Basketball! Basketball! Basketball! It’s one of the most exciting, entertaining, and challenging sport in the world. Every time I watch my favorite local team do their thing on the basketball court, I’m awed and moved by their special moves. They do it like the real pros. Each team player seems to enjoy every second of the game.
What’s the secret that keeps these five players playing it so cool?
Is there a special diet they take before entering the court?
I’ve always wondered this.
During my recent interaction with a professional basketball coach, I discovered the secret to playing basketball the right way.
If you want to play it like the legends in this sport- legends like Jordan, Kobe, LeBron, among others- you got to learn the game’s basic rules as well as the fundamental skills. In other terms, you got to know how to play basketball before you shoot, dribble, dunk, or make your very first move on the court.
In this post, I’ll teach you how to play basketball. The post has two sections. The first one covers all the basic aspects of basketball to help the beginners get rolling. In the second section, you’ll learn how to raise your fundamental basketball skill- dribbling, shooting, and playing the defense.
The sooner you start reading, the sooner you’ll learn to play basketball like a pro…
SECTION 1: The Basics
Before you do everything else, you need to get a good basketball and a hoop. As for basketball, you have to pick from the four sizes available. There are sizes for youths, intermediates, and adults of different genders.
Use a hoop with a challenging height. The standard height of hoops is 10 feet high. A full-court basketball comprises of two hoops at each end of the 94-foot long court. But if you’re playing a half court pick-up game or shooting around with friends, you can install a single hoop.
This one is obvious… Before you start playing basketball, you need to form two teams. A full-court basketball is made up of two teams, each holding five players. For a half-court game, however, you can play the sport in teams of three.
Different team players get different positions. You can play shooting guard, point guard, power forward, small forward, and center.
Starting the Game!
Basketball in place, a hoop installed, teams are ready, what’s next? Starting the game...
This is how it starts:
The referee throws the ball up to start the game. Then two players (one from each team) will vie to take possession of the ball. The team whose players catch the ball plays offense while the other team plays the defense.
After the game starts, you’ve to move the ball around the court. Players from one team passes/tosses the ball back and forth as they try to prevent the opposition from possessing it. As a general rule of basketball, the ball MUST be bounced on the floor continually as the team possessing it tries to move it to the extreme where the net awaits.
NEVER walk with the ball (termed as traveling). If you possess the ball, you should either be dribbling it (bouncing it up and down on the floor) or stay stationary, with one foot planted on the ground to pivot from. The planted foot allows you to pivot around the court when possessing the ball. Remember to keep planted if you’re not dribbling the ball.
When dribbling, you have to keep doing it as you move, until you shoot, pass, or stop dribbling by planting your foot to pivot from. If you stop dribbling, you can’t dribble again. Else, you’ll be penalized for double-dribble. We’ll discuss more on how to dribble properly later in this post.
If you decide to shoot, you can pick the ball and take two steps without bouncing it before shooting or passing. Taking more than two steps will and you into a foul known as traveling violation.
Alternatively, you can opt to jump and pass or shoot (here, you must have gotten rid of the ball by the time you touch the floor again).
Word of Caution: You should not stay with the ball for more than 35 seconds, and you should not kick it.
When it comes to scoring, basketball is unlike other sports you know. Here, the offensive player can score 1-3 points with just a single shot. This depends on the shooting position.
There are also foul shots, each worth a point, and are taken from the free throw line which is 15 feet from the hoop. As a player, you can be awarded 1-3 free throws if fouled when attempting a shooting or fouled after the other team has accumulated a lot of fouls.
The team with the highest points becomes the winner. If the teams happen to tie at the end of the game, they go into overtime. The overtime period lasts for as long as one team has more points than the other.
SECTION 2: Perfect Your Skills
Congrats! After reading the basketball basics above, you’re now halfway baked for a basketball game.
In the second and the last section, I’m going to teach you how to perfect your basketball skills. You’ll learn how to dribble the ball like a professional player, shoot excellently, and play the defense the correct way.
One of the most important skills that every basketball player must have is dribbling the ball. After all, you’ll find yourself doing this more often during the entire game duration. Dribbling, which is simply bouncing the ball to the floor isn’t a hard task.
But again, you need to practice and practice until you become skilled at it. The following tips will prepare you to dribble the basketball around the court:
And when you use your fingerprints, simply grip and push the ball- for total effectiveness. As you continue practicing, you’ll get to know the right amount of force you need to exert on that ball so that it bounces consistently. Ensure that your ball is inflated according the laid out specs for consistent bouncing.
In our next lesson, we discuss how to shoot the ball...
Shooting is yet another important skill to possess in the basketball court. Any expert shooter should:
But avoid jumping forward, towards the hoop- a common mistake among many beginners. Rather, jump straight up to help arc the ball towards the ring.
Visualize a small coin balancing on the rim’s front lip, and then try to knock it out with your shot. It works wonders for most beginners
As the name suggests, playing defense means that your role is to stop the opponent team from scoring. You’ll do this by blocking shots, disrupting passes, and stealing the ball if possible. The most common defense strategy in basketball games is the man-to-man defense where you’re assigned another player from the opponents’ team. Your job is to guard that player for the entire game period.
A complete guide on how to play basketball is here. This post explains, in details, everything you need to know about the basketball game. Whether you’re a beginner, or you want to advance your skills, this post will serve you right. The first section will enlighten you on all the basics of a basketball game while the second section will help you master the dribbling, shooting, and defense skills.
Practice makes a man perfect. Basketball is like any other sport- the more you train yourself to play it, the more you’ll master all the tricks and become a pro at it.
Keep practicing and have fun!
This is Michael Jordan, a 26 years old guy. Besides my study and part time job, I'm passionate about playing basketball, cycling and exercising. BasketBallNinja.com is the place where I'm sharing my thoughts on the internet and I love the way here!Follow Our Guide and Be a NINJA Basketball Player with US!Keep following my blog Post and enjoy playing basketball like a pro!