Becoming the best basketball player you can be should be your top priority if you want to succeed in this game. While that statement may seem simple at first, the truth is that most players don’t really understand what skills are necessary to become better.
Many players perfect street ball dribbling moves without giving proper respect to mastering the basics. If you are focused on getting better at the game of basketball, then it is imperative that you spend the vast majority of your practice time (>90%) becoming an expert at the fundamentals of basketball. These include shooting, dribbling, passing, footwork, and court vision.
Five Best Basketball Training Programs
Find A Training Program That Meets YOUR Needs
Picking the right basketball training program comes down to what you most need to work on as a basketball player.
For those who are just learning the game you should purchase a beginners training program that helps you to understand and learn the basics of the game. This can be as simple as learning the different positions on the court and how to properly shoot a basketball. Don’t let your pride get in the way of learning these important fundamentals. Work on them tirelessly now so that you don’t build bad habits as you move on to learning more advanced skills.
Once you’ve got a solid base skillset in your game, then it is time to move on to more advanced skill development. This is where deciding which program to purchase is more individualized to the needs of each specific player.
If you are a point guard, then you should strongly consider a point guard or dribbling program to help you learn court vision and how to play the game effectively and efficiently. If you are a defensive mastermind, but struggle to score then a scoring or shooting program is most likely to help get you on the right track. At the end of the day you have to be willing to take an honest look at the strengths and weaknesses in your game and spend your time shoring up any areas of your game that are not up to par.
When it comes to the actual programs themselves there are a couple things to consider:
1. Is the course taught by someone with actual skills and knowledge?
There are many gurus out there who are more than happy to separate you for your hard earned money but don’t have the slightest clue about what they are supposed to be teaching you. In terms of basketball programs, make sure that the teacher has played basketball at a high level (college or greater) and has a history of successfully developing other players. If you are not sure about the credentials of a specific coach email them and ask. If you are not satisfied with their answer then look elsewhere.
2. Does the Basketball Training Program Meet Your Needs?
As we mentioned above it is important that the basketball training program you choose meets your individual needs as a basketball player. If you play point guard you probably shouldn’t buy a program for post players.
3. Does the Basketball Training Program Offer Anything That Can’t Be Found for Free?
This last point is a little complicated. While almost all information about basketball is available for free somewhere online that may not be enough. What sets these basketball training programs apart from free resources is the organization and assurance that you are learning good habits from a qualified coach or trainer. However, if you have the discipline and time you may just be able to create a basketball training program based on the resources you find for free online.
In Depth Basketball Training Program Reviews
We have broken down our in depth basketball training program reviews into five categories:
Youth Basketball Training Programs
1. Youth Basketball: How to Get Better at Basketball for Kids
Building a proper foundation for beginning basketball players is one of the most important keys to success. The How to Get Better At Basketball for Kids program provides instruction and lessons on all the key aspects to the game of basketball.
This program goes over basic shooting technique, dribbling, footwork, rebounding, and defense. After your child goes through this basketball training program they should have all the tools they need to begin creating good practice habits that will allow them to develop proper technique.
The course was created by Dr. Michael Olpin who is a professor in Health Promotion and Human Performance at Weber State University. Dr. Olpin truly focuses on developing good habits early on in a basketball player’s career so that bad habits can be avoided.
How to Get Better at Basketball is a great program for kids. It features kids in every lesson doing the different basketball drills. This makes the program fun and lighthearted, which is important to help your little hooper develop a love for the game.
On the other hand, because this program uses children to do the drills youth basketball players may not get to see the drill performed 100% perfectly. It would be better if they’d used adults as well to allow viewers to see the drills performed by a more advanced player and still be able to relate to the children in the videos.
