Basketball Basics Tips and tricks to becoming a basketball champion

Tips and Tricks to Becoming a Great Basketball Player

There are many tips, tricks, moves, and basics you must know when playing basketball. You may have never played basketball before or maybe you have played it many times. Basketball is a well known sport known across many areas. Originating in Springfield, Mass, this sport swept across the nation now most popular in Argentina, China, and France. Basketball has created the Celtics and many fans around the world. Did you know that the Boston Celtics have won the most NBA championships (also including seven straight from 1960-1966). With a coach named Brad Stevens the Celtics have been thriving to win. The Celtics have won many games (with the luck and skill of their mascot Lucky the Leprechaun). If you want to learn how to play basketball, this article is going to teach you how. Keep reading to learn about dribbling, passing, shooting, stacks and picks, illegal moves, rebounds, points and scoring, and the materials you will need and want.

The Object Of the Game (Offense, Defense)

The object of basketball may be very complicated at first, but if you practice playing you will soon get used to it. The object of the game is that there are two teams. The court (which is in the shape of a rectangle and split in half by a half court line) has two baskets located on the opposite side of the court. The standard ball rim is about ten feet off of the ground but will be lowered based on your age. Normally there are five to ten players on each team. If your team is short a player and the other team has an extra they will come to your team vise versa. At the beginning of the game you will be assigned a person to guard. The person you will be assigned to you based on your height. Your team will also be assigned a basket to shoot at. The object of the game is to protect the ball from the other team shooting a basket. The scoreboard (located on the side of the court) will tell you the amount of points. You can only dribble or pass to teammates to get the ball to the hoop. The referee will tell you if you are offense or defense first. Offense is when you have the ball, defense is when you don't.

Points and Scoring

Points are very confusing when it comes to basketball, you may be wondering why they are all different numbers. You may think, “why the heck are there so many different numbers, I thought basketball wasn't math!” A three point basket is when you shoot from the farthest line possible. This is worth the most points because it is very hard to get a three pointer. A one point shot is a shot from the free throw line (or foul shot). A two point shot is a regular shot (not on the three point line and not a foul shot).

Materials that will be Required

There are a few materials that you will need or want to play basketball. The materials you will need/want is simply a basketball, basketball hoop, sneakers, jersey, water, backboard, scoreboard, and you should be in an area with a court/ hard surface. When you are buying basketball sneakers, ask yourself, if you think you will slide in these or if these are comfortable. You may find a court at your local town park and wonder how come this court is not hardwood. Basketball courts don't need to be wood (though for the best quality they should be) they can be cement, asphalt, or hardwood. I highly recommend basketball shorts. They are loose but give you room to run, not sweat, and exercise in them. You might wonder to yourself, “won't all this equipment cost a fortune?” If you do not want to pay a lot you can go to a used store, find coupons, and save up your money.


If you have ever watched the Celtics, you should know that dribbling plays a very important rule in the NBA. One thing you must know how to do is dribble the ball. There are three options: you can dribble with your right hand, left hand, or cross between the two. If a player is trying to steal the ball from you you will want to dribble low, so it is harder for the other player to steal the ball. If your back is facing the basket you can dribble with your right but then turn to your left and switch hands. Because putting your hand out and protecting the ball helps you get to the basket, you can easily sprint past the defender covering the ball.This will give you enough protection from another team getting the ball but also enough speed. If a player is blocking you from the basket on your right, you most likely will want to dribble with your left. This will help you keep the ball and protect it. When you dribble you want to look up so you can see the whole court. “I am terrible at basketball, I will never be like the NBA!” you might think! The NBA has been practicing and playing for many years, it takes practice, and never forget that. Don't quit just keep going!

Rebound Advice

Many times when players shoot they will miss the ball and the other team will get it, this is called a rebound. While you are getting a rebound from the other team, your team members will run to your side and wait for you to dribble up. A rebound is also very important when playing basketball. A rebound is when you gain possession of the ball from a missed shot that either bounces off the backboard or the rim. You don't want the other team scoring the ball do you? Sometimes a rebound is harder to get because it can bounce off and land on the opposite side you are on. You want to get a rebound so you can get the ball for your team. A rebound is sometimes requires you to jump which is not considered a foul.


Something you will come across a lot when playing basketball is a opponent blocking you. In this situation you will need to pass to a team member to get the ball moving. You can either do a bounce pass, or a chest pass. A bounce pass is when you throw the ball to the ground and then it bounces up. Although a “rainbow pass” (overhead) might be easier to do, your pass can get intercepted and the other team will steal the ball. A chest pass is a hard pass to your chest area. Then there is a pass called a overhead. You might have called it the “rainbow pass”. In crowded areas when your team members are not spreading out you may throw the ball in the air over your head. Sometimes you will get very angry because your team might not be getting open, but you will need to calm down and have a conversation with your team!

