Social Icons


Basketball Training for Beginners


Basketball is an exhilarating sport that requires speed, agility and hand/eye coordination. These factors can be intimidating for beginners, especially when facing experienced players on the court. It takes a little practice to learn the basics such as dribbling and ball-handling techniques, and how to successfully launch (or shoot) the ball into the basket.

Basketball is not a contact sport like football. If one player bumps into another player, the referee calls a foul and the opposing team gets a free shot at the basket. Basketball is about controlling the ball whether you are dribbling, passing it to another player on the team or shooting the ball at the basket. A basketball team has three positions. Center position is as it sounds--this player starts the game by meeting opposing centers from the other team at the center circle in the middle of the court. Guard position is an important role for a player who can dribble, run fast and shoot baskets from anywhere. Forward position is for a taller player who can stay close to the basket and make jump shots.

Dribbling is instinctive for most people. It's also lots of fun feeling the ball bounce while you are running up and down the court until you are in a good position to shoot at the basket. The rules say that you can take as many steps as necessary when you are dribbling. However, if you stop dribbling, do not start again until you pass the ball to another player. This is against the rules (it's called a double dribble). Contrary to how it looks in a fast-paced game, never dribble the ball every time it is passed to you. Dribbling requires a degree of control--spread your fingers across the ball, try to touch as much of it as possible, but keep the ball low and close to your body so the other team can't steal it from you. Unlike other sports, remember to keep your head up and your eyes off the ball. You need to be on the lookout for other players, not the basketball. Learn how to feel the ball moving under your control instead of watching it closely.

Passing is how you break through the opposing team's defense and get the ball to another player on your team. Passing has three major techniques. To do a chest pass, hold the ball close to your chest, extend your arms and release the ball with a flick of your wrists. To complete a bounce pass (especially when the opposition is in the way), use the same technique as a chest pass but aim the basketball towards a spot on the floor about two-thirds of the way to your teammate. To do an overhead pass, pretend that you are about to do a chest pass, but then raise your arms above your head and throw the ball over the opponent's heads to your teammate.

The only way to win this game is to get more balls through the basket, so shooting is important. There are several different types of shots you can take depending on your court position. The jump shot is probably the most common one; here, the shooter jumps into the air and releases the ball into the basket. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, facing the basket. Use your legs to jump up, push your arms up, move the ball past your face and release it at the top of the jump. Follow through by straightening your arm until the ball hits the rim, and then land back on your feet in the starting position.

Another common shot is the layup, used when dribbling towards the basket or when catching a pass. To do a layup, keep moving until you get close to the basket, keep the ball in both hands and jump up towards the basket while lifting the ball in front of you. You only get two steps to complete this maneuver. Start the jump from your left foot on the final step and land back on your right foot. Try to jump as high as you can while keeping an eye on the target.

When a shot hits the backboard or rim (and does not go in the basket), it is a rebound. This gives the rebounder, or center position, on either team a chance to steal the ball from the opponent. If you are on the defending team and you catch a rebound, quickly move the basketball out of the immediate area by passing it to a teammate. If you are on the attacking team and you catch a rebound, try to get into a position between your opponent and the backboard (the see-through rectangle behind the basket). This position, called boxing out, lets you stop the opponent from getting near the basket.