Skip to content Skip to footer

Hoops To Heights: The Best 19 Tips To Improve In Basketball and Life

Imagine being able to out-sprint a high major Division I basketball recruit over 30 meters. Or keeping an overseas professional guard, whose moves appear to be happening at 1.5x speed, in front of you for multiple slides on defense.

For someone like you who isn’t blessed with top-level genetics, you might think obtaining that level of athletic ability is impossible. However, when you consistently apply intelligent training principles and strategies, you will close the gap between you and elite athletes and find your way to compete against them.

Continue reading if you’re ready to learn 25 strategies to help you maximize on your athletic potential!

1. Develop a Training Plan

Look, I know you want to make it to a high level playing basketball. College for sure, and possibly even pro. That’s going to require you to not only take care of your body, but to improve upon the body you’ve been given and developed so far.

To improve your body, you need a plan. A well developed plan ensures you get from point A to point B in the quickest amount of time with the least amount of setbacks. A plan takes out a lot of the guesswork around whether or not you’ll get results and allows you to focus on executing the plan. An athletic muscle building plan with hundreds of positive reviews is what got me from 163 lbs to 179 lbs in 5 weeks. So whether you get a plan from a coach or develop your own, you need a plan.

I highly recommend buying a plan from a coach.

2. Train with a Coach or Mentor

The reason I’m telling you to use a plan from a reputable coach or train in person with a coach is because good coaches guarantee better results, quicker.

Any questions you have when it comes to training, whether that’s skill training, mental training, or physical training – there are coaches out there who’ve already developed answers to those questions. They’ve helped hundreds or even thousands of athletes in similar situations to you – and they’ll be able to help you too.

In your generation, the concept of being a lone wolf has become glorified, sexier than ever. Here’s the thing you don’t get told enough – the lone wolf doesn’t eat better than the pack. The results you can achieve with a great support system and team are far beyond anything you will achieve entirely alone.

Find someone you can trust and place your faith in them.

Allow yourself to be led by someone worthy of leading you.

3. Become Consistent

Listen. Without consistency, it won’t matter how great the coach and trainers you work with are or how incredibly effective the program you’re doing is – you won’t get the results you want. In order to get results from training, you HAVE to be consistent. If you’re going to play in college and play in the pros, you can’t miss workouts. Bar being exceptionally sick and unable to move, from this point forward you shouldn’t be missing workouts. Especially since you’re not a genetic freak. You’re starting behind some of the athletes you’re going to be competing against. So you especially cannot afford to miss workouts.

Consistency is going to be one your super weapons that levels the playing field against those guys more talented then you are.

Now, the hardest part about consistency is not talking about being consistent – it’s consistently taking the right actions. You have already heard millions of times that you need to be consistent. So how do you get consistent if you’re not already being consistent?

Well, there are likely psychological and emotional barriers you have to being consistent. As a human being, we almost never act out of alignment with our beliefs and values. So if you think you want this basketball thing bad enough but you’re not being consistent – look within. Do you really want to succeed with basketball or do you just like how it sounds? Do you want the lifestyle of a basketball athlete, good and bad? Or just the best parts of it?

Once you understand what you truly desire and what your values are, it will be simple to align your actions with your goals.

4. Set Goals and Consistently Track Your Progress

I mentioned this topic before in the training plan section, but goal setting is important enough to deserve its own section.

If you want to get better at anything, you have to find a way to measure the relevant metrics. If you want to build muscle, you need to know how much muscle you’re starting off with AND have a way to measure your muscle mass so you can know for certain that you’re improving. It’s not enough to work towards building muscle and then because you never measured your starting point you’re not sure if your program is working. That’s dumb.

So you need to set goals and have ways to mark their progress. But how do you set goals in ways that you actually achieve them? Because everyone who sets goals doesn’t get close to achieving them. It’s only those who set goals AND have actions aligned to those goals who end up achieving those goals. So for every goal you have, you must have defined actions that go along with them.

When I made my goal to get from 163 lbs up to 180 lbs, I had already purchased a muscle building program. I knew the workouts I was going to be doing 4x per week and I knew a minimum for how many calories I was going to be eating plus how much protein I needed. Since my actions tied to my goal were clearly defined and I tracked my weight every day I went to the gym, reaching my goal happened even faster than I ever imagined.

5. Rest. Rest. Rest.

I know I’ve been talking a lot about the importance of having a plan, being consistent, and never missing a workout again. So let me make this clear so you don’t get confused. Resting is NOT the same as skipping a workout.

Recovery is equally as important as training is. They are two halves to the same whole. You can’t get bigger muscles without recovery. You won’t sprint faster without recover. You won’t stay healthy without recovery. So you need to prioritize recovery.

