How To Play Defense In Basketball

In the early stages of basketball training, a lot of attention is spent on shooting techniques as well as passing, scoring, physical strength, and fitness. But, like most sports, being able to play several different positions gives you an advantage. Basketball is a very fast-paced sport and defensive playing requires focus, strength, and sharp thinking. You could have a team full of top-notch offensive players and a great shooter or two but if you are lacking defensive skills, you won’t get very far in games. In this post, we outlined our top tips for playing defense so that you can get the upper hand.

Defensive Stance

Because everything moves so fast in basketball, you need to get ready. The ball could come your way at any moment and, if it ends up in your opponent’s hands, you need to be ready for a quick direction change to retrieve the ball or at the very least distract them from making their next pass. When watching basketball, you probably notice that every player seem to stand a certain way when they are playing defense. The defensive position looks something like this:

  • Feet Apart

Their stance is slightly wider than the width of their shoulders.

basketball feet apart

  • Knees Bent

Their weight is on the balls of their feet with their knees bent. This makes it easier to change direction rapidly while maintaining their balance. Because the knees are already bent, they can jump in the air instantly if they need to.

  • Back Is Relatively Straight

A defender’s back should be straight, but not to the point that they are straining to hold a defensive position. Just straighter than it would be if they were relaxed.

  • Hands Raised

Most of the time, a basketball player in defense has their hands raised but relaxed. This is so they are ready to intercept the ball or if they need to jump to try and prevent a shot or pass.

basketball knees bent

This is the basic stance of a basketball player playing defense. Now, coaches may have their own preference as to what stance they want players to use but it’s not usually too different than the description above.

Defending

Playing defense is not easy. It’s a matter of prediction and being as ready as you can be in case the game moves in a different direction. Here are a few tips for defending the ball:

  • Defense After A Shot

Try not to get caught up in the moment. As soon as a shot has been made by your team, its time to get ready.

  • Under Pressure

Don’t give it to them easily. No opposition player should be left with the ball with no one marking them. If this does happen, run over and put on the pressure. That way, they will either try and move or make a pass.

basketball step back shooting

  • Body Angles

Take note of where the player you are marking is located. If they are towards the side of the court, angle your body, making them move closer to the sideline.

  • Focus

You may be tempted to look them in the eye, but it is best to focus on their waist. Looking a player in the face makes it easy for them to fake a move. It is extremely hard for them to fake a move with their waist.

  • Staying Low

The whole time that you are defending the ball you should remain in a low position. It makes it easier for you to switch positions, change directions, or jump.

basketball focus

Communication

It might sound crazy but having a team that communicates on the court gives your defense the upper hand. You can only focus on your area and won’t always be able to see the rest of the court. That means you won’t necessarily know when other players are approaching you. Communication on the court can take a while to master but, when you have it, it makes all the difference.

Defending The Dribble

One of the harder points of defense is defending the dribble. It can be way too tempting to just reach for the ball but you need to remember that the other player is in control. Wait until they make a mistake or until they lose control. It’s good to try and force them to the nearest sideline. That way, they will be limited in space and will need to pass the ball. There is a greater chance of them making a mistake or losing control when they feel trapped. Flicking the ball away is possible only if the dribbler is trying to move past you or if they are bouncing the ball loosely. You mustn’t hit the handler’s hand because then you will be charged with a foul.

Off-Ball Defense

Defending a player on a corner three-point shot is one of the harder defense positions. You will likely need to move out quickly to block a passing lane but, if you stay out too long, you leave the other player open for the ball in a prime position. Always make sure to return as soon as possible. Off-ball defense means never standing still. The basketball is moving continuously and so should you be. Remain in your defensive stance but stick with the player that you are covering.

Strength Building And Defensive Drills

To improve your performance in a defensive position, there are a number of things that you can do aside from just practicing defense drills. Improving your strength helps in all areas of basketball, including defense. Squats can be done as part of your training to strengthen your stance and a range of ladder drill and jump rope workouts can improve your footwork. Planks and sit-ups are a simple and easy way to improve core strength which comes in very handy when playing in defense.

Defense is definitely not the easiest position to play and it requires a lot of focus. Each team that you play against has different strategies and studying their play won’t guarantee you a win. Things change and teams like to have the element of surprise. It really is a case of preparing for all scenarios.

Best Basketball Shots – Tips You Can Try

In basketball, there are many types of shooting techniques. It is a very hard skill to master and, even then, you can have off days. But, shooting is a vital part of the game so you need to train as hard as you can to become as good as you can. With that said we have put together some of our best tips to help you improve your shooting skills.

Improve Your Shooting Techniques

Professionals make it look so easy, but when it comes to shooting, there are a lot of things to think about at the same time. Below are some basic tips on shooting.

knees bent during shot

  • Start Small

Before taking a shot, you should have a pretty small stance, as in, keep your knees bent. By doing, this you gain more power for your shot.

