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How to Practice Basketball Using Your Imagination and an Imaginary Ball

How to Practice Basketball Using Your Imagination and an Imaginary Ball

I have seen younger players try to practice on ten feet hoops that were too high for them with large basketballs and attempt all sorts of incorrect techniques to compensate. I have seen players shot put the ball, reach way back and throw it up, and even catch the ball falling backwards.

I have even seen this with older players as well. The ball gets in the way sometimes. That is why I have asked players to practice fundamentals without a basketball.

All they need is their imagination, a correct picture of how it should be done, and be able to visualize the technique. Here's an example.

To shoot an imaginary basketball, spread your hands the width of what the ball would be. Place your shooting hand under the ball, spread your fingers and make believe you are controlling it with your finger tips. Have your elbow under your shooting hand and make a right angle. Guide the ball with your other hand.

Remember, there is no ball! But the form is correct. Now, spread your feet shoulder length, get your shooting foot slightly forward (right foot if right handed, left foot if left handed). Bend your knees, press off your toes, and follow through. Now, last but most importantly, see the ball go in in your mind's eye!

You can use this method with passing, catching, foul shooting, making offensive moves with or without the imaginary dribble. It's fun and really makes you focus on the right technique. Please look at some of the diagrams below of imaginary activities.

Make up your own and when you are done, compare your form to a good shooters actual form.

How to Practice Basketbal Using Your Imagination and an Imaginary Ball

Darian is working on her imaginary jump shot, reaching for the rim, following thru, and being square facing the hoop. Her concentration is key.

How to Practice Basketball Using Your Imagination and an Imaginary Ball

Darian is working on her overhead skip pass, an important weapon against zones. These passes skip across the zone to the open player. Her hands are on the side of the ball and her thumbs are behind the ball, as she snaps the pass. It is important to fake first and step to the receiver.

How to Practice Basketball Using Your Imagination and an Imaginary Ball

Another important pass you can practice correct form with is the chest pass.  With an invisible ball, Darian has her hands on the side of the ball and thumbs behind the ball.  She will fake, then step towards the receiver.  Her hands will go outward and thumbs down.

How to Practice Basketball Using Your Imagination and an Imaginary Ball

Here is a sequence of Darien's foul shooting technique. Notice her outstanding form as she practices ready position, release, and follow thru-but without the ball!



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