or for finding a pickup game. Parks and public spaces usually have numerous basketball courts that are easily accessible and also well maintained.
Most large gyms and health clubs have indoor basketball courts. Practice on your own or see if there is a basketball league you can join. Community centers and YMCAs also offer indoor basketball courts.
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You can practice free throws on your own for hours. Since there really is no good excuse for missing a free throw, you'll want to know the best tips for completing more throws. First, create a ritual that what works for you; for example, bouncing the ball three times before a spin with four knee bends, or mouthing something to yourself like Karl Malone used to do. Whatever works for you, figure it out, and repeat it each time. Muscle memory is very powerful, so use it to your advantage. Second, visualize in your mind and mentally rehearse what you are about to do. Third, believe and know you can do it. Like Nike says, "Just Do It." Lastly, celebrate; smile, feel enthusiastic, and give a teammate a high-five. Feeling good about your accomplishments will go a long way.
Playing a basketball game is a lot more fun than playing by yourself. If you want to find a pickup basketball game or join a basketball league, check with your local health club or gym and see what they offer. Often, you don't even have to be a member of that gym in order to join their basketball league. Also, check with your work establishment. Many corporations have employee pickup games. Some corporations even compete in basketball tournaments with like-minded businesses. You could also just stop by a nearby basketball court, see who is there and ask if you can join a game. Either way, you will probably make some new friends, have some laughs, and get a really good workout with all the jumping, running, shooting and passing you'll be doing. Make sure you warm-up and stretch before you start playing, so you don't sprain an ankle or pull a muscle.
Individual skills like footwork, dribbling and free throws are important for any young basketball player to practice. Some skills, like dribbling, you can practice on your own. To pracitce dribbling, spend some time alone with the ball on a relatively flat surface. Be patient with yourself when practicing dribbling. Although you may need to look at the ball the first few times you dribble it, you'll want to take your eyes off of the ball and learn to dribble well by feeling it and “seeing” it with your fingertips. A properly inflated ball will bounce up to 75 percent of the height from which it was dropped. To dribble, push the ball down by spreading your fingers and flexing your wrist. Keep your back neutral and knees bent to be ready for quick moves. Practice dribbling with both hands in order to improve your offensive skills.
Basketball players run, jump, shoot and run again as long as they are in the game or in practice. They need to be conditioned for endurance as well as for quick sprints in order to bolt down the court and take the easy shot. Jumping rope, doing long runs (3 miles or more) and short runs with intervals will benefit a player's cardio strength and allow them to focus on their skills during the game, instead of focusing on how tired they are. Cardio training is one of the easiest ways to make yourself a better player. You should take time for a cardio workout 4-5 days, each week.
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