  • Tips On The Ball

As tempting as it may be at the beginning, don’t use your palm to control the ball when taking a shot. For the most effective mechanics, it should only really be your fingertips that are touching the ball.

  • Flick Of The Wrist

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times before but flicking the wrist really makes all the difference to your shots. When watching pro basketball players, you will notice that every shot they take involves a strong flick of the wrist.

  • Peak Shot = Straight Elbow

When you reach the peak of your shot your elbow should be straight. In fact, because of the force that you are using, it is actually more of a snapping motion. It’s quick, it’s sharp, and it needs to be straight.

The Follow Through

tips on basketball

One of the biggest errors for people learning to shoot is not following through properly. It’s quite a strange position to be in but your arms should be straight with your fingers dangling down. The best way to describe how your fingers should be is that they are relaxed and not tensed.

Shooting Drills

As you probably already know, basketball coaches love a good drill, and for good reason. They are a fantastic way to improve skills. Here are some of our favorite basketball shooting drills.

  • Form Shooting

A really simple basketball shooting drill is a form shooting drill. This type of drill can be switched up however you like. Most of the time, form shooting drills are done by taking 3 or 4 shots on the right-hand side of the basket and then moving towards the center and taking another 3 or 4 shots. Afterward, move to the left and repeat the 3 or 4 shots. Once you have done this, you could try stepping back a few feet before repeating the process or you could stay where you are and repeat the shots again.

  • Step Back Shooting

Another simple shooting drill is where you stand just in front of the basket and take a shot. Once you make the shot, take a step back and take another shot. Continue doing this until you start to lose control of your shots. This drill helps you develop your shots from further away.

flicking the wrist

  • Star Shooting Drill

For this drill, you need to imagine or mark out the shape of a star on the court. In total, each point will represent 5 shots. Then, run to one point, shoot, then run to the next and shoot again. Repeat this process for a few minutes and record the number of shots you make or simply complete the star a few times.

Record Your Progress

The best way to keep an eye on your progress is to record it. There are several ways you can do this, whether its to keep a written record of how many baskets you make from a certain position or to video record yourself so that you can review the footage later. Whichever option you go for, always ensure that you aren’t just shooting from the same position every time. It’s much better to practice from all sorts of angles as you never know what might happen during play. The video option is especially effective for jump shots so you can see if your technique needs a little work.

Study The Big Dogs

If you want to play like the big dogs, you need to study the big dogs. Watch as many different players as you can to see how they prepare for a shot and how they execute it. You’ll notice that almost every player has their own techniques. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to copy them, but you will pick up on some similarities in their shots. You can then use these observations to improve your own methods and approach.

basketball peak shot

Increase Your Speed

Once you are making headway with your shots and technique, you need to work on speed. In a basketball game, you won’t necessarily be able to take your time with each shot. So, you will probably need to make a quick shot before you are left needing to pass. When first practicing your shooting skills, don’t stress about the speed factor. The most important thing is to work on your wrist flick and technique. When you feel comfortable with that, then work on your speed. For drills, working on speed will be much easier if you have a rebound partner who can retrieve the basketball for you and pass it back to you.

Practice Makes Perfect

We can’t stress enough how important it is to practice. Don’t get us wrong, there will be days when you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere and everything seems to be going wrong. You won’t make every shot every time but you have to have the patience to persevere. Eventually, you will see improvement and shooting will become second nature to you.

There are so many ways that you can improve your shooting technique to improve your technique across the board. If you are already part of a team, speak with your coach and listen to their advice. It’s harder for you to know what you need to improve on as you can’t always see what you are doing.

Ideal Basketball Rim Height

Whether the game is played indoors or outdoors, it is important to take into account the profile of the players who will be using the court. This enables the determination of the ideal hoop height. One of the most important factors when it comes to basketball rim height is the age of the players. Gameplay would be made extremely difficult for juniors if they were playing at the same height as adults. Furthermore, unless we’re dealing with a person with an unusual height, the vast majority will be within average height parameters for that particular age range. Therefore, there should be no major disadvantage among them.

basketball ground

Age-Based Basketball Rim Height

Adjusting the height of a basketball hoop based on a specific age range is essential. It allows the younger players to develop the necessary habits that will benefit their gameplay as they grow. The reason behind lowering the basketball rim height for juniors doesn’t just come down to capabilities. Worryingly children begin to develop bad shooting habits when using a 10-foot hoop because of how extremely difficult it is for them to be able to throw the ball due to their limited body strength. Not only that but they will naturally want to shoot close to the hoop which then puts a lot of strain on their wrists. Have you ever seen a 7-year-old take a mid-range shot in a 10-foot hoop? What do you think will happen after a year of throwing like that? The most common would be competitive strain injury. There are, of course, a lot of problems that can develop because of it, but we won’t get too negative here. When our younger players experience and develop these bad habits, they then become so embedded in their subconscious that it becomes extremely difficult to correct them at a later age. This will have a knock-on effect when playing for different teams and more so for the ones that try to pursue basketball on a professional level.

