What skills are needed to play basketball?


Quick Answer

Basketball is a fast-paced, highly athletic sport that requires movement skills, dribbling skills and a wide range of shooting and passing skills. It is also important to know how to think quickly and make snap decisions, as well as how to work effectively in a team.

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Full Answer

Basketball is a game of fast, erratic movement. Players need to be agile, knowing how to start, stop and change direction efficiently. The ability to run in all directions is also key. Forward running and backward running are both necessary. There is also a high amount of lateral movement and other physical activity, such as jumping, squatting and lunging.

Whether playing the game competitively or for recreation, knowing how to dribble a basketball is essential. Dribbling moves are divided into two categories: primary skills and secondary skills. Primary skills include learning how to use the dominant hand, learning how to use the weak hand and alternating between the two. Secondary dribbling skills include the crossover dribble, the cross-behind dribble and dribbling between the legs. Secondary dribbling moves are often used for changing direction quickly and preventing an aggressive defender from stealing the ball.

Shooting skills are also essential. Basketball players must have a repertoire of shots to choose from. Some basic shooting skills are the standard jump shot, the three-point shot, the lay up and the foul shot. Passing skills are equally vital. The most important passing skills are the chest pass and bounce pass. Along with passing, a basketball player must develop solid catching skills.

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