Do you ever wonder how NBA players are able to shoot so accurately from long range? Or how people like Steph Curry can seemingly pull up from anywhere across half court and feel like it is an acceptable shot? Aside from hours of practice, there are some other tricks they use to get so strong, one being a weighted basketball.
You may never have heard of a weighted basketball before, or maybe you have but don’t have a clue how it could possibly help a player by using a ball that weighs more than the one you would use in a game. If you have never heard of a weighted basketball, or aren’t quite sure the reasoning behind it, have no fear! We are going to break down the method behind the madness of using one and show you some drills that will improve your game in the process. Let’s get it!
What is a Weighted Basketball?
A weighted basketball is a basketball that typically weighs 3 lbs, or doubles what a normal ball would weigh. That may not seem like a lot, but if you double the weight of the basketball you are used to and then try to dribble, pass, and shoot it will be substantial.
The purpose of using a weighted basketball is the same reason baseball players use a “donut” on their bat, but the basketball proves more beneficial in a number of different ways. While a baseball bat donut only improves your bat speed, it does nothing to your hand-eye coordination. Weighted basketballs do build strength in every movement you make while playing the game because you have to use more of it when trying to maneuver a ball that’s so heavy.
Let’s take a look at all of the benefits associated with a weighted ball and what aspects of your game will improve when you utilize one in your training.
Weighted Basketball Benefits
1. Overall Strength
Running through basketball drills with a regular weighted ball will increase the muscles needed for strong ball-handling and shooting. Incorporating a weighted ball into the mix will just add to the strength needed to be strong with the ball in game situations. Your forearms, hands, and shoulders will begin to build muscle quicker because of the extra weight and it will help you become stronger with the ball and more dangerous on the court.
Combined with the proper fundamentals of shooting a basketball accurately, utilizing a weighted ball during shooting drills can increase your shooting range. By using the weighted ball within your regular shooting drills, you will begin to get used to shooting with a heavier ball which will provide you with a wider range when you switch back during games.
Long-distance shots are harder than closer ones, usually because the person shooting them tends to strain and not use proper form when shooting them. The important thing to remember is to never compromise your shooting form for a few more feet of range. There are some great drills that can help with both your form and shooting range without either suffering. This simple drill helps you build muscle while also improving your shooting.
Imagine being able to dribble the ball faster and more confidently without lifting weights and losing some of your mobility in the process. Complete dribbling drills correctly and with a weighted basketball will boost your confidence and skills because the added weight will strengthen the muscles that you use to dribble. Your coordination will also improve too once you transition back to a regular weight ball during games.
This video shows a solid stationary dribbling package of drills that can improve your handle whether you use a heavier ball or not. The heavy ball just adds to the strength and control you will gain by doing this circuit regularly. The pound dribble drill helps you build a feel for dribbling a ball hard. The crossover, in-and-out, and through the legs dribbles add moves to your arsenal, and the low ball dribbling at the end builds control in your hands and fingertips.
Many players don’t value the fundamentals of passing the way they should and it shows when they commit turnovers that hurt their team. Passing the ball correctly with a weighted ball will allow you to whip passes to your teammates with the correct form leading to more pace and accuracy. These basic passing drills are enhanced when you introduce a weighted ball and shouldn’t be skipped in your workout routine.
Another skill many overlook when training to become better basketball players is rebounding. Smaller players may think that rebounding is only reserved for the big men in the paint and bigger players seem to rely on only their size when they think about rebounding. A weighted ball can increase your rebounding statistics and prevent defenders from stealing the ball away from you in the paint when you come down with a rebound in traffic.
The correct way to come down with the ball after a rebound is with the ball placed at your chin and your elbows out forming a barrier for the defense. Using a weighted ball will help you bring the ball down strong and your hands and fingers will hold the ball with much more force once you begin playing. This drill while using a weighted ball will build your hand and forearm strength and the follow-up layup adds another element to you improving your rebounding skills.
Useful Tips and Resources
Now that I have laid out the benefits of the weighted basketball, your next question may be “where can I get one?” Spalding, the official basketball of the NBA, is a brand you can trust with any of their products, and their weighted ball is no different. Experiencing high-level improvement will take hours of practice from you but many have seen big benefits of the weighted ball within the first week of use. Imagine the possibilities if you use it daily?
Weighted basketballs can improve your game and transform you from good to great in a matter of months. The bonus of the weighted basketball is that you can simply interchange it with your regular ball during every workout and, other than the added weight, you won’t notice a drop in quality. What you will notice is your strength increasing and your confidence building with every workout. Use a weighted ball in your workouts and watch your teammates marvel at your strength and improvement on the basketball court.
After seeing these videos of weighted ball drills, do you think you will give it a try? Have you already tried a weighted ball before but weren’t sure how to use it properly? Let us know below!