How to Be a Good Basketball Player

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 4: Ricky Rubio #9 of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives past Jeremy Pargo #1 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the game on January 4, 2012 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Playing basketball requires natural skill, but you can become a good basketball player if you properly condition your body, practice with the right drills, and master the mental aspects of the game. Good basketball players put in the effort and training that it takes to get better on the court, and they have the personality traits that coaches appreciate.


Improving your Offensive Play

1. Improve your ball handling skills. Some experts believe the ability to handle the ball well is the most important skill in the game. You shouldn’t have to think too hard about dribbling the ball if you practice a lot. A good way

How to Prevent Injuries During Exercise

Many people enthusiastically start a new exercise program just to get sidelined shortly after due to a fitness injury. With the right precautions and mind set this can be prevented.

Warm Up

It is imperative to warm up before each workout to ensure that the muscles and surrounding tissue receive enough blood and nutrients to perform any required tasks during the actual exercises. Skipping the warm up can result in painful muscle tears that take time and rest to heal. About 10 minutes of light cardio routines like jumping, running, or using an elliptical will get your circulation going and qualify as adequate warm up.

Stretching (Pre- and Post-Workout)

Stretching your muscles after your warm up increases your flexibility while giving you a longer and leaner appearance. The increased flexibility will allow you to perform better during your main workout and minimize the risk of injury. Bad form, however, can still result in tearing of ligaments. You should also stretch all the muscles you challenged during your workout afterward again.


Trying to work out without drinking water before and during your workout is the equivalent of attempting to drive your car with an empty tank of gas. Before you

10 Fitness tips for the whole Family

Family sitting on bikes on path smilingStaying fit is important at any age. Maybe you want to get your family active but don’t know how to go about it. Here are ten good ideas to help educate you on fitness so you can make changes in your life.

Obesity is an epidemic in our world today. It is not just eating more fattening foods but the lack of activity that is contributing to the problem. As a family unit, you can help turn things around one day at a time. Try one idea and then another.

10 tips to make fitness fun and easy

No one necessarily wants to exercise. Doing it alone can be a chore, but when you are with another, say a family member, it can become friendly competition that benefits all involved. Try the following.

  1. Talk to your family – We all could be a little more active each day. Encourage your family by telling them that you are doing it together so the person with the most weight to lose is not singled out. Everyone works together.
  2. Have fun – Especially for kids, an activity that is fun is more likely to be repeated day


High fives. School spirit. Team pride. School-based sports programs can bring out noticeable positive reactions and behaviors in teens. But what are the deeper benefits from these programs? What are we losing when schools are forced to cut these programs?

The most extensive research has come in a report called “Relationships Between Youth Sport Participation and Selected Health Risk Behaviors from 1999 to 2007” published in the Journal of School Health. This report analyzes many different factors, including race, age, and gender, and behaviors, including eating habits, sexual activity, and drug risks. The report found that many groups experienced overall benefits, with the exception of some subgroups. Overall, the study found that advantages of sports include:

  • Weight control
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Self-esteem
  • Social competence
  • Academic achievement

And sports can lead to reduced rates of:

  • Juvenile arrests
  • Teen pregnancies
  • School dropout  (Taliaferro, 2010)

In addition to these social and emotional benefits, sports can also bring about intangible benefits to the school and community as a whole. “Sports also create important opportunities for students to contribute to the school community, which may cultivate an increased commitment to, or identification with, school and school values.” (Taliaferro, 2010)

This article will look closer at some of these benefits and how school administrators can factor these into their decisions regarding

Sports Have Positive Effect on Students

Middle and high school students who participate in sports express less hostility toward their classmates and are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college, according to the preliminary results of an ongoing national study.

“We are finding that individual students who participate in sports are less likely to be hostile or antagonistic toward other students regardless of their race or ethnicity,” said Jomills Braddock II, director of the University of Miami’s Center for Research on Sport in Society, who is heading a team of researchers analysis the data from the national study. “Sports require teamwork in the pursuit of mutual goals to achieve success. With sports, young people learn to recognize and value the unique and important contributions of their diverse teammates.”