So remember, it is important to be able to set the height of the hoop according to the average age of the players.

So Which Height Do You Need?

Over the years there has been much debate about what is considered the ideal height of a basketball hoop based on the average age of the player. But, in recent years a guide, if you like, has been put together to provide some clarity.

kid playing basketball

For Ages Between 5 And 7 The Ideal Height Is Between 6 To 7 Feet

This is the minimum height suitable for the youngest players. It allows them to adjust to the sport and start developing basketball fundamentals without major complications. For this age group, skill development should be the main objective as their brains are highly susceptible to learning new skills.

For Ages Between 8 And 9 The Ideal Height Is 8 Feet

At this age, the children will be a little more physically developed and many will appear able to play in a much higher hoop than the recommended 8 feet. Although it may be tempting to get them playing with a higher hoop setup, it is best to stick with the advised height of 8 feet.

By doing this you are allowing them to continue developing their skills and strengthen the fundamentals of the game.

For Ages Between 10 And 11 The Ideal Height Is 9 Feet

Comparatively, 10 and 11 year old children will be a little more advanced in their physical development, so they will be able to throw a basketball much more easily. By now their knowledge is much more extensive and they should also be aware of their bodies are under unnecessary strain. Therefore, it is now deemed appropriate to raise the height of the hoop by one more foot.

For Ages 12 And Older The Ideal Height Is 10 Feet

Once the juniors reach this age they can start safely practicing in a 10-foot hoop. But, with that being said it is important to monitor their shooting as often as possible. If they are experienced players then their technique will likely be very good but if they are just joining the game at this point then extra training should be given prior to shooting in a higher hoop.

What To Look For?

Notice if they are either trying too hard or if they do it with the same flow and ease as in a lower ring. If this is not the case, then it is time to consider keeping the height of the ring at 9 feet. A natural reaction to missing the basket frequently is to switch up their shooting technique rather than to work on concentration or to continue practicing the method they have been taught.

basketball in hoop

The main reason as to why we set the height of the hoop according to an age range is to favor the natural development of valuable basketball habits. It helps to build solid game fundamentals and also nurture quality basketball skills.

NBA Basketball Rim Height

Currently, the NBA regulations state that a basketball rim height should be 10 feet. Considering that there are a lot of very tall players in the NBA the 10-foot rim height regulation has been very controversial for many years. It’s no secret that a majority of leading teams go in search of very tall players. Which would be perfectly acceptable if their basketball skills were up to scratch anyway. Unfortunately, however, that isn’t always the case. Some teams seem to scout tall players even if the shorter ones have better technique and gameplay. That’s not to say that it’s impossible for shorter players to make the NBA, it simply means that they will likely have to work a lot harder than everyone else.

So, whether you are coaching a team, setting up a court for your children, or self-teaching yourself, the height of a basketball rim is very important. Starting with a lower basketball rim height is nothing to be ashamed of. It simply means that your technique will get stronger and your muscle memory will be more on point.

Basketball Court Layout – The Complete Guide For Beginners

Created over 120 years ago, basketball has grown to become one of the world’s leading sports. It has gained millions of fans worldwide and continues to advance to this day.

Throughout basketball’s rich history, especially during the last few decades, its skilled gameplay and discipline has undergone many changes. Some of which, are slightly radical and some subtle. Amongst these changes, the dimensions of the courts have perhaps been one of the only elements that have remained fairly consistent over the years. In this post, we are breaking down a basketball court layout so that even as a complete beginner you can get a good idea of what everything means.

Back To Basics

So, you’ve likely seen a basketball court before. It’s pretty much made up of lines and circles. Before we go any further, just know that this explanation is based on a full-sized court. We will first explain the goings-on in the middle of the court and then we will dive into what happens on either end.

The Middle Of The Court

middle of the court circle

There is a line that runs straight through the center of a court which is called the half-court line or simply mid-court. In the middle of the line that signifies the middle of the court, there is a circle known as the center circle. This is where the game is started from with a jump ball.

Either End Of The Court

either end of the court

This is where things can get a little confusing as there is so much going on at either end of the basketball court. First of all, there is a rectangle shape around the basketball hoop. At the end of the rectangle, facing the hoop there is another circle known as the free throw circle. Half of that circle is inside the rectangle and the other half is outside of it. The very end of the rectangle which is halfway in the circle indicates the free throw line. It is about 15 feet from the basket and it means that any player that is taking a foul shot (or a free throw as it is also known) cannot cross this line. Outside of the rectangle that surrounds the basket and the free throw circle, there is another marking that signifies the three-point line. The exact same markings are replicated on the other side of the court.

Sidelines And Boundaries

basketball court boundary

Surrounding the entire basketball court there is a thick line. These are the boundaries of the game. The lines at the side of the court are known as the sidelines and the ones behind the basketball hoops are called the base line. Inside these lines are in play and outside of them are not.