What We Like About The How To Get Better at Basketball for Kids Training Program:
- Uses children so that it feels fun and youth basketball players watching the videos can relate
- Dr. Olpin is experienced in the game of basketball and youth athletics making him a great choice to teach this program
- The focus of this basketball training program is on building good fundamentals including shooting, dribbling, passing, defense, and rebounding
- Easy to understand and gives you a practice framework
Where How To Get Better at Basketball Falls Short:
- Uses children to do the drills, which makes it relatable to children, but may not be the best example for executing the drill properly
Who Should Buy The How To Get Better at Basketball Training Program?
The How To Get Better at Basketball Training Program is best for children who are just beginning to learn the game of basketball. Parents can purchase this program as a guide on how to properly teach their children the game of basketball.
While this basketball training program is designed for children, adults who are learning the game can benefit as well. The drills in the videos are great for players of all ages and skill levels.
Basketball Training Programs for Scoring
1. The Scoring Academy
Augie Johnston from BallerBootCamp.com is the creator of The Scoring Academy basketball training program. Augie’s story is inspiring and if you visit The Scoring Academy website you can watch a short video where he tells you how he went from averaging less than 10 points per game in high school to playing professionally in Europe. This video is very exciting and really helps you recognize that anything is possible if you are willing to work and have the proper instruction.
The Scoring Academy focuses on shooting, ball handling, and finishing at the rim. Each one of these areas is key to getting more buckets. Scoring Academy is broken down into six different program levels: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Overseas Pro, and the NBA.
This basketball program has a solid reputation and has several testimonials from users on the site. What I like most about this program is the idea of practicing concepts that are most useful in game situations. Many of the best offensive players are masters of understanding how to be extremely efficient scorers. The Scoring Academy will teach how to become an effective scorer in real life games, not just in practice.
What We Like About The Scoring Academy:
- Augie Johnston has a great reputation as a coach and trainer with several premium programs and a successful YouTube channel (186,000 subs as of 10/17)
- Game ready training is the best training and that is the focus of the Scoring Academy
- All you need is a basketball, a court, and a hoop to do the drills in The Scoring Academy
- 60 day money back guarantee means you can buy with confidence
Where The Scoring Academy Falls Short:
- The focus of The Scoring Academy is narrow by its nature. The usefulness of this course will depend on the individual basketball player.
Who Should Buy The Scoring Academy?
The Scoring Academy is best for two types of players. The first type being an athletic player who is good at defense, but struggles to score as ball handling and shooting do not come naturally. Another type of player who would benefit is someone who has the basics down but is struggling to get to the next level. This has caused them to sit the bench and not get the playing time they could get if they improved. We do not recommend this program for outright beginners as the concepts are more advanced.
2. Can’t Be Guarded
We’ve discussed Coach Rocky Ullah before on our best vertical jump programs article. But Coach Rocky is much more than a vertical jumping coach. He is a professional basketball player who has one of the most popular basketball channels on Youtube. Having his experience training players and playing the game at a high level, Coach Rocky created the Can’t Be Guarded Scoring Program.
At 12 weeks, the Can’t Be Guarded Basketball Training Program is a comprehensive program to take your game to a level you didn’t know was possible. This program has courses on all the aspects of scoring the basketball including Elite Scoring Ability, Pro Scoring Moves, Lights Out Shooting, Killer Mentality, Nasty Handles, and Dominate.
Each course has a specific focus that translates to in game results that will have you scoring more points and helping your team win. Out of the courses listed we feel that Dominate, which focuses on improving in game decisions is the most critical. Making the best decisions in each situation is what takes a good player and makes them great.
There are also some useful bonuses that come with the Can’t Be Guarded Basketball Training Program. These help you to improve your three point shooting, and bounce back from games that do not go your way. Both of these topics are huge in today’s game.
What We Like About Can’t Be Guarded:
- Coach Rocky is a well respected online basketball coach and Youtube personality who has free instructional videos that are well thought out with high production value
- Goes over all areas essential to becoming an elite scorer including the mental side of the game
- Has a 60 day money back guarantee so you can buy with confidence
- This 12 week program is one of the most comprehensive basketball training programs we’ve seen
Where Can’t Be Guarded Falls Short:
- With all the free content on Youtube provided by Coach Rocky it may be worth it to try organizing this content into a training program without having to pay
Who Should Buy Can’t Be Guarded?
