How to watch a basketball game to develop
as a player
October 6th, 2014 By COACH RAY SMITH
Watching basketball live, on television or on the Internet, can be a HUGE help in enhancing
your basketball IQ, skills and understanding of the game. This can also be a prime way to
develop without being inside of a gym. Some of the best basketball players improved their
game tremendously from watching and adding the skills of successful players they studied.
Here are a few tidbits to help you get the most out of watching games.
If you play on the perimeter:
- Watch how good guards change speeds to create separation from a defender with and
without the ball
- Notice the different reads ball handlers make when using ball screens
- Pay attention to moves guards use to get by guys when they have yet to dribble
- Focus on how shooters read their defender when using off ball screens
- See how the shot fake is used to get a defender off balance
- Pay attention to how guards feed the post and how/where they move after the pass
- Take note of how defenders move their feet, get over screens, contest shots
- Observe different one and two foot finishes guards use to successfully score in the
- See how inside players gain low post position. This includes how he/she uses their
lower body to seal a defender ind the "hand fights" used to clear space for post feeds.
In addition, pay attention to how close to the hoop good back to the basket players post
up, both in half court and when running in transition
- Notice where post players relocate (move to) when team mates penetrate into the lane
- Check out the patience good post players have when catching the ball on the low block
- Study the footwork used by players when they face the basket from the mid/high post
- Look at the spots on the floor post players get to for rebounds when a shot goes up
- Observe how the low post is defended in addition to the various ways the post player
guards the ball handler in pick and roll situations
Again, from the 5th grade CYO player to the fourth year pro ball player, mostly everyone can
learn something valuable from watching basketball. Instead of paying so much attention to
highlights( dunks, fancy moves, etc.) notice the less flashy parts of the game in addition to the
moves used by skilled ball players.
Remember, it's a simple game!