Why is Basketball So Hard? | Find Out


Basketball is a multi-facet sport in which it involves many skills needed to perform a single movement to score a basket. I have played many sports and none of them in my opinion were as hard as the game of basketball to be effective and good at the sport.

Why is basketball so hard? Basketball is hard because it involves the whole body to perform many movements at once while completing the desired skills on the court. Balance, agility, and coordination all work together along with the fundamental skills of basketball. Many hours of practice and repetition are needed to be proficient in performing the necessary skills to score a single basket in the game of basketball. Performing the right decisions on the court also adds to the difficulty of the sport.

Basketball is very unforgiving, you could practice day in and day out and perform poorly when it matters most, that is just the way the game is. While on the flip side when a basketball player stops playing for a few weeks they can see a major decline in their game from taking a break. It goes to show working on skill development must be done every 24 to 48 to improve and still, that won’t guarantee success but that’s where it starts.

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Is Basketball Hard to Learn?

Basketball is not hard to learn the rules of the game, it could be explained in less than 5 minutes. But performing the fundamental skills in the game while following the rules as a beginner can be very difficult. But with a good coach and practice, this can be achieved.

Here are just a few whole-body skills that a basketball player needs to develop:

  • Running forward and backward
  • Change of pace and directions
  • Jump stops
  • Pivoting and footwork
  • Moving without the ball
  • Jumping and sprinting
  • Lateral shuffle.

The great thing about developing skills in basketball in this day and age is the unlimited resources on the internet to help you do so. The problem comes when players are unsure where to start or what they need to do in order to learn to play the game to get better. They may jump from one skill to the other, without giving it sufficient time and practice.

Some coaches, writers, and even companies have a tendency to over-complicate basketball. While introducing new techniques, movements, and new gimmicks, this can really confuse players who haven’t even tapped into a piece of their natural potential.

For example, If you don’t have the necessary strength or power to shoot with proper form behind the free-throw line, you shouldn’t be shooting any further until you become proficient inside the free-throw line. At this point, You need to continue to work on the fundamentals until you have built the confidence needed and are able to perform that skill consistently. Then if you need a tool that could further help then by all means use one. That’s not to say all tools are bad, I think we believe that a tool is a magic device that will guarantee results if we use it. ( Tools I mean shooting aids etc.)

Basketball doesn’t need to be complicated, keep the game simple. You will see slow and steady progress throughout practice and training, which is completely normal. If basketball was easy there would be no NBA, nobody would play it and it wouldn’t be a sport.

Is Basketball Hard to Get Good At?

Some players have natural talent and athletic ability that any sport they touch they excel at, many of these players are in the NBA. As an average athlete who plays the game of basketball, yes basketball is very difficult to get good at. You have to play every single day for hours a day, you need to practice, practice, and practice some more. You really need to love playing the game or you will burn out quickly which can leave you being disappointed at your own progress.

To put things in perspective I was not the most athletic player in regard to being able to jump high and run faster compared to other basketball players. But I was a good athlete in regards I could play multiple sports and hold my own. With basketball, I spent a whole summer trying to get better for my senior year of high school by improving my game. The said practice regimen I used? It was nothing special or complicated. I shot 300 shots before going to play pickup basketball all day at the YMCA and then I would come home and shoot another 300 shots, usually those 300 shots in the evening were shots I missed in the pickup games. I rinsed and repeated that process every day, all summer.

After the summer, my shot was “WET” so to speak. I had my own competition come up to me and ask me what I did, I just shrugged and said practice. I hit a few game-winners that year put up career-high numbers and even scoring 44 points in a single game going 19 for 23 from the field. Rinse, repeat, it’s simple.

Why is Shooting a Basketball So Hard?

Shooting a basketball and making a basket on a consistent basis may be the hardest skill in the game. You are never shooting the ball from the same spot on the court all while having to adjust to the many variables the game throws at you, from the defense to the shot clock, to even how you receive a pass when you are ready to shoot.

You rarely shoot the same shot in a game, think about it how often are shooting the same shot twice. You may shoot from the same spot but the defense may be closing in with a hand up, or you are now shooting on the opposite side of the hoop because it’s the second half.

Many players just don’t understand that just like a golf swing or the swing of a baseball bat professional athletes are constantly working on their form. Players like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have perfect form, the form that works for them in which they perfected over and over again with all the shot mechanics completely in sync. Rarely is their shooting form ever off, even when Steph Curry is shooting from halfcourt it looks the same as when he shoots it from the three-point line. They do not stop practicing form, that may be a secret in itself to becoming an elite shooter. Are you practicing perfect form?

Why am I so Bad at Basketball?

You practice you play and you practice some more and you feel like you are not getting any better at basketball. This leads to frustration, low confidence, and you are just not having fun playing anymore. Who can blame you, lets be honest, nothing is fun if you’re no good at it.

But I am here to tell you don’t be so hard on yourself. Growing up I played a lot of sports and excelled at many always being one of the best on the teams I played on. But basketball was very different and I played a lot of it. The game as we know is very technical and difficult to bring all the necessary skills together to perform a skill such as putting the basketball into the hoop.

It took me a lot of shots to become a good shooter and a heck of a lot more to be a great shooter, I knew I had to be obsessed with getting better if I wanted to improve. We are talking about hours and years of practice here. Hard work and consistency is key. Going through scoring slumps and wanting to quit because nothing feels like its going right, happens regularly, you get passed it and you become mentally tougher each time.

Again don’t be so hard on yourself, really ask yourself this one question. Have I been doing all that I can to get better? If you are just going through the motions and not trying to perfect shooting form and fundamental skills along with actually putting in quality practice time in skill development, well you may need to rethink how you are using your time.

I discussed in my last article how too much pickup basketball might not be helping your game overall. I talked about how if you played 2 hours a day 5 days a week of pickup basketball you may think you are improving your game when in actuality you are only shooting a small amount of shoot through the week. (Maybe 500 shots). What is needed to improve your game or any skill? It is all about volume and repetition day in and day out.  We’re talking up to 500 shots a day. You can check out the article by clicking here.

Advice to Get Better

The most important thing for you as an athlete is to have fun, don’t forget that, when something isn’t fun we tend to put less effort and energy into it. My advice is to continue to play a lot of basketball but be conscious of how much your playing in relation to working on skill development. Try to put a lot of repetition in every fundamental skill you want to improve at. If you want to work on a move, master that move until you are able to perform the move without thinking on the court. It becomes natural and fluid on the court during a game.

I like to use the one move a week where you practice the move repeatedly non stop if your playing every day that week it should feel somewhat natural by the end of the week. While still, that is only an introduction to that move you still need consistent practice to keep it sharp in your bag of tricks.

Do try and look up videos on youtube about moving without the ball, and other helpful concepts about basketball to boost your IQ. This alone will make you a better player without having to play the game, you can apply certain things right away from memory. That’s it, I hope that helps.

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