If you’re not finding yourself able to to prioritize recovery, ask yourself this question. If I know recovery is going to help me get the results I’m looking for, why am I not allowing myself to recover? Once again, there are likely psychological and emotional barriers that are preventing you from taking the actions you need to take.

Yes, you know recovery is important. But you may also be afraid of the chaos that exists within you internally, and so you would rather stay busy than have to sit still, do nothing, and have emotional issues you’ve been trying to avoid pop up. Or, maybe you’re afraid of uncertainty. You’re afraid of certain outcomes, so you work exceptionally hard to avoid those outcomes only to work so hard that you actually make those outcomes you’re working to avoid more likely to happen.

6. Train With A Partner and In Small Groups

I understand you may like the idea of training alone. Hell, I love training alone. Both my skills training sessions and personal training sessions I enjoy doing alone.

However – as an athlete that’s going to be competing against other athletes, you need to mix in some training in small groups or with a partner. There are certain skills that develop quicker and develop to higher levels if you’re actually competing against someone.

For instance, if you only train your speed with sprints by yourself, you will not develop your speed to the level you would if you were racing other athletes. Racing someone faster than you will have a profound effect on your adaptation to sprint training and that level of adrenaline is not something you can recreate on your own.

So make sure you spend enough time training with athletes who are better than you at the specific skill you’re trying to improve.

7. Learn To Honor Your Commitments

If you’re going to succeed as a collegiate and professional athlete, and more importantly if you’re going to succeed as a man in this world, you MUST learn to master this skill. You must learn to honor your commitments.

Honoring your commitments creates trust and also ensures that you get the results you’re looking for. Commitments are a part of consistency. Your motivation is going to waver. You’re going to have many days where you don’t feel up to training, where your body is sore, when you and your partner are in the midst of another fight and you’re emotionally drained. You still have to find a way to show up and get the job done.

The skill off honoring your commitments is both difficult and essential. You must learn to not allow your emotions to dictate your actions. Your commitments and values should dictate your actions. If you commit to becoming a professional athlete and earning a living playing basketball, you have to honor that commitment every day. You have to show up to all your workouts, study film, eat nutritious meals, and recover well regardless of how you’re feeling that day. Some days will be good, some days will be alright, and others will downright suck.

It doesn’t matter. If you make a commitment, you do what needs to be done. Your future wife and children will be grateful that you began mastering this skill at a young age.

8. Customize Training to Who You Are and What You Need

I’ve been telling you in numerous ways how important having a training plan is. What’s equally as important is making sure your training plan is customized to your needs.

You’ve likely heard the phrase “there’s a thousand ways to skin a cat.” What that phrase means is that there are tons of methods that work for getting a desired result. The same is true with training. So make sure the training method you choose is both effective AND enjoyable for you to do. If you don’t find a way to create some enjoyment of training, you will eventually stop. Once you stop, you immediately start falling behind your competition and it becomes more challenging than ever to get started again.

Finding an enjoyable training method that fits your goals and your unique personality needs is crucial.

9. Prioritize Sleep

Sleep is not sexy.

But I have to stress to you just how important getting quality sleep is to preventing injuries, jumping higher, sprinting faster, and shooting higher percentages.

Sleep literally improves all areas of your life.

But getting good sleep is not as easy as it sounds.

It’s simple, but not easy.

There are numerous areas, such as ensuring your sleeping temp is between 67 and 69 degrees, the room you sleep in is pitch black, and limiting electronic use to 30 minutes before bed that will all help you improve the quality of your sleep. In addition to getting at least 8 hours.

Another aspect of getting good sleep is beginning to understand why you might not sleep when you know you need to. Again, there are going to be psychological and emotional reasons for why you would choose to stay away when you know you need sleep. Are you unable to shut down your brain due to overthinking? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to yourself during the day so you need to make up that time at night and don’t want to lose it sleeping? Perhaps you use night to connect with your loved ones and you’d prefer to do that over getting rest.

You need to begin understanding why you do what you do so that you can effectively change behaviors which are no longer serving your current life.

10. Start Working Smarter

Have you ever heard of Pareto’s Principle? No?

Well, listen up.

In every category of life, whether business, sports, clothing, etc. there is a decidedly uneven distribution of inputs to outputs. That is to say: a very small percentage of what you do is going to give you a very large percentage of the results you’re looking for. This trend has been observed by researchers in every field.

A few examples: 85% of your outfits likely come from less than 20% of the clothes you wear. 90% of your points from pull up jump shots may come from left hand drives. 10% of your customer base may provide you with 80% of your profits.

