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Category Archives for Gear

Three Basketball Training Products Worth the Money

How to Know What to Buy

Back in the day, players like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Dr. J, and others didn’t have any special training or tools to use.  They simply played the game constantly and had a never ending desire to improve.  However, today there are so many basketball and basketball training products that we’ve lost count.  The truth is, that many of these training products are a waste of money and you’d be better off doing drills with a basketball and a home hoop.

Just because most of these products stink doesn’t mean they are all worthless. In this post we are going to present to you three basketball training products that you should feel confident about dropping a few dollar bills on.  Every single one of these products significantly improves or helps to improve a specific basketball skill.

1. POWERHANDZ

We have already done an in depth review of the POWERHANDZ basketball training gloves on our parent site BestOutdoorBasketball.net.  Be sure to check it out if you are interested in picking a pair up because I discuss a lot of the details related to the gloves and how they helped me be a more proficient ball handler.

The basic idea of the POWERHANDZ gloves is to minimize the amount of grip you can get on the ball making dribbling more difficult.  There are also small weights on the outside of the glove that make the muscles that are used during dribbling work a bit harder.

Having personally used and tested this product I can say that
without a doubt these gloves work!  After using POWERHANDZ a few times you’ll notice that you can dribble the basketball harder and control it with greater ease.

2. Elevation Training Mask

While our second pick is not specifically a basketball training, it is certainly one to consider if you are conditioning for the upcoming season.  The Elevation Training Mask works by limiting the amount of oxygen you breath in making it feel similar to being in a high elevation environment.  By training with lower oxygen levels, your body adjusts and stamina is improved, so when you have access to the typical oxygen environment you will be able to non-stop while your opponents are bent over gasping for air.

In my opinion, strength and stamina are just as important as skill when it comes to basketball.  Using this mask will help you get the most out of your skill set.

3. Home Basketball Shot Trainer

Obviously shooting is one of the single most important skills for basketball.  There have been many basketball players who have made it to the NBA on their shooting alone (here’s looking at you Steve Kerr).  Every team needs a shooter, why not be yours.

To become a great shooter not only do you need to develop proper mechanics, but you have to repeat those mechanics over and over by shooting every day you can.  The Airborne Athletics Ic3 Home Basketball Shot Trainer is the best shooting trainer for a recreational home basketball hoop that we have found.

This home basketball training has a large net that captures both made and missed shots and then feeds the ball through a shoot
and then on a track that rolls the ball back to where you shot the ball from.  This allows you to get a greater volume of shots without having to be constantly chasing down rebounds, which can be a real pain in the ass when shooting by yourself.

Review of the SKLZ Dribble Stick Trainer

As you know, here at BestBasketballHoops we most often take a look at different basketball hoops to determine which ones are the best.  But that’s not all we do.  We also strive to review and test basketball training products that can help you build your skills as a basketball player.

Today, we are going to take a closer look at the SKLZ Dribble Stick.  This is a basketball training accessory that focuses specifically on improving your handles.  It does so by having tracks where sticks can be placed that impede where you can dribble the ball, similar to how it is to play against a defender.

Having these sticks in your way teaches you to protect the basketball as you dribble and to recognize where not to put the basketball during your dribble.  We noted that the SKLZ Dribble Stick does a great job of this and after using it for a short period of time you’ll notice yourself become more aware of where to dribble the basketball and how to properly make a crossover dribble that is difficult to steal.

Our favorite lesson that the Dribble Stick teaches is to dribble the ball low.  The lower your dribble the harder it is for your opponent to steal it.  The SKLZ Dribble Stick can teach you this by putting the sticks low of the track, but high enough to where you can still dribble the ball below the stick.  Also, make sure to dribble the basketball with force to help train your body and mind to play hard and fast when in a game situation.

There is also a place on the top of the SKLZ Dribble Stick platform to place your basketball.  Which is helpful when using the Dribble Stick for its other purpose: conditioning.  The sticks can easily be used as a tool to jump over to improve you vertical leaping abilities.  This allows you to do several different conditioning drills within a small space.  The SKLZ Dribble Stick is a pretty dang versatile piece of training equipment.

Each SKLZ Dribble Stick comes with four sticks that can be placed on the tracks of the center platform.  This gives you flexibility in where you want to place each stick to give your training sessions more variety.

