You own a basketball and would like to improve your dribbling skills at home.
To ensure your dribbling skills are top-notch, follow these tips and tricks from the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s Handling Basketball Balls Sports and Fitness group.
Keep the dribble low to your floor
If players are kept low, they tend to have more explosion when they try to attack the basket. Also, it is very difficult for a defensive player to steal the ball off an offensive player who keeps the ball low. Your defender will have a better chance at stealing the ball if you push down with your fingertips.
Keep your head high
As a ballhandler, it is vital to keep your head elevated in order to see the court clearly. If a player keeps their head down, they won’t be able to see the game clearly and will make poor play for their team. At home, you can simply watch highlights and dribble. Or go outside and concentrate on a spot on the wall.
Use your weak hand to get things done
It is crucial that players can use both hands to hold the ball. Do not be one of those players who can only use one hand to control the ball. The best players are able to use either hand to make plays. You can improve your skills by practicing your favorite moves using both hands. Take up other activities, such as eating or spending one whole day with your non-dominant hands when dribbling or performing lay-ups.
Keep the ball safe
Your off-hand and body can be used to protect the ball. Consider your offhand as a shield against defenders. It is best to not push with your offhand, as it will result in an offense foul. But, it is okay to use your other hand to prevent the defensive player taking the ball. To improve your dribbling skills, it is important to practice using your non-dribbling hand to protect your ball.
Change in pace/direction
Speed and misdirection are important when attacking the rim. This will cause your defenders to lose interest and leave you with more room to make plays for your teammates. All of these moves will help a ballhandler make more space for their team. If you are dribbling outdoors, practice speeding up and slowing down. Also, change the look and speed of your moves.
Basketball Basics and the Basketball Court
What you need to know
Basketball is a contact sport, where opposing teams score points by hitting the basketball into their baskets. The team scoring the most points wins.
Basketball players can pass the ball to each other or dribble the ball while they are moving.
You must be able to run quickly on a small, congested court and have excellent hand-eye coordination.
Each team has five players on the basketball court at a time. Five substitutes can be found on the court sideline.
The game starts with the basketball being thrown by the referee. Two players standing in the center circle, grab it and tap it to one another.
Basketball is not allowed to have holding, tripping or hitting. For the remainder of the game, a player is expelled from the court if they have committed more than five fouls.
The basketball has a round shape with a circumference approximately 75cm (29.5in), and weights in at 600g (21oz).
James Naismith, a Canadian, invented the modern game of basketball. In 1891, he was a teacher at YMCA Training School, Massachusetts, USA. He had to find a sport that would be suitable for indoor play during winter. The first game was played using a basketball and two peach baskets as goals.
1936 was the year that basketball became an Olympic sport.
The basketball court floor
Here’s a description of the basketball court
- A 28m x 15m rectangular court is used to play basketball (84ftx50ft).
- The baskets measure 45cm (18in), are 3m (10ft) high, and are fixed to the backboards with a fixation.
- The key is the area that surrounds the basket on all four sides.
- The line for free throws is located at the key’s narrow end. It allows shots to be taken immediately after a foul is given.
The large arc (6.25″ or 20.5ft from each basket), is the three point line. Any shots made outside of this line will score you an extra point.
Benefits of basketball for fitness
- Strengthens the upper body and arms to throw the basketball.
- Ball handling helps develop hand-eye coordination.
- It improves lower leg strength and sprints in short bursts to cover the basketball court.
- This increases flexibility as the feet and hands must be able to adapt to the fast pace.
- Accuracy increases with quick changes of direction and plays.
- Basketball helps improve balance and concentration.