Although the data is still being analyzed, Braddock said that another emerging pattern is that at-risk youths greatly benefit from participating in sports programs at their schools. Data from the study shows that African American student-athletes are 10 percent more likely than non-athletes to plan to take college AP courses and 10 percent more likely to make plans for attending college.

“Involvement in sports appears to enhance a student’s academic aspirations, investments, and achievements,” said Braddock.

10 Reasons Why High School Sports Benefit Students

Athletics have been a mainstay of the high school scene for decades. Today, the field has merely expanded, encompassing an even greater variety of competitive options for male and female students alike. While many students get involved in high school athletics for sheer love of the game, there are significant benefits from these extracurricular activities as well. We have 10 ways high school sports benefit students – some of which students and parents may not even realize.


Community Representation
While club sports have become a popular pastime for both students and college recruiters, there is still a lot to be said for playing for your high school team. According to Unigo, students who participate in high school sports learn the benefit of representing their community on the field or court. These athletes learn the fun of team rivalries and revel in the praise of a job well done for their school. This feeling of community and the honor of representing the home team may run over into college athletics if the student advances in his sport as well.
The fitness level of athletes in high school sports programs cannot be underestimated. According to a report from the National Federation of State High School

3 Simple Strategies to Attack a Zone Defense

Want to score more points against zone defense? Here are 3 really simple yet effective strategies that every coach should consider.

These strategies work against all types of zone defenses and will help you score more points…

Strategy #1 – Put Your Best Ballhandler in the Middle (Even if They’re 4 Foot Nothing)

I picked up this strategy from Danny Miles who is #4 with most wins in college history (900) and the head coach of Oregon Tech.

It’s very common for teams to put their big man at the free throw line in the middle of the zone offense. Instead, he urges you to put your best ball-handler and creator there. It’s doesn’t matter if they’re 5’2″.

Big players usually aren’t as good at catching andhandling a ball in traffic. But if you put one of your best ball handlers in the high post area, they will be able to drive around the bigger defensive players. They can score, dish, and cause lots of problems for the defense. This especially causes match up problems for the defense because they always put the biggest clumsier players in the middle of the zone defense. They will not be able stop your quick guards.

Coaches should take a

The Health Benefits of Sport and Physical Activity

The Report from the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace states that young people can benefit from physical activity as it contributes to developing healthy bones, efficient heart and lung function as well as improved motor skills and cognitive function. Physical activity can help to prevent hip fractures among women and reduce the effects of osteoporosis. Remaining physically active can enhance functional capacity among older people, and can help to maintain quality of life and independence.

Physical activity and psychosocial health

The WHO has estimated that “one in four patients visiting a health service has at least one mental, neurological or behavioural disorder, but most of these disorders are neither diagnosed nor treated”. A number of studies have shown that exercise may play a therapeutic role in addressing a number of psychological disorders. Studies also show that exercise has a positive influence on depression. Physical self-worth and physical self-perception, including body image, has been linked to improved self-esteem. The evidence relating to health benefits of physical activity predominantly focuses on intra-personal factors such as physiological, cognitive and affective benefits, however, that does not exclude the social and inter-personal benefits of sport and physical

Top 10 Health Benefits of Basketball

Whether you are out shooting hoops by yourself, playing a game of pick-up basketball or on an elite competitive team, basketball is a great way to get fit and stay in shape. In fact, even President Barack Obama plays the game on a daily basis as part of his fitness regimen. Below, we’ve listed a few reasons why playing the game of basketball could help you stay healthy and fit.