Because of the focus on dribbling fundamentals, we recommend the SKLZ Dribble Stick most for young basketball players who are looking to improve and learn the game.

So, now you know what we like about the SKLZ Dribble Stick.  But there are things about the Dribble Stick that we think could be improved.  First, the actual sticks don’t seem to be made in a way that will likely last for years.  You may only get a year out of the sticks with regular use.

On top of the build quality, the actual dribbling skills that the Dribble Sticks focuses on is limited.  You can’t really practice dribbling in transition and it won’t improve your vision.  We do suggest that when using the SKLZ Dribble Stick that you focus on keeping your eyes up so that you aren’t looking down at the ball and the obstacles which won’t help you when it comes to playing in a game.

 What We Like About the SKLZ Dribble Stick

  • Allows you to work on dribbling skills in a small space
  • Mimics where a defender is likely to try a steal the basketball
  • Has a place to put basketball on the center platform
  • Can be used for conditioning

What Would Make The Dribble Stick Better

  • Better quality sticks
  • Price is a bit high for what you get
  • Limited ways in which you can use the Dribble Stick to practice your handle

5 Accessories Every Basketball Player Needs In Their Gym Bag

17675445_lIf you are like us you know that there are certain things that you always have in your gym bag when going to play a game of pick up basketball.  The first things that come to mind for us are things like basketball shoes, basketball, and maybe an extra shirt or pair of socks.  However, we present five things to you that you will want to start putting in your gym bag to keep you smelling fresh and even improve your game.  Each serves a specific purpose and will very likely come in handy.

1. Sneaker Balls

sneaker ballsHey if you are like us you are no stranger to post basketball game feet funk.  This brutal combination of sweat and feet will leave you embarrassed and most basketball groupies nauseous.  Not what you want my friend, not at all.  Well a cool little product that we have used ourselves to keep our shoes smelling fresh are called Sneaker Balls.  Sneaker Balls are little plastic balls that twist open to release air freshener from inside.  We love these because they are much simpler to use than your run of the mill shoe freshener spray.   Just pop ’em in your shoes after a game and leave them in until you are ready for your next hustle.

 

2. Fitness Factor Basketball Pump

fitness factor air pumpMost basketball pumps take up a lot of space in your gym bag that can make them difficult to bring along.  This Fitness Factor Pump is very portable and has an ergonomic design which allows you to pump the basketball without hand fatigue.  While this pump is smaller than most it is still very efficient at pumping air and will come in handy especially in the winter months when basketballs that spent the night in your car lose a lot of air.

 

3. Chill Pal Ultimate Cooling Towel

cool towelStep up from the towels that are provided by your local YMCA or fitness club.  While they will wipe the sweat off your face they will not help cool your body down after you play a few games back to back.  That’s where the Chill Pal Ultimate Cooling Towel comes in.  This towel when soaked in water and snapped can be placed on your body and will bring down your body temperature in a “snap”.  It is amazing how the Chill Pal can make you feel better when your body is about to go in the tank due to overheating.

 

4. MISSION Athletecare Court Grip

mission court gripIf you find yourself on a gym floor that has not been waxed in many years or the bottom of your sneakers are slippery, then MISSION Athletecare Court Grip will be a life saver.  All you have to do to improve your grip on the court is this product to the bottom of your shoes.  This can certainly make you feel more confident while playing, which can in turn actually improve your performance.  Despite the fact that we like this product we do have to put in a word of caution.  Court Grip is made primarily from acetone which can remove paint among other things.  We recommend that if you use this product to be careful not to spill it.

 

5. Venum “Challenger” Mouthguard

venum challengerNo pick up basketball game is worth losing your chicklets for, and that is why we recommend using a mouthguard while you play.  Oh, I hear you say you are worried that people will make fun of you, well just own it and no one will say a word.  The Venum Challenger Mouthguard is made by an MMA gear company, and is the best mouth guard you can find on Amazon.  We love that this mouthguard has an outer frame made from high density rubber.  Next time you take a shot to the mouth you will be glad you have this.

