Driving in basketball is a player’s attempt to dribble the ball past the defense and score. This skill requires a lot of practice, and getting to the hoop faster is another challenge.
However hard this skill can be learned easily with the right approach and constant practice. It will also be helpful to know your opponent’s skill.
We will guide you through some tips and tricks on driving in basketball; we will also provide steps to get to the hoop faster. This part of basketball can be severe, but you will be able to do it with continuous practice.
How to Drive in Basketball
Imagine a basketball court filled with five players trying to stop you from making a shot. With that being said, it is obvious that you cannot always make shots from one particular spot, and you need to move or get closer to the hoop for a better shot at winning. The following tips should help you drive well in basketball.
1. Improve your skills
If you are good at using one move but weak using the others, you should work on your techniques. If your opponent knows that your skills are limited, they don’t have to worry about you making a different move. Developing your skills also earns you respect from your opponent.
2. Be unpredictable
Like in any other game, a good player has to be unreadable and regularly surprise their opponent. If you know how to shoot and drive as an offense, your opponent will not see what’s coming their way.
This goes hand in hand with developing your skills. Learning more will make you unpredictable to your opponent; they’ll never see what’s coming next.
3. A swift first step
Sports is all about being fast. The faster you react when you have the ball in your hands, the higher your scoring chances are.
A great example is this; you are trying to drive to the hoop, but you react slowly.
This gives your opponent the chance to steal the ball from you, but if you can make a shift first step, you might make it to the hoop passing the defender.
4. Trick steps
It can get difficult to take a shot when your opponent crowds you; that is why you need trick steps. However, these trick steps can end badly with you missing a shot or your opponent stealing the ball, but this happens only when you execute this step poorly.
An excellent example of a trick step is the euro step. This involves making a defender think you will attack right, but then you move on to the left side. Below is the video showing the Best of Eurosteps.
5. The long step
A lot of coaches tell their players to use a long first step, and well, we have all seen that end badly. Using a long step will make you slow and lose balance.
To avoid this, a good piece of advice to follow is to position your leg at a 90-degree angle. If you position your leg at an angle less than 90 degrees, you lose balance during the game.
The best time to use a long step is during a drive and on your way to the hoop.
6. Speed dribbling
When watching a basketball game, you notice some players bouncing the ball low to the ground with speed. They do this to exercise their forearm and wrist and handle the ball better with speed.
Having speed is necessary for basketball, but what is even more important is handling a ball well when using speed; you can do this; it only takes some practice.
High dribbles make the ball slow, so for effective driving, be sure to lower the ball a little to the ground and dribble with speed.
You also need to have control; this comes in handy when you are close to the hoop and want to make a shot in the presence of the defenders. Here is a video showing you how to speed dribble.
7. Shoulder and hip
It’s not always a good thing to spread out your height. You should aim for a position that directly targets the defender’s hip.
This is technique is not to fall them down but to prevent them from getting their hands on the ball.
This whole process involves getting low and attacking your opponent’s hips using your shoulder when you drive.
If you are scared of contact, you should probably learn not to avoid it, as contact is necessary for basketball.
8. Be flexible
It will be helpful to be physically flexible, but in this case, we are not referring to that type of flexibility. It is essential to be mentally flexible.
This means you should have options and not rely on only one strategy. You should plan for whatever happens in a game; this skill gives you an upper hand in the game.
When To Drive
Now that we have seen the basic tips on how to drive in basketball, it is important to know when to drive.
When driving, you are offered the opportunity to take a shot very close to the hoop, but that shot is tough to make. You have to consider that other players are willing to prevent that shot.
When it’s time to make the shot, any small mistake can cost you and your team; that is why your move needs to be accurate.
A small mistake while driving can earn your team a foul instead of earning the other team a foul; your opponents can also steal the ball when your drive is executed poorly. Below are some situations that will help you determine the best time to drive.
1. Tight defense
When the defense is tight, you are allowed to drive. This is because the closer you get to the defender, their goal diverts from defending to trying to steal the ball from you. When this happens, you can create an opening and go for it.
If you decide to drive, there is no turning back for you. There can be a few changes here and there with your strategy, but you shouldn’t crouch down. If you do, then maybe driving isn’t for you.
Your confidence builds your determination, and your determination is all you need to make a drive.
Trick Steps to Get to the Hoop Faster
If you don’t have a plan, you might end up being stuck far away from the hoop throughout the game. Getting to the hoop faster depends on your court speed; here are some steps to help you improve your speed and get to the hoop faster.
Step 1: Improve Your Strength
There is a difference between growing big muscles and growing strong muscles. Growing strong muscles supports you and helps improve your speed, so you shouldn’t take all that gym time for granted.
Some fundamental exercises to help you build your strength include; squats, calf raises, upper body exercises using dumbbells, crunches, etc.
Step 2: work on acceleration
This is the ability to increase your velocity. When athletes sprint, they increase their speed at some point, which is no different in basketball.
To learn how to improve your acceleration, you need to figure out how to position your body at a 45-degree angle before accelerating and using proper arm action while sprinting.
You should also learn how to accelerate from a stationary position as it is equally important.
Step 3: Deceleration is important
A simple example that describes this step is a car. When you drive a car so fast without brakes, it pretty much spells disaster.
The same goes for a basketball player; when you sprint with so much speed, and you don’t know how to decelerate, you will end up losing control and missing your shot; in some cases, you can even end up with an injury.
Deceleration is the most important aspect of basketball speed training. A basketball player should learn how to run with speed, jump, slow down, and reaccelerate; with these qualities, you should adapt to any situation on time.
Conclusion: How To Drive In Basketball
A basketball game in your yard can get competitive, and it’s only right that you step up your game. To drive in basketball, you need to improve your skills, be unpredictable, male a swift first step, make trick steps, don’t always take long steps, dribble with speed, use your shoulder, and be flexible.
You must know when to drive; you have to take the small opening and make a shot. Getting closer to the hoop is all about your speed, so here are some tips to get to the basketball hoop faster includes, building your strength, improving your acceleration, and knowing when to decelerate. With all these tips, steps, and guides, you should drive and get close to the hoop.
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We trust this article helped you know How To Drive In Basketball. You may also want to check out: How To Install a Basketball Hoop on A Garage Wall or House?
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