Samir Becic, 4 times Number 1 Fitness Trainer in the world and HFR’s  Top 10 Health Benefits of Basketball:

  • Burns calories: Running, jumping and quick lateral movements done in basketball provide a significant amount of aerobic exercise and can burn a great deal of calories. For each hour of competitive basketball, a 165-pound person can expect to burn around 600 calories, while a 250-pound person can burn up to 900 calories.
  • Great for cardiovascular health: Basketball can help you develop cardiovascular endurance, depending on how many times play stops. Keep moving and you’ll keep your heart rate up. Building endurance can help keep your heart healthy, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke later in life.
  • Develops concentration and self-discipline: Like every other sport, basketball has rules to follow, and breaking them can result in penalties not just

How to Teach Youngsters to Dribble a Basketball

There are two ways to move the basketball. The preferred and quicker method is the pass; however, if the defense is tight and the passing lanes clogged, the dribble is used to set up the offense. Since the dribble can only begin and stop one time it is in a player’s possession, he should make his dribble count. Every single dribble should have a purpose.

The dribble, along with the pass and the shot, is one of the offensive triple threats every player must have in his arsenal. Use the dribble to:

  1. Move the ball on offense.
  2. Blow past your man to the hoop.
  3. Escape from a tough and sticky defense.
  4. Shoot.
  5. Move around a screen and get off your shot behind it.
  6. Get a better passing angle.
  7. Freeze the ball in the closing minutes.

Don’t pound the air out of the ball going nowhere. If you want to get from point “A” to point “B”, do it with the least amount of dribbling that’s possible. Once you put the ball on the floor, it should be to help you get where you want to go. If the dribble can’t help you, pass to a teammate.

Isiah Thomas said, “The mistake that I see many young players make on the

How to coach and teach the basic fundamental plays of basketball

Throughout time, there have been a total of nine basic plays in basketball. In our first article, we discussed the Two-Step rule for receiving the basketball. This article is the beginning of a series of articles covering the eight-basic fundamental plays of basketball. You better bookmark and return often to keep abreast of each new addition to this subject.

Play #1 (One-On-One)

Stationary Moves

After a player catches the ball and squares up to the basket in the triple-threat position, he is in ready to attack his defender. This is so called because the player makes the move from a stationary position, before shooting, passing or putting the ball on the floor. All players should practice one-on-one moves every practice session.

Strong-Side Drive

After catching the ball in the triple-threat position, your attacker should execute a jab step. The purpose is to get the defender to react. This step should be made with the right foot by right-handers and the left foot by left-handed players.

The jab step should be short and quick, only about six inches. If the defender does not react quickly enough

How to attack basketball man-to-man pressure defenses

In a basketball man-to-man defense, the opponents play between the ball and the player they are guarding. Using this tactic, they attempt to force reverses and longer passes, trying to intercept the ball.

When playing zone, the opponents invite lob passes and attempt to harass the offensive team into difficult situations They do this with the threat of double-teaming and by using zone techniques full-court, three-quarter court, or half-court. This type of basketball defeats the old offensive tactic of passing to a man and screening away. First, the defenders won’t allow the pass, and second, they will jump switch on the crosses.

Modern defensive maneuvers require planning and innovation. Most coaches believe this type of pressure requires an aggressive offensive tactic of quick penetration.


One of the most important aspects in preparation for defensive pressure is the pre-planning stage. The coach should be ready for the defense. He should have scouted the opponent, be aware of modern trends, and know the principles of the defense he will be attacking. Advance knowledge makes the attack much easier to put into effect.


There are several theories concerning play against pressure defenses. The

Offense of basketball

Motion Offense Basics

There are many forms of motion offense used by teams across the world. You have the passing and screening type of offense, which is traditionally used by teams like Indiana, Duke, and now Texas Tech, a passing and cutting type of motion used by UNC and Kansas, a structured motion used by Virginia Tech, and an open post motion used by Cincinnati, Kansas State, and now West Virginia. There is also the Dribble-Drive-Motion (DDM), which was popularized by Memphis, and similar offenses that emphasize the dribble more than the pass. All of these offenses have some things in common:

  • You must read the defense
  • You must pass away from the defense
  • Constant movement and/or screening
  • Good screens and/or cuts
  • Ball reversals by moving the ball from side-to-side
  • Level of the offense’s structure will be determined by level of talent