"Illegal" Moves

“Illegal” moves could not actually get you arrested but will get you a penalty in basketball or a foul play. Some things you must not do are double dribbling. This is an “illegal” move in basketball. Don´t get ahead of yourself now ,I know what you're thinking, no by double dribbling you will not really be a criminal! Double dribbling is a few things. When you touch the ball with both hands, dribble the ball and stop it then dribble it again, and if you permit the ball to come to rest while the player is in control of it. The referee will blow the whistle and that will be an automatic ball for the other team. When you do any of these “illegal” moves, you could be putting yourself or team members in danger depending on how violent also you cannot travel in basketball, which is when you hold the ball and walk with it. It results in a turnover, and the ball is given to the opposing team. While holding the ball, a player has to establish a pivot foot which has to remain on the floor at all times until he passes, shoots, or dribbles.

While holding the ball, his knee cannot touch the floor and if he falls, he must get rid of the ball before attempting to get up.When you are playing basketball you also can't touch somebody's hand. If a player is shooting you cannot prevent them from physically shooting although you can defend. You also cannot hang over somebody when you are defending which is considered a foul. Elbowing is a violation for players to jab aggressively. Don´t hurt somebody intentionally because you could get a penalty, it may be a joke at the time but consequences will be serious.

Picks and Stacks

When playing basketball you will hear the words pick and stack many times. Picks and stacks are very different from one another. Pick? What in the world is a pick? Well, a pick is when a player (on your team) is dribbling up and you put your fists together and push against the opposite that is guarding the player dribbling up. You cannot move when doing this pick only when the playing you are setting a pick on moves. A pick helps the player who is dribbling up run around the opponent and score a basket. If the other team starts to pick up on your stack and pick plays, you can either talk to your team members and switch the play or quit the pick plays. On a fast break (which is when you don’t have anytime to get the ball and the team runs straight for the basket) you should not do a pick.

A stack is when a play stands out of the court and smacks the ball with their hand. They will say “stack” and you must spread out onto the court. Once on the court the player will pass to one of you. The point of spreading out is to get away from the person defending you. Once passed to you will most likely either pass or score a basket.


Possibilities are endless when doing baskets, you could do many different passes and shooting. There are many different ways you can get a basket. Such as a assist, which is when you pass to a player and then they score. As you are making a basket, think to yourself what you can do to get a better basket. You may have to do this if you are stuck in a corner and can’t shoot. You can also shoot from the free throw line which is when a player commits a fowl. Or you could do a layup. A layup is when you run to the basket and lift your body up and roll the ball in. You could do a slam dunk which is when you hold yourself up on the rim and dunk it in. And lastly you can do a backboard shot. A backboard shot, which is when you aim for the square on the board, usually goes in every time. So many shots! How do I know what one to do? Choose the best shot for the situation like if you are running to the basket (on the side) and your defender is late a lay-up would be good.

Switching Baskets and other Important Things
  • Switching Baskets and other Important things
  • You will notice that at halftime you will get to switch baskets.
  • There are different levels of players on each team (unless you try out and get put on a team with the same skill level)
  • You will be matched up by size for defense and offense that way nobody will feel like they are shorter or taller that one another.
  • If you are defense you will want to dribble a player into a corner so they will have a small chance of getting out and passing to a team.
  • Your coach might suggest mouthguards incase you fell and damage your teeth
  • Your parents get to sit on the sidelines and cheer for you.
  • Every game you will either wear your jersey so it is red or white so you can remember who is on your team.
  • Most basketball games have eight periods with five minutes each.
  • During the game your coach might have a clipboard with assignments of who plays on which period.
  • To get rebounds you want to see where the ball is being aimed towards and where it is going. You might notice it is going to bounce of the rim. That means you will most likely want to see the force of which it is being pushed. If it is hard run away from the basket and if it is small or weak you will want to go close.
  • You don't always need to be right next to your opponent. If you are to close the opponent might just sprint right by you.
  • In basketball you should not say sorry or excuse me. When you are competing you will need to focus on the game.
  • Referee´s might use hand motions depending on what you did. You may want to watch a video online and learn how to understand them.
  • Many players often pick a role model such as a player from the Celtics. You may be inspired to be like them, this is good because you are challenging yourself to become better. Making goals is important too.
  • A healthy breakfast or snack before basketball is important. Like salad, a smoothie, or even a piece of fruit. If you eat too much you will get cramps in your stomach and slow down when you run.
  • If your coach is teaching you lay-ups they will most likely want to teach you without the ball at first to get used to the movement.

Learning how to play basketball will take you on a wild journey. But the importance of coordination will leave you with the knowledge of one of the best sports. So next time the Celtics are in town get a ticket and watch the great game, win or lose. And enjoy these funny jokes!

Why do basketball players love cookies?… Because they can dunk them!

Why can’t you play basketball with pigs?…They hog the ball.

Why was Cinderella thrown off the basketball team?… She ran away from the ball.


Created with images by Håkan Dahlström - "Open net" • Ben Husmann - "Dunk!" • keijj44 - "basketball girls basketball female" • Mr ATM - "Basketball Titans Nova-098" • jenny downing - "oh!" • keijj44 - "basketball game ball" • sanchom - "Rebound" • skeeze - "basketball male sport" • hyekab25 - "Wiped out: benched." • familymwr - "2010 All-Army women win Armed Forces Basketball Championships - FMWRC" • keijj44 - "basketball professional action" • USAG-Humphreys - "ESPN Armed Forces Classic - Game Day - U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, South Korea - 9 Nov. 2013" • Phil Roeder - "Iowa State Basketball Tournament"

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