Can’t Be Guarded is truly a basketball training program for the basketball player. This program is not for beginners as each course assumes you have experience playing the game and are looking for further improvement. Can’t Be Guarded is great for players who would like to add more offensive prowess to their games. Any player who struggles with leadership skills is also likely to benefit from this program.
Here is one of Coach Rock’s Youtube videos so that you can get a feel for his teaching style:
Basketball Training Programs for Handles
1. The Point Guard Academy
The Point Guard Academy Volume 2 was created by former Div 1 basketball player Damin Altizer. This basketball training program is specific to the skills and mentality needed to play the point guard position. There are six main modules that make up The Point Guard Academy program. The six modules are Attacking the Rim, Finishing, Angled Screen Work, Mid Range Work, The Shot Maker, and The Total Package.
The goal with most of these modules is to offer tips, drills, and strategies that help to improve these specific aspects of your game. As a point guard, each one of this domains is extremely important for success.
Included with The Point Guard Academy Vol. 2 is several bonuses. These bonuses show you how to become a mentally tough basketball player. This is incredibly important in a game where you will miss more shots than you make.
Other bonuses give tips on stationary dribbling, passing, and how to be a solid defensive guard.
What We Like About Point Guard Academy Vol. 2:
- Specific to a position on the court so that the focus can be specialized
- Price of the Point Guard Academy is $37, which is one of the most affordable premium basketball training programs we’ve seen
- Has courses teaching you about the mentality of being a point guard and how to utilize and execute screens effectively
Where Bounce Guide Falls Short:
- Would like to see more taught about court vision and passing rather than scoring as this is truly the most important part of playing point guard
Who Should Buy Point Guard Academy?
It should be obvious that if you are an experienced point guard you will benefit from The Point Guard Academy Training Program. This is especially true if you are a point guard who has good vision and passing skills but may struggle to get to the rim and finish. Having the ability to score and pass can make a player unguardable. If you want to get some motivation and build your passion for the game the motivational audio tapes are also a great weapon to add to your arsenal.
2. Gametime Handles
Another great basketball training program from Coach Rocky Ullah is Gametime Handles. If you’ve ever watched Coach Rock’s Youtube videos then you know that his biggest strength as a basketball player is his handle. It is ridiculous how good this guy’s dribbling skills are. If you struggle with dribbling and want to get better, then Coach Rock is your man.
What we love most about Gametime Handles is that it provides a whole new philosophy on how to train dribbling skills. Coach Rock deemphasizes “defensive dribbling” techniques which he states leave you reacting to your defender rather than forcing the action by being the aggressor.
I like this philosophy as it has been my experience that in sports and in life the decision-maker or aggressor is more likely to have success. By following the theory behind Gametime Handles you’ll make your defender react to you and not the other way around.
There is also a core focus on working ball handling techniques that will transfer to in-game situations. Another part of the program keys in on making your weak hand a strength. Being able to dribble with both hands confidently means you have twice the options when handling the ball and making moves.
What We Like About The Gametime Handles Training Program:
- A whole new philosophy on how to train dribbling puts the offensive player in the driver’s seat and makes the defender react to you
- Focuses on making your weak hand as good as your dominant hand
- Technique are meant to develop in-game basketball skills so that what you learn translates to high pressure situations
Where Gametime Handles Falls Short:
- Not great for beginners, and with a new philosophy on dribbling that may be where Gametime Handles is most needed
Who Should Buy The Gametime Handles Training Program?
This program is great for players who tend to turn the ball over when the defense is full court pressing, or struggle when defenders play tight. Being the aggressor will turn the tide in your favor. This is matter or not only practicing the Gametime Handles drills, but also changing your mentality. You can attack and make your defenders pay for their tactics.