So if most of your results are going to come from a small percentage of your actions – why would you focus the same amount of effort to less effective areas as you would more effective areas?

If you’re going to score 95% of your floaters with your right hand, would it make more sense to spend 50% of your training on your right hand and 50 percent on your left hand or to spend 90 percent of your training on your right hand floaters and 10 percent on your left?

One of the great myths of our world is that hard work alone is enough to get outstanding results. If you want to make outstanding income, for example, hard work isn’t enough. Some of the hardest workers in our world are poor as hell. Cleaning services, janitors, teachers, etc. You will meet some of the hardest working people in the world in these areas BUT the fields they work in have no leverage. So they aren’t able to create income because they aren’t applying their hard work to areas that provide large amounts of monetary value in exchange for that labor.

So don’t just work hard.

Work hard on the skills that will provide the results you’re looking for.

11. Develop Mental Toughness

Developing mental toughness is crucial for embracing challenges, maintaining a positive mindset, and coping with adversity in sports performance. You can build resilience and foster continuous improvement by cultivating a growth mindset and learning to manage adversity. Setting goals, visualizing success, and creating a plan to reach those goals can help you develop mental toughness and stay focused on your objectives.

Additionally, engaging in mindfulness and self-awareness practices can help you gain insight into your emotions and reactions to various circumstances, allowing you to control your emotions better and perform at your best.

12. Cross-Train

In this day and age, sport specific training has gotten ridiculously popular. I’m sure you see all types of videos on your IG and Tik Tok about making sure what you’re doing in the weight room and with your athletic training is directly related to your sport.

Well, that’s actually bullshit. Your skill training should be focused on your sport. Through skill training and playing your sport in practices and games, you will develop all the athleticism you need specific to your sport. What your athletic training should focus on is the development of general athletic qualities. For example, steeper shin angles during acceleration so you accelerate faster. Once you increase this quality on it’s own and you return to working on dribbling, you will begin transferring over that new athletic ability to your basketball movement.

One of the best ways to develop greater athletic qualities and experience less injuries is to train with multiple sports.

Do you need faster hand eye coordination? Play baseball. Do you need to be quicker in short spurts? Play tennis. Need better footwork? Play soccer.

Playing multiple sports will increase your movement vocabulary, giving you more options to use during basketball and you can also intentionally select certain sports to train to increase specific athletic characteristics.

13. Mentally Prepare for Success

Mental preparation is vital to your success. As an hooper who is going to often be disadvantaged when it comes to athleticism, one of your biggest assets is your mind. Where natural athletes have an advantage with their physical gifts, you need to create that same level of separation with your mental skillset.

You should utilize tools like visualization, meditation, and journaling to prepare your mind for success on the court. You need to develop mental skills that allow you to deal with the chaos of the game. The screaming crowds, the lights, the expectations of yourself and your coach. All the sensations you experience during basketball become heightened during an event and the mentally skillful have a huge advantage in successfully navigating those challenges.

14. Prioritize Your Nutrition

Nutrition is easy for you to overlook. I know that right now you can get away with pretty much eating whatever you want and still performing relatively well. The reality is that the higher your quality of nutrition, the higher your level of performance will be. Consistency of performance and quality performance.

One of the roadblocks you’re going to have is that nutrition is more complex than it’s made out to be and there are going to be reasons you aren’t eating well that are individual to you. For instance, one of the ways my father copes with stress is by eating more. When he is feeling lonely or overwhelmed by life, he will start eating pies and ice cream far more often than usual. Throughout his life this pattern of coping with stress led to massive fluctuations of weight, especially during winter months as he experienced a sort of seasonal depression during colder months.

For you, you may have a similar issue to my dad. Or something completely different. However, if you’re not eating the way you want to then you need to understand why so you can treat the root cause of the issue.

15. Embrace Failure and Mistakes

Failure cannot be avoided.

You hear me?

Failure cannot be avoided. So spending time thinking about to how avoid mistakes and be perfect is a waste of your time. You won’t get to where you want to get to.

The best athletes in the world are the ones who identify how they want to play, and don’t change the way they play when they make mistakes. If you train to be a great shooter, you shoot open shots. Even if you miss 8 in a row, if the next shot is open, you shoot it. A great player continues to shoot to make even when they missed. A good player just shoots and hopes they make it. A bad player doesn’t shoot even when they’re open if they’ve missed a few shots.

You have to become mentally resilient. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to fail.

That’s when the real games begin. The athletes that bounce back the quickest from mistakes, focus on what they need to do in the present, and continue to do what needs to be done regardless of what’s happened previously are the ones that have the advantage in competition.

