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The Times


Speed & precision: the 5 most important skills needed ins basketball

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Basketball is one of the most skill-oriented sports on Earth. From the precision needed to nail a three-pointer to the agility needed to dodge, twist, turn and pivot over a gruelling 40 minute contest, this is a game that requires true dedication to master.

However, learning the fundamentals isn’t difficult - all you need is a top quality basketball ball, a hoop and a little time to practise.

Make sure you work on these skills when you’re down at the court:

  1. Dribbling

Dribbling is the game’s ultimate fundamental, because if you don’t know how to legally move with the ball at your fingertips then you could be in a lot of on-court trouble.

To be able to keep moving on the court, the ball has to keep moving too, and the best way to start learning is to keep it in motion whilst you stand still. This will help you develop one of the most important cognitive skills in the game and one that will help you through life: hand-eye coordination.

Once you have got the hang of dribbling whilst standing still, you can then start to bring a little movement into your dribbling. Once you’ve mastered that, it’s time to start dribbling with your opposite hand and introducing crossovers into your game - both slightly more advanced skills that will take your overall game to new heights!

  1. Passing

Passing is not easy: sure, it can be quite simple to hand it off to your teammate, but once you get around your attacking three, picking a play-winning pass becomes a different scenario.

Of course, this is all something that comes with time and experience, and the most important thing is to first of all understand the basics of passing. There are many different types of pass: the overhead pass, the chest pass, bounce pass and more, with the ability to pass over both short and long distances crucial to each individual point-scoring opportunity.

  1. Shooting

Shooting, for many, is the hardest fundamental skill to grasp. After all, you are trying to put what is a rather heavy basketball ball into a small net and from all distances - it makes sense that it can be difficult.

But it’s also one of the most satisfying skills to learn, especially when you can get down to the local court and practise your jump shot, free throw, hook shot, layup and bank shot without hindrance.

  1. Agility

Agility isn’t only great to have on the court, but it’s also an important health element to take on throughout your life. Getting back to the court, players need agility to be able to dodgy opponents and move quickly up and down the court. When defending, you have to be able to pivot and move quickly to keep up with your attacking opponent, so agility is something that should never be overlooked in training.

This sport isn’t nothing but net - it requires peak fitness to be able to continue putting yourself in point-scoring - and defending - positions.

  1. Teamwork

Teamwork is one of life’s most important skills to learn. You need it in every important aspect of life: work, relationships, raising a family and more. Thankfully, this is a sport that can teach you some of the most important fundamentals of teamwork through court plays like passing, picking a play, defending and more.

For these reasons, this is a game that is one of the most enjoyable to play, but can also teach you a lot about life in the process.


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