Basketball Training Programs for Shooting
1. Stephen Curry’s Masterclass
There are few players in the history of the game of basketball that have been as revolutionary as Steph Curry. His ability to hit threes off the dribble with a lightening quick release is something none of us had seen until Curry began reigning down his graces on us with a jumper as smooth as butter.
So when it was revealed that Steph Curry was coming out with his own basketball training program through a partnership with Masterclass, its safe to say I was pretty excited.
I’ve placed this basketball training program in the shooting section of this article due to Stephen’s excellent skill set in this domain. However, this program also goes in depth on other areas of the game including ball-handling, scoring, and game theory. All these areas are taught by Steph Curry himself.
Why Stephen Curry is a Great Fit to Teach This Course
I’m sure Masterclass could have reached out to Lebron James, Kevin Durant, or some other freak of nature to teach this course, but they chose Stephen Curry.
I for one think this is the perfect selection on their part. Stephen Curry’s success in the NBA is attributable to his expertise in regard to the skills of the game. In fact, Stephen Curry is not a great athlete compared to many other NBA players. But he still dominates due to his hard work, determination, and unbelievable skillset.
The thing about athleticism is that it is great, but it cannot be taught. Skills on the other hand are very teachable. Stephen Curry is the master of basketball skill.
What We Like About Stephen Curry’s Masterclass:
- It is taught by Stephen Curry, who is one of the best basketball players on the planet
- Focuses on several different parts of the game including shooting, ball handling, scoring, and game theory
- Steps in each lesson are actionable and give players plenty to work on to improve
- Includes state of the art training techniques that help make the game seem easier
Where Stephen Curry’s Masterclass Falls Short:
- Not a great choice for beginning basketball players as many of the concepts taught are more advanced
Who Should Buy Stephen Curry’s Masterclass?
Stephen Curry’s Masterclass is perfect for players who have a grasp on the fundamentals and are ready to take their basketball skills up a notch.
Prepare to work hard on these drills and fail as they are not easy. If you put the work in you will get better. Bottom line: if it works for Steph Curry it will work for you.
If the above description sounds like you, then just get this program and forget the rest.
1. Shot Mechanics
Colin Castellaw, better known as “Coach C” is the brains behind the Shot Mechanics brand and courses. A stone cold dead eyed shooter, Coach C has experience in teaching shooting in clinics and through private instruction. While not a household name, he does have one of the top Youtube channels for basketball instruction. Below check the video we’ve posted showing Coach C break down each aspect of Stephen Curry’s jump shot. There are some real gems in this video and it is really what turned us on to Coach C’s shooting programs.
The program Coach C offers is called the Elite Shooting System. This program includes 48 drills broken up into three levels (Rookie, Semi-Pro, and Elite) with the goal of helping you improve your shot making skills that will lead to more buckets during games.
According to Coach C the Elite Shooting System Basketball Training Program will help you develop a quicker release, improve your shooting percentage, increase your shooting range, increase your scoring average, and to become an overall elite level shooter.
What We Like About Shot Mechanics:
- Truly narrow in its scope, this is a program specifically designed to improve basketball shooting skills
- Has the backing of some serious basketball players who sing Shot Mechanics praises
- Shooting drills can be done individually without a partner making the program simple to follow
- Drills are designed to help with shooting form and to improve shooting accuracy in game situations
Where Shot Mechanics Falls Short:
- May not be great for those just beginning to learn the game. Most concepts are for in game action and experienced players.
Who Should Buy Elite Shooting System by Shot Mechanics?
If you are known as your team’s defensive specialist, but want to widen your skillset to be an asset on both ends of the court then the Elite Shooting System would be a great choice. For those who struggle to translate their practices to game situations, then the Elite Shooting System can help with this as well. Having someone to guide you through how to practice your shooting can be the difference between hitting the game winner and faltering when it matters most.