 

 

 

5 Best Basketball Shorts in 2018

Bird Blinding Opponents with the Ole Ghost Legs Defense

Bird Blinding Opponents with the Ole Ghost Legs Defense

Back in the days of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, you wore a pair of shorts that left little to the imagination.  Those bad boys were snug.  Thankfully, better fashion sense has prevailed and now basketball shorts are longer and looser allowing them to be more comfortable for the player.  Not only that it seems that there are more and more options and designs when it comes to basketball shorts.  You are no longer relegated to single color shorts, but have designs like camo, graphic letters, and images.  Much of how unique your basketball shorts look will be dependent on how much you are willing spend to look dope on the courts.  We have scoured the internet and found five awesome basketball shorts that range from cheap and basic (but still high quality) to pricey and totally kickass.  Our goal with this list is to provide you with five great options at varying prices so that you can make a choice that will meet your basketball needs and your budget.

1. Champion Men’s Crossover Short

champion men's crossover basketball shortsOkay we can hear the rulers of the hardwood complaining already about how we have a pair of basketball shorts that under $15.  Well, we’d usually agree with you, but actually these Champion Men’s Crossover Basketball Shorts are pretty baller.  We believe you would be hard pressed to find better basketball shorts for the price.  These basketball shorts are made from 100% Trilobial Polyester Stripe and are machine washable.  Side pockets are included in these shorts which make them more functional for off the court use as well.  We’ve all been in a situation when after a day at the courts having to carry your wallet into a store because you don’t have a pocket to put it in.  Very frustrating!  An 11″ inseam makes these shorts the right length so that you don’t look like John Stockton, but also don’t find yourself feeling like you are wearing a towel around your legs.  They are lightweight which is a plus, however, having the Champion logo is not likely to impress many of your fellow court dwellers.

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2. Any Jordan Brand Basketball Shorts

jordan basketball shortsWell, we couldn’t bring ourselves to select just one pair so we decided to just list the entire damn brand.  Jordan Brand has consistently created some of the coolest designed and highest quality basketball shorts.  Growing up I got a pair of these of Easter and they literally lasted me for over a decade!  On the flip side these shorts are quite pricey and will set you back at least $50 in most circumstances.  The pro is that Jordan Brand shorts almost always have multiple material layers making them durable and long lasting.  Obviously, anything that says Jordan Brand commands respect on the court and will ensure that you’ll at least look the part.  But being a real player takes more than just a cool pair shorts, so work on that jumper young blood!

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3. Nike Men’s Layup Basketball Shorts

nike men's layup shortsSo we’ve discussed both the cheapest and highest priced basketball short that money can buy.  With our third selection we are aiming right down the middle.  These Nike Men’s Layup Basketball Shorts are priced under $50 so they are affordable for most.  As you know, Nike owns Jordan Brand so you can expect these shorts to fit and be of similar quality to the more expensive Jordan options.  Made from polyester these also are machine washable, have an 11″ inseam, and have pockets for storing your wallet, keys, etc.  While these features are similar to the Champion Crossover Men’s Shorts we reviewed above do not confuse the quality of the two.  These Nike shorts are far superior and will last longer than cheaper options.

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4. Point 3 DRYV Baller 2.0 Men’s Dry Hand Zone Basketball Shorts

point 3 basketball shortsHoly smokes Point 3 that is an epic title from a pair of basketball shorts!  Either way, I realize that many readers are not familiar with Point 3 as they are not as well known as brands likes Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, etc.  Despite this Point 3 has many legit hoopers singing their praises as the best basketball shorts on the planet!  So, why would a little known basketball shorts brand get so much love?  Well, how about the fact that these shorts feature a patented channel on the sides of them that are made from a moisture wicking towel material that is designed for you to wipe your hands on to keep them dry on the court.  As you know having sweaty hands makes playing the game hard as the basketball becomes slick and your game quickly goes down the tubes.  These Point 3 shorts are priced similarly to the Nike Layups.

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See a quick demonstration of the DRYV technology in this video:

 

5. Under Armour Mo’ Money Basketball Shorts

mo money basketball shortsWith the rise of Steph Curry, Under Armour has quickly become the next great basketball shoe and apparel brand to compete with Nike.  With that it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we are seeing more and more of the UA logo on the courts we play on regularly.  Made from polyester, the Under Armour Mo’ Money Basketball Shorts side pockets as well as closed-hole mesh side panels that enhance ventilation.  These are the UA comparable to the Nike Layup shorts, but have a way better name!  Damn, Mo’ Money!? UA you just keep doing what you do.  The one con that we’d comment about these shorts is that they are a little longer than we typically prefer.  Obviously this is a matter of personal preference and if you are looking for longer shorts then you should pick these up.

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