Other Things To Know

Once you have the hang of the basketball court layout and you are clear on what the markings mean, then its time to learn a few other bits of terminology. The side of the basketball court that your team is shooting, is called the frontcourt. Alternatively, the side containing the basketball hoop that your opponent is shooting in is called the backcourt.

Basketball Court Dimensions

In order to start outlining the dimensions of a basketball court, it is important to know that not all basketball courts will be the same. However, there are certain aspects that basketball courts around the world must have, regardless of the level and the league that is played.

Even though there are many other varying factors depending on the place and the regulations in which you are playing, there are several elements that are universally common in all the courts around the world. For example,

  • Sideline (length)
  • Baseline (width)
  • Foul line
  • “The paint” area
  • Circles
  • 3 Point Line

Let’s start by defining the dimensions of each of these sections at the same time that we specify the different measurements applied at different levels. Including, those that are used in the most important and advanced leagues around the world.

Length And Width

  • NBA, WNBA & NCAA: All basketball courts at these levels are 94 feet (approximately 28.6 m) long and 50 feet (15 m) wide.
  • FIBA: Courts at the international level are 92 feet (28 m) long and 49 feet (15 m) wide.
  • High School And Junior High: The courts are a bit smaller at this level. They are typically 84 feet (approximately 25.6 m) long and 50 feet (15 m) wide.

basketball court aerial view

The Foul Line

At all levels, the foul line distance is 15 inches from the front of the backboard and 18 feet and 10 inches from the baseline.

“The Paint” Area

  • NBA, WNBA & FIBA: At the highest level it´s 16 feet wide.
  • NCAA: For some reason, the free throw line for college basketball is way shorter than any other basketball court. It extends to 12 feet wide.
  • High School And Junior High: It extends to 15 inches all the way from the front of the backboard to the free-throw line.

Circles

Every basketball court has 3 circles. The main one is right in the center of the court. The other two are on each end, centered on the foul line. All three of them are 6 inches in diameter.

3-Point Line

  • NBA: This is by far the longest 3-point line among all courts, leagues, and competitions. It´s 23.75 feet (7.23 m) in the middle and 22 feet (6.7 m) from the corners.
  • FIBA & WNBA: On both international and WNBA the 3-point line is 22.15 feet (6.75 m) long from the middle and 21.65 feet (6.6 m) long from the corners.
  • NCAA: At the college level it´s 20.75 feet, roughly 6.3 meters.
  • High School And Junior High: 19.75 feet or 6 meters

If you are looking at creating a basketball court for a team or school, then there are more areas that you should consider. They are areas that are common in all competitions and ones that you should account for to ensure that there is enough room for them. For example, the team´s bench area, a space reserved for game officials, a safety area that surrounds the entire basketball court, an area for photographers and different members of the media, and potentially many other spaces.

Outstanding Basketball Passing Drills

Improve Your Game with Drills to Help Your Team

Hand-eye coordination is an umbrella skill set, which has applications and acuity required for a wide variety of skills and practices. From carpentry and artisanal craft making to playing an instrument like the piano or guitar to the wide world of sports—physical acuity is essential for the masterful practice of many professions and crafts. Basketball is one of the best examples of an activity that requires a high level of hand-eye coordination on the part of the basketball players in the game. Everything from shooting and dribbling to passing the ball requires an acute awareness and muscle memory. The process of becoming a master of any focus requires many hours of practice; however, practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Therefore, there is an overwhelmingly large gap between practitioner and mastery. To become the best craftsman, athlete, or wizard that one can possibly be—to master a craft—one must practice well. Practice drills and exercises that will hone your skills, instead of cementing bad habits and coping techniques. Outstanding basketball players are the ones that make constant use of the best drills and equipment to enable their best gameplay. Improve areas of your basketball skills, where you are weakest. Improve the way you shoot, dribble, how you tackle man-to-man defense, take free throws... the list is endless.

drills to help your team image

Whether you're a player or a coach, effective basketball drills will help many areas of your game, development, and player management. Improving your basketball skills in all areas is vitally important in becoming the next big player. You must learn to dribble the ball, make a fast break, become an offensive player and especially pass accurately and quickly to your teammates. Passing the ball is essential to the effective gameplay of a team. Good passing makes for a strong offensive strategy on the court and often is a more integral skill to hone for a winning team than that of shooting the ball. It’s not good enough to only be able to sink baskets. If the ball can't get to the basket from the center of the court, it doesn't matter how good your shots are you're not going to score many points. Basketball is about passing more than anything else because basketball is about teamwork. Without your teammates, you're outnumbered and you cannot defend yourself from the other team's defensive strategies. However, when teams work together effectively, through effectively passing the ball, an offensive attack is more formidable than a good defense because the offense always is dictating the gameplay.