Simple Motion Principles :

  • If ball is on top, screen down or back-screen for a teammate on each side of the floor.
  • If ball is on wing, screen away for a teammate.
  • Catch and hold the ball for a two-count, looking for cutters.
  • Post players post up for a two-count, then go away to screen for a teammate.
  • You can use the three-point arc to help you

How to Dunk

From Jordan to Lebron, even Yao Ming, nothing elicits more awe and applause than a dunk. As one of the highest percentage field goals one can attempt in basketball, this is a move that’s worth mastering. While it doesn’t hurt to be taller, you can build up both the muscles and skills required to execute this famous feat on the court, regardless of your height and experience. See Step 1 for more information.


Dunking Practice

1. Dribble toward the basket. Take the allowed two steps while palming the ball in your dunking hand and controlling your approach. Leap from your plant foot, opposite your shooting hand, extend your arm to the rim, and drive the ball through the net.

  • Dunk one-handed first. The two-handed slam is maybe the most dominating move in basketball, but it takes a lot more leap to touch the rim with two hands. You can build up to it.
2. Use a smaller ball. It’s much easier, when you’re first starting out, to try dunking with a smaller ball. You’ll be able to palm it more easily and control your approach, making the maneuver more satisfying and your practice closer to the real thing.

Why Do Your Kids Love to Play Sports?

As parents we all have our reasons when we sign our child up for their first season of youth sports. Maybe we want them to make new friends, play a sport we loved as kids, or get them more active. And while most kids will try a season or two of sports just because mom and dad want them to, at a certain age kids have to actually WANT to play for themselves. But what makes a young athlete want to play? Why do they love sports? (Hint: it’s not just so you can relive your childhood!

A Michigan State University study asked boys and girls aged 10 to 12 why they played sports. Here are the top five reasons they gave:

1. To have fun.
2. To do something I’m good at.
3. To improve my skills.
4. To stay in shape.
5. To get exercise.

Notice how “to get a college scholarship” is nowhere on that list? Plenty of sports parents sign their 6-year-old up for Little League and see full-rides to a D1 school in their future. However, only about three in 50 (6.4%) of high school senior boys will go on to play men’s baseball in college (and those are

How to Coach and Teach Offensive Basketball Rebounding that Wins Games

Height and good jumping ability have certain advantages in offensive rebounding. They are by no means the only factor in becoming a good rebounder. There are many instances, at all levels, that a seven foot center is out battled for a rebound, even out- rebounded for an entire game by a player as much as six inches shorter.

Rebounding is an important basketball skill that is developed and improved through these three ingredients:

  1. Aggressiveness
  2. Positioning
  3. Determination

Combine these factors, even though you are not 6’11” and don’t have good jumping ability. You will be well on your way toward being a good rebounder.

How do you pick off all the loose balls that come from your teammate’s, and your own, missed shots? You try to anticipate where you think the ball will come off the rim. Position yourself so that you have a better position to get the ball. The big problem is that you usually have a defensive man in front, blocking you to keep you away from the basket. It always takes extra effort to establish good rebounding position, especially on offense.

One of the biggest mistakes young players make is standing around watching the flight of the ball, maybe only for a moment. They

Basketball: Offensive Plays

Professional basketball teams run complex offenses with numerous plays and options. Below are some basic offensive plays that are used all the way from youth basketball to the pros.


The basic pick-and-roll play involves two players. One player has the ball and begins to dribble towards the other player. The second player sets a pick, or screen, on the defender guarding the player with the ball. As the player with the ball goes by the pick, the player setting the pick turns and “rolls” to the basket.

The defenders must choose what to do. They can “switch” who they are guarding or stay with the player they were originally on, fighting through or around the pick. If they switch, then the player rolling to the basket is often open for a pass because he has position on the player he picked. If they don’t switch the player with the ball often has a wide open shot.

Give and Go

A great play to run in youth basketball, the give-and-go can be easy to master, but very effective. To run this play the player with