In order to be a better center in basketball you need to practice defense, rebounding and dominating the painted area underneath the basket. Great centers have the ability to post up and score with their back to the basket. There are many different skills that a center can work on to improve your game. While offensive production from the center position is important to open up passing lanes and open shots for teammates, sound and tenacious defense is equally if not more important. Blocking shots, boxing out, rebounding and physical defense are essential skills to master in order to be a better center in basketball.
Here are five important skills you can work on in order to be a better center in basketball.
- Improve your post up skills. If you can't post up underneath the basket and score then you'll never become an effective and efficient scorer. Practice moves with your back to the basket, spinning to the hoop and develop a baby hook shot. The hook shot is one of the most difficult shot attempts to guard. Learn how to pass out of the post and not just score.
- Become a great rebounder. One of the most important skills to master at the center position is boxing out the defense and rebounding the basketball. Most teams that lose the rebound battle during games end up losing because it opens up second chance points. Becoming a dominate rebounder on the defensive and offensive glass will improve you effectiveness as a center greatly.
- Practice free throw shooting. People who play the center position have had a reputation for being bad at free throws and it has greatly affected their teams, especially in late game situations. As a center, you will go to the foul line many different times throughout the game because you'll spend most of your time near the basket. Practice shooting foul shots every chance you get and improve your percentage.
- Become an elite defender. There's a saying that defense wins championships, and it all starts at the center position. To be a better center in basketball you will need to limit not only the opposing center's offensive output but the output of anyone driving to the basketball. Defense begins at being able to box out the defenders and holding on to the ball above your head and passing the ball out to the point guard.
- Learn how to become a shot blocker. One of the best shot blockers of all time was Bill Russell because he had the ability to block an opponents shot and gain possession of the ball. Many shot blockers today focus on swatting the basketball as far from the court as possible, losing possession of the basketball. To be a better center, learn how to block shots toward teammates and gain possession of the ball. Shot blocking is a difficult skill to master at the center position because you will need to stay out of foul trouble. Practice staying on your feet until the ball is released and then go up for the block.
- Work on these skills as often as possible to and develop a routine.
- Choose another center on your team or a mentor to help you enhance your skills.