Basics of Receiving the Ball

receiving the ball image

The first and last goal of a successful pass is for the ball to be received by the player for whom it was intended. Part one is to pass the ball and part two is to receive the ball. Receivers should catch the ball with two hands, which is essential when being threatened by a defender who will try to take the ball. The receiver's hands should remain relaxed, often called soft hands, and should keep their eye on the ball from the instant it leaves the passer's hands to the moment it is firmly in control in the receiver's hands. The easiest way to receive a pass is to move toward the ball. Once the ball has left the passer’s hands, closing the distance between the receiver and the ball will increase the likelihood of successfully receiving the pass.

Often, receivers are not able to be—and should not be—stationary on the court. Moving targets are harder to hit, yes; however, they are also more difficult to intercept and defend against. By making V-cuts and back-cuts, receivers should make themselves open to pass to and always keep track of where the ball is at on the court.

Fundamentals and Guidelines for Passing the Ball

Once you know how to receive the ball, passing the ball will make more sense. There are three types of passes, which are the cornerstones of moving the ball down the court.

passing the ball image

They include the chest pass, the bounce pass, and the overhead pass. After players have become comfortable with these passes and know when to utilize any specific pass, an additional behind-the-back-pass may be introduced.

All three passing types have the same technique. First, the passer will take a step towards the receiver for whom the pass will be directed. Next, the passer will extend their arms toward the receiver and with palms faced outwards and thumbs pointed downward, will attempt to deliver the ball as accurately as possible. Effective teams are those which consist of individuals who use their skills to work together in a game. Making the correct decision in passing is accomplished without ego and with confidence in one's skill and the team’s abilities. Keep it simple. Flashy does not mean skillful.

Passing Types and Technique

  • Two-Handed Chest Pass

It does not get any more effective, simple, and efficient than the chest pass. This pass can be utilized from any position on the court and should be the go-to pass type. It is fast, direct, and effective for moving the ball across the court. This pass is executed with both hands on the ball, on either side. Extend the arms towards the receiver and snap the wrists as the passer pushes the ball away from their chest. When the ball has left the passer's hands, the wrists should be facing each other. The passer wants the ball to fly parallel to the floor on its trajectory towards the receiver and arrive in the region of the receiver’s waist or, at least, below their shoulders.

  • Two-Handed Bounce Pass
two handed bounce pass image

The bounce pass is an effective way of getting the ball out from behind a defender. It is often utilized in a high-pass fake—to seem as though a shot is going to be taken—but instead, bounce-passing to a teammate. Though it is useful in some situations, it is the slowest pass available for a passer to choose from. When passing with a bounce, the ball should generally hit the floor, about two-thirds of the way through its intended trajectory towards the receiver. The same physical hand and arm technique is used, as was used in the chest pass. The passer is aiming for the receiver to catch the ball between the height of the knees and the center of the waist.

  • Two-Handed Overhead Pass
two handed overhead pass image

The overhead pass is an effective pass for any player on the court. It is not as fast as the chest pass, but much more easily defended than the bounce pass. The two-handed overhead pass is easy to control and to keep it from the other team’s defending players. The passers fingers should point towards the sky, with their thumbs pointing towards each other on the back of the ball, while their hands are on either side of the ball. Like the chest pass, bring the ball over the head and snap the wrists to send the ball to the receiver. As is true with all passes, take a step towards the target as the ball is passed.

How to Choose the Right Basketball Backboard

Basketball Backboard Dimensions and Information

It’s March madness time and there's no better way to get in the spirit of the sport than to put in—or upgrade—a basketball hoop. There are too many options available to look through them all. Don't try, you’ll hurt yourself! We’ve gone ahead and done some compiling for you of the best basketball backboard to fit your hoop. If you don't have a backboard and hoop already, you'll need to decide on some specific features, which can differ depending on how you wish to use it. If you already the complete basketball system of a basketball hoop, net, backboard, pole and everything else consider an upgrade.

basketball backboard dimensions image

The size of your backboard will directly correlate to the size of your rim and your available space. Also, there are some elements of consideration which concern the intended use of the unit. If your basketball hoop is only meant for use at home, maybe for the kids, you will want to look for different sizing features than that of a hoop used for off-season college training for students or other professional related uses. The backboard size will generally fall between 46 inches wide, to 72 inches wide. Be careful choosing too small of a backboard size, as it will become difficult to bank shots off of for most adult players.

Basketball Backboards

basketball backboards image

The game of basketball has evolved substantially since its meager induction into the sporting world. In the 19th century, basketball was invented by mounting a peach basket on a board or wall. The principle was generally the same—putting a ball through the basket to score a point. The progression of the game was fueled by its official approval as a sport in 1909. The design of backboards began to gradually change through the years, from a wall to a wire-mesh board, then to wood, and finally to transparent glass, which the game still uses today for regulation basketball. Since the game's official acceptance in 1909, many rules and regulations were added, including specific dimensional regulations that concern the baskets backboards.