16. Focus On Your Basketball Skills

The biggest gap between you and players who are better than you are your skills. Make no doubt about that.

The ultimate skill of basketball is decision making. When to shoot. When to pass. When to dribble. What type of shot to shoot. What type of dribble to use. What type of pass to use. Everything starts with making a strong decision, then being able to execute on that decision.

The best players are better than you at some, most, or all of these skills. You have to close that gap. So make no mistake – at least 90 percent of your time should be spent developing your basketball skills.

Athletic training is important. Mental training is also important. But if you’re athletic and mentally strong, but your skills aren’t on the level to be able to compete with collegiate and professional players – you won’t be a college player or a pro. It’s the simple.

Work on your game the most.

17. Control Your Emotions

Emotions are easy to feel and challenging to control. So long as you continue to allow your emotions to control your decision making, you’re going to continue to make mistakes that could be easily corrected.

Reacting emotionally after you’ve missed a few shots, after your teammate lets a ball slip through their hands, or after you make mistake are all a waste of your energy.

As I mentioned to you earlier, mistakes are as much a part of performance as are successes. So you can’t give your best if you’re constantly emotionally overreacting to your mistakes and then allowing your frustration, anger, disappointment to influence towards making more mistakes.

Never too high, never too low. In order to develop this quality, you have to practice feeling your emotions WITHOUT acting on them.

If you feel frustrated, acknowledge that frustration. Then don’t act on it. Don’t kick the ball across the court. Don’t hack the person you’re guarding because you felt you should have gotten a foul call on the other end. The less you can react emotionally, the more you can have control over making the best decision available.

18. Utilize Technology in Your Training

When used right, technology can be a huge advantage for you in your training. You know now that you have to be measuring your progress towards your goals, and technology can make that process simple.

If you want to sprint faster over 20 meters, you need to be measuring your current 20 meter speed and then continually measure your speed each time you’re training.

If you want to get great sleep, you’ll want to track your sleep so you know both how many hours you’re actually sleeping and quality of that sleep.

Technology is your friend, so use it to your benefit.

19. Wear Gear That Makes You Feel Good

You’ve heard the saying, “Look good, feel good, play good.”

Some people think that’s bullshit. And it might be. But for others that’s real. Wearing a shoe that doesn’t fit properly or slows you down because of how much it weighs is going to affect your play. You need to be comfortable in what you’re wearing.

For me I don’t play well in shoes that aren’t low top. I need the freedom for my ankle to move to feel my quickest. The same is true for shoes with grip. If my shoe doesn’t have enough grip, my defensive and offensive play style is affected.

So make sure you’re choosing gear that helps you perform better rather than makes you feel uncomfortable.

Leveraging technology can greatly enhance sports performance training. Fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, and training apps can help you monitor your progress, set goals, and optimize your training. By tracking data such as heart rate, speed, and distance, you can identify improvement areas and set future performance goals.

Utilizing technology in your training can keep you motivated, accountable, and on track to reach your athletic goals.


Now you should have a better understanding of how to develop the emotional, psychological, and physical skills you need to improve as an athlete. This journey is not going to be easy and reading through this article is only the beginning. Only if you begin to apply the tips you read about here will you end up making progress. If all you do is read through this article, nod your head, and then continue the same actions you’ve been doing up to this point – you’ll stay the same. Start using the resources that are available to you and become the athlete that you have the potential to be.


  • Mike T
    Posted September 8, 2023 at 3:03 am

    Fantastic read!! This was very helpful!!

  • Emilie
    Posted November 2, 2023 at 6:32 am

    Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this
    your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  • Pitroda Satyan
    Posted November 30, 2023 at 1:12 pm


    Am glad to connect with you, My name is Pitroda Satyan G, am an investment consultant with KANZ ALSHAMS PROJECT CONSULTANT, I have been mandated by the company to source for investment opportunities and companies seeking for funding, business loans, for its project(s). Do you have any investment or project that is seeking for capital to fund it?

    Our Investments financing focus is on:

    Seed Capital, Early-Stage, Start-Up Ventures, , Brokerage, Private Finance, Renewable Energy Project, Commercial Real Estate, Blockchain, Technology, Telecommunication, Infrastructure, Agriculture, Animal Breeding, Hospitality, Healthcare, Oil/Gas/Refinery. Application reserved for business executives and companies with proven business records in search of funding for expansion or forcapital investments..

    Kindly contact me for further details.

    await your return e.mail soonest.


    Dr. Pitroda Satyan G

    Address: 72469 Jahra Road Shuwaikh Industrial
    Tel: +968 7866 9578

Leave a comment