How to Play a Smarter Basketball Game
Photo by Production Team

How to Play a Smarter Basketball Game

By Kaitlyn Fedor

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Being a good basketball player is more than just about athleticism. When you are typically thinking of a good player, you think of sharpshooters like Stephen Curry or athletes like Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, there is a lot more to their games than their ability to shoot or physicality. While you may understand that playing smart basketball and having a high basketball IQ is important, it’s something that’s not always practiced or focused on. Training your mental skills is an excellent way on how to get better at basketball.

Spending time training your mind to become a better basketball player can go a long way in improving your game. In the following, we’ll touch on several ways you can increase your Basketball IQ (BBIQ). Having an improved sense of BBIQ can help you play more efficiently and lead your team to more wins.

Become a Student of the Game

If you’re a true hooper, you definitely spend time watching the NBA. But, do you just watch, or are you studying the game? There’s a clear difference. Take notes the next time you watch an NBA game and take a look at the different plays and moves that players are making. It’s especially important to watch what players do when they’re off-the-ball. Most of the time, we concentrate on the dribbler who is handling the ball, and not everything that’s going on around them.

Also, don’t forget to pick out elite players that are known for exceptional skill at your position. If you’re a point guard, it’s probably a good idea to watch a game tape of legendary decisionmakers, like Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo. Skilled players like this always seem to pick out the right pass at the right time. By being mindful while you watch, you’ll be able to learn a lot more and even find yourself applying some of what you’ve learned in-game.

Resources, Resources, Resources

The internet is a beautiful thing. With a simple search on Google, you can come across some truly great basketball resources on learning how to become a smarter player. Bballbreakdown is an excellent Twitter and YouTube feed that breaks down fundamentals from NBA footage. Another good YouTube account to follow is PureSweat. PureSweat is a skills coach for numerous NBA players and showcases some of what is taught to some of the best players in the world. Here at HoopGroup, you can find a number of resources and basketball clinics available.

Learn From Others and Ask Questions

Don’t ever be afraid to ask any questions. You may notice some players on your team or even people you know that display an advanced basketball IQ. This often occurs with older players or adults. If you notice a teammate receiving a particularly large amount of praise for his play, pick their brain. Try asking them questions on what makes them such a good player and pay special attention to their decision-making process. This is what sets smart basketball players apart, you don’t need athleticism to excel on the court.