  • Professional Regulation Backboard Dimensions

The National Basketball Association has set forth requirements which dictate the dimensional properties of all NBA, WNBA, and NCAA backboards. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has slightly different stipulations than that of professional basketball; however, they are very similar. The organizations both hold several stipulations in parallel:

  • The basketball backboard must be completely flat;
  • it must be manufactured to be a transparent board;
  • and the backboard must measure to a width of six feet exactly.

Collegiate basketball regulations differ from that of professional ball when it comes to the required height of the board. In the NBA and WNBA, the basketball backboard must measure to the height of three and a half feet tall and no more. The National Collegiate Athletic Association allows the court’s backboards to measure between three and a half feet to four feet tall. However, most collegiate basketball courts are made to professional specifications, as too are high school courts. High school athletics has very strict regulations and conforms to all NCAA standards.

In deciding the correct-sized backboard for your home, office, or school court the most important factor in one's decision making will likely fall to the size of one's intended area for playing. Professional basketball uses a 72-inch wide backboard, which measures at 6 feet. If your space will accommodate a board of that size, go for it. If the space you are setting it up in does not have the area to accommodate a full-sized, six-foot backboard, try to find a backboard that is as close to 72 inches as you possibly can.

The concern in getting a backboard that is a deviation from a full-sized regulation backboard is more so for those who are playing on a team or for any sort of competitive organization. If you spend all your practice time doing layups on a backboard that measures less than 72 inches, your shot will take a bit of a learning curve when you acclimate to a regulation sized board. Unfortunately, this would often happen when you need your best game in competition.

Best Backboards

  • 72-Inch Wide Professional Regulation Size Backboards
72 inch wide professional regulation size backboards

The best backboard for you depends on what you are using it for and where it will be located. A full basketball court—or half court—will likely be served best by the industry standard quality equipment. This will allow the usage of one's equipment to benefit their game the most effectively and directly. One such basketball backboard is the Gared LXP4200 Steel Frame Glass Backboard (EA). This backboard is branded by EA Sports, a world leader in the commercial sporting equipment industry. It measures 42 inches by 72 inches, from steel frame edge, to edge. The spacing conforms exactly to the NCAA and NBA regulations for tournament play. The unit weighs 201 pounds (without padding) and is made of a transparent glass. This is the best backboard for professionals, amateurs, and serious enthusiasts. It can be mounted on either outdoor courts or indoor basketball courts.


  • Non-Transparent Indoor Full-Size Backboards
non transparent indoor full size backboards

For strictly indoor use, often at a lower cost, non-transparent backboards are used. These are more common in high school and public courts, where regulations are not mandatory. However, these boards are no downgrade to the glass backboards. The 1460sb 42" x 72" Rectangular Fiberesin Basketball Backboard from Spalding, measures to regulation specifications and is made out of a synthetic backboard material. The Spalding 1460sb Rectangular Fiberesin Basketball Backboard comes with a 10-year warranty; however, that does not cover outdoor damage or nature accidents. This board is meant for indoor use.


  • Fan Shaped 54-Inch Backboards
fan shaped 54 inch backboards

Other backboards are great for spaces with area restrictions or that are solely intended for shots, instead of on a full or half court. The Gared Steel Fan Shaped Front Mount Backboard is one such backboard, which might be perfect for the driveway, over the garage, or in the backyard barn court. The board is as small as you want to go, while still being able to use it for bank shots, at 54 inches by 35 inches. The fan shape is both classic and unique and is great for hobbyists and enthusiasts alike.


  • Junior Backboards Under 54 Inches
junior backboards under 54 inches

For the young ones and for little ones, even a 54-inch wide backboard may prove to be unnecessary or just too large. Junior backboards are much more reasonable, especially for kids who just want to have fun throwing the basketball. The Spalding Eco Composite Combo with Mounting Bracket is a great basketball backboard for beginners. It only measures 44 inches wide, which will make for satisfying gameplay for kids.


How to Shoot a Basketball Better: Learning the Tricks of the Trade

Basketball is a sport that can be learned. While there are some who are naturally born with the skills to shoot hoops, in most instances, it is something that is learned. For sure, it will take time and a lot of practice. If you are committed, however, it will not take long before you will be able to showcase your superstar moves.

How to Shoot Basketball Better

Tips on How to Shoot a Basketball Better

  • Balance, Eye, Elbow, Follow-through

Commonly known as BEEF, these are some of the most important things that you should remember when shooting. Make sure that balance of the body is maintained in order to let go of a powerful shot that will get smoothly on the rim.

Balance, Eye, Elbow, Follow-through

  • Keep a Relaxed Disposition

It is also important to be as relaxed as possible. If you are tensed, this can be reflective on the shot that is thrown. While being relaxed, keep your focus on the rim. Your goal is to shoot it straight and not to land the ball somewhere else.

  • Maintain a Correct Stance

This is related to maintaining the right balance. Aside from knowing the right position, you should also know the angle at which you are most comfortable. When playing against others, you should also analyze their playing style in order to determine the stance that will work best for your advantage.

