If there’s one sport that’s quite popular in Los Angeles, it’s that of basketball. The city is home to the Los Angeles Lakers who have more title banners than nearly every other NBA franchise. For that matter, the city is big enough that it’s also home to the Clippers, one of only two cities to have more than one NBA franchise. The sport is also quite popular on the streets as well, as thousands of citizens play it in their driveways or in public parks and school gyms. Keep reading to learn a few things about how to play this sport better if you live here or will soon and want to make some friends.
Look forward when you dribble the ball, holding your head up. If you look right at the ball, then you aren’t comfortable or confident with your dribbling just yet. If you are new to the sport, dribble a ball anywhere and everywhere you can, even if just walking to the store. When you have to concentrate on the ball, you’re not paying attention to what’s happening on the court.
Ironically, if you want to be a better passer, then you have to do that instead of dribbling. No team can play without some dribbling, but when everyone passes more, they’ll get better at doing that. Just think of how Magic Johnson found the right balance between both to be one of the best point guards of all time.
Don’t hit the weights too much if you want a great jump shot. Muscle strength is useful in any position on a team, but having too much can hurt your range. Biceps that get too big can hurt your three-point percentage. Kobe Bryant had to watch this dramatically in his career.
Something that is also useful in shooting is good footwork. That’s particularly true if you post up. You need to beat out your defender to open shots. Once you get a good position, hold it. You’ll get more balance in doing so, which is very effective on wooden courts. On possibly cracked or uneven surfaces like playground courts, it’s crucial.
If you play organized basketball that involves free throws, make sure you use the same routine every time. Whether you involve body motions or dribbles, have a consistent routine. Eventually, muscle memory will take over and make the shot more often than not.
If you’ve gotten good at dribbling with your dominant hand, start dribbling only with your weaker hand. It gives your opponents a lot more to deal with if you can dribble with either hand. Another great drill to do is seeing if you can get down the whole court in less than half a dozen dribbles. That makes fast breaks a lot more possible.
You might not get the chance to play professionally in the Staples Center while Jack Nicholson is watching from the front row, but you can get plenty of exercise and time with friends under the common L.A. sun. You might even get good enough to earn a scholarship that pays for some of your education.