2. Fundamentals of Basketball Shooting
The Fundamentals of Shooting program is perfect for beginning players who are looking to learn proper shooting techniques.
Daniel Yoo takes you through all of the fundamental aspects of shooting so that you have a solid shooting foundation. This is required learning before moving on to the more advanced skills needed to perform in game type situations.
The course is split into two different sections: Fundamental Techniques for Shooting and Shooting Drills. The Fundamental Techniques for Shooting goes through everything you need to understand shooting basics including feet alignment, elbow, shooting release, shooting arch, shooting motion and others. The Shooting Drills section has several effective beginner shooting drills including Around the World, Free Throws, Bank Shooting, Five Spot Shooting and more.
While this is a beginner’s program, make no mistake that these simple drills and techniques are used at the highest levels. By relentlessly practicing your form you ensure proper shooting technique.
What We Like About Fundamentals of Basketball Shooting:
- Truly focuses on the fundamentals of shooting. Remember, greatness comes from great fundamentals.
- Helps beginning players develop good shooting habits
- Has some simple shooting drills so that what is taught can be applied
Where Fundamentals of Basketball Shooting Falls Short:
- Daniel Yoo is not a household name in the basketball realm. However, his teaching techniques are effective at the fundamental level.
Who Should Buy Fundamentals of Basketball Shooting?
This is a great program for parents to buy for their youngsters who are beginning to show an interest in basketball. I can’t stress enough how important having good habits starting out are to long-term success. Players who develop poor habits eventually have to relearn better techniques. This is difficult by the time you are in middle school or older.
Basketball Psychology Training Programs
1. The Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremow
Dr. Jim Afremow is a sports psychologist who has worked with pro athletes from the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, and others. The goal of The Champion’s Mind is to give athletes actionable steps on how to achieve your individual basketball goals. What makes The Champion’s mind set so such a valuable weapon in every basketball player’s arsenal is that the tips and guides are applicable to game situations.
After reading this book you’ll understand how to lead a team while remaining humble. You will also find it easier to get in the zone thanks to Dr. Afremow’s powerful insights.
What We Like About The Champion’s Mindset:
- The instruction provided in this book is actionable and useful for real world situations
- Dr. Afremow has helped several professional athletes reach their greatest potential
- Not only helpful for basketball but will make you better at life
Where The Champion’s Mindset Fall Short:
- Not specific to basketball and a more general sports psychology book
Who Should Buy The Champion’s Mindset
This book will be best for advanced basketball players who are at least at the high school level. If you are a youth player then please spend most of your time working on the fundamental aspects of the game. The mental side of the game is just as important, but does not matter if you don’t have the physical skills needed to play at a high level.
For those who struggle with anxiety and confidence during games this is a great resource. The goal is to change your perspective and how you view your triumphs and hardships on the court.
2. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover
We have discussed the benefits of being a mentally tough basketball player before. It is what separates the good from the great. Having been the personal trainer for both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, Tim Grover has the experience and the knowledge that few can match.
The goal of this book is to truly help you master the mindset of a winner. While these lessons may seem simple on the surface, they are difficult to master. Tim Grover makes these lessons easier to apply by using his unique perspective to give clarity. If you want to have the strength to never wilt in the highest pressure situations, then you need Relentless.
What We Like About Relentless:
- Tim Grover is a legend in training professional athletes
- Highly focused with the goal to make you as mentally tough as possible and using these advantages to crush your opposition
Where Relentless Falls Short:
- A bit on the repetitive side, could easily be a shorter book
Who Should Buy Relentless
Relentless is great for those who need a kick in the pants and some motivation to take their game to the next level. This is the heavy metal version of sports psychology. Whether this style works for you will depend on what you need. If you need to find inner peace in the chaos of high pressure game situations then look to The Champion’s Mind. However, if you wanted to get pumped up to perform, then Relentless is for you.