  • Master your Arcs

In every shot that you take, make sure that you create an arc. Depending on the type of player that you are, you can demonstrate either low or short arcs. The important thing is to make sure that the arc is sufficient enough to send the ball to the goal.

  • Jump Naturally

The way that you jump will have a huge influence on the way you play. Make sure to keep it as natural as possible. Forcing a jump can pressure the ball out of the intended direction. Keep it nice and smooth, and you will surely not have a missed shot.

  • Do not be Discouraged

For sure, no basketball game will be perfect. There will be missed shots. This should be a learning experience for you. Do not be affected to much by a single missed goal as this can impact your entire play.

  • Practice Continuously

As many people would say, practice makes perfect. Shoot hoops as long as you have the time. This is also a good form of exercise. Practice from different angles and learn different shooting styles. Make sure as well that the techniques practiced are appropriate with your current playing skills.

Basketball Drills & Tips : How to Shoot a Basketball Better

Get Perfect Shooting Form! (Form Shooting Drill) –ShotScience Basketball

At the end of the day, being the best basketball player that you can be will depend on how much you practice. To be the sharpest shooter from your team, work on it. As long as you keep on harnessing your shooting skills, it will not take long before others will noticed how much you improved in your game.


How to Dribble a Basketball: Easy and Effective Tips

Being a good dribbler equates into being a good ball handler, which is one of the most important things in a game of basketball. It is important not only to learn how to dribble, but also when or when not to dribble. For beginners, this might take a lot of practice. Like all basketball skills, however, this can be learned effectively through time. If you want to know how to dribble a basketball in a manner that is both easy and effective, this article will be a nice read.

How to Dribble a Basketball

How to Dribble a Basketball: The Basics

  • Your eyes should be up.

One common mistake that is often committed by beginners is looking at the ball while dribbling. While this might be good if you are playing alone, it will be a different case when playing with opponents. Your eyes should be glued on your teammates and those from the defense. If your eyes are stuck on the ball, possession can be easily gained by the players of the opposing team.

  • Use your fingers and not your palm.

Your fingers should have a solid grip of the ball that is dribbled. If you allow the palm to control dribbling, your grip will be weaker. See to it that your fingers will be able to feel the ball while keeping it firm.

  • The ball should bounce at the level of your waist.

This is one of the most important things that should be learned by beginners. If the ball is kept bouncing at waist-level, you will be able to demonstrate better control and ease of movement. Once you have mastered this trick, you can start learning how to dribble low and at an angled position while making sure that the ball will be kept at your position.

  • Versatility is important.

Most beginners start by learning how to dribble with the use of one hand. While this can be good, you should eventually increase the difficulty and work on learning how to switch from the left to right hand while you are dribbling. Also, you should learn how to do it in between your legs. This will make you more creative and skillful, and hence being ahead in terms of how your opponents might think. Remember however, that dribbling with the use of two hands at a time will create a double dribble violation.

  • Run while you dribble.

In an actual game of basketball, you will create a violation of traveling if you fail to dribble the ball as you take three or more steps. This means that you should practice dribbling not only in a stationary position, but also when you are running. This is one of the trickiest parts to master as you will need to learn coordination between your hands and legs, and also make sure that your eyes are in control.

  • Shifting your body’s momentum.

The weight and momentum of your body should not remain stable. It should change as you move and dribble. The direction of the momentum should be to where the ball is headed, which will also provide you with the power that is needed to have the ball handled and controlled.

  • Take control of the ball.

Control is a critical thing in basketball, especially when you are dribbling. You should dribble with sufficient force to keep the ball at the right height. However, with too much force, the ball can bounce in different directions and other players might find it easy to snatch the ball from your possession.

Basic Techniques to Master

  • Basic Dribbling:

As mentioned above, you should use your fingertips and wrist to apply pressure to the ball and not your palms. The lower arm to the elbow part should pump the ball to dribble and your shoulders should never move. When you move your shoulders as you dribble the ball, you will lose control of the ball.

DRIBBLING 101 (How to Dribble a Basketball) — Shot Science

  • Speed Dribbling:

In this kind of dribble, you have to lean your body forward, just like your position when you are running. You should push the ball ahead of you and not on the side of your body. In this kind of dribbling, it should be higher or at least at the level of your waist. You should also remember to maintain the right speed, depending on how the ball is moving. This will make sure that you will never lose touch of the ball as movements are made.

How to Dribble Faster | Basketball Moves

  • Between the Legs Dribbling:

It is important to learn this dribbling move as you will find it useful when you are tightly guarded. One of the most important things to remember is to dribble low, making sure that it will be able to pass through the legs smoothly. See to it as well that the ball is pushed with enough force to let it pass and be transferred to the other hand.

Scissor Dribble ATTACK!!! (The UNSTOPPABLE Between-the-Legs Dribble) — Shot Science Basketball

  • Crossover Dribbling:

Simply put, this technique is all about transferring the ball from one hand to another as you move. Speed and height are two of the most critical things that you should be mindful about. Do this as quickly as possible while making sure that the ball is kept at a low position. See to it that your legs and hand will be able to respond quickly to the direction of the ball.

HOW TO DO THE KILLER CROSSOVER DRIBBLE! Break them ANKLES!! — Shot Science Basketball

You need to practice your skills in dribbling if you want to know how to be better in playing hoops. Your body needs to respond quickly and must be able to cope up with the speed of the ball. Through the things that have been mentioned above, it is expected that you have gained ideas that can prove to be useful in mastering how to dribble a basketball. In due time, you will soon learn the tricks and show others how you can shake the court through your playful moves.

How to Shoot a Basketball: Basic Guide for Beginners

It is never too late for you to learn how to shoot a basketball. Even if you are old enough, it does not mean that basketball is not a sport for you. With practice and the commitment to learn, you will eventually learn the right techniques. Soon enough, you will master such and be able to play hoops with those who have learned about the sport for a long time already. This article provides a quick guide that can be used for you to learn and improve your shooting skills.

how to shoot a basketball

How to Shoot a Basketball Properly and Perfectly

  • One of the first things that you need to know is the importance of keeping your eyes on the target. Make sure that your eyes are focused on the target or on the rim. Avoid following the direction of the ball as it is shot.

EYES ON TARGET

  • Your stance and balance will also prove to be critical. Your feet should be apart almost the same width as your shoulders. Your knees should be also bent slightly as it will provide the power that is needed in making a shot. It is also important to make sure that the elbows are tucked as closely to the body and not as if you are doing an elbow fight with someone.

STANCE AND BALANCE

  • One good thing to remember is to start small and end tall. This simply means that as you start making a shot, make sure that you are bent properly on your legs. As you move to release the ball, straighten your legs and raise your hands to provide power to your shot, and hence, being able to end tall.
  • In learning how to shoot, your grip of the ball will also prove to be an important thing to learn. For right-handed players, your right hand should be placed on the top of the ball while the left hand should be on the other side, which will provide the support that is needed as you shoot. As the ball is released, the non-shooting hand should not move and it should also be the one to come off the ball first.

shootingb2

  • With regards to the delivery of the ball, make sure that it goes forward to the direction of the rim and not at the back of your head, which is pretty much a common sense thing to learn. The start motion should be also in an upward direction. When releasing the ball, make sure that there is coordinated movement from arm, legs, and core to provide the power that will be required to direct the ball to the rim. Also, pay attention to the position of the wrist and elbow, and make sure that they are pointed straight to the basket.

delivery of the ball

  • Releasing the ball can be done either from the front of the face or from the back of your head. There is no definite answer as to which one is the best, as this will basically depend on your playing style and technique. If the ball is cocked from a lower position, you are more prone into being blocked by the opposing team. More so, if it is cocked farther from the back of your head, it will take quite a while for the shot to be released and for the ball to hit the rim.
  • You also need to think about your upward force if you want to learn how to shoot a basketball perfectly. Your upward force will be generated by your legs, so make sure that your leg muscles will do the job and not the other parts of your body, such as the hand. See to it that the ball is released while you are in an upward direction, and not when you are already landing on the surface. To demonstrate perfect balance, see to it that you landing spot will be the same from where you jumped as the ball is shot.
  • Follow through should be also given emphasis in order to ensure the right rotation of the ball on its direction to the ring. Make sure that the wrists are relaxed and your fingers should be kept naturally hanging. Your follow through position should be held until the ball reaches the rim.

Practical Tips to Consider

Aside from the technical aspects that you should learn about shooting a basketball, there are also some practical tips that will allow you to be better. By keeping these things in mind, learning will come naturally and at a quicker phase.

  • Going online will prove to be a big help. Aside from the illustrated articles that are available, there are also videos, such as in the case of YouTube, which will make it easier for you to learn the fundamentals. Here are some good ones:
Get PERFECT Shooting Arc!!! (How to shoot a basketball) — Shot Science Basketball

Get Perfect Shooting Form! (Form Shooting Drill) –ShotScience Basketball

Basketball Drills & Tips : How to Shoot a Basketball Better

  • Try to always visualize. Even if you are not in an actual basketball court, think of yourself as holding a ball and imagine the right position and how the ball is released. By having a picture of the right stance on your mind, you will find it easier to have such applied during an actual game.
  • It is also important to make sure that you are using the right ball, such as one that is appropriate for your age and skills. Using the wrong ball can do a lot to discourage you from learning.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

Conclusion

For beginners, learning how to shoot a basketball properly can prove to be a tedious task. Nonetheless, it will not take long before you will be able to master the trick of it. Make sure that you are relaxed and that you keep the right stance. Do not be hesitant to ask help from someone who has been playing basketball for a long time already. Most importantly, as in everything else, practice makes perfect. As you learn the basics of shooting, you will achieve higher percentage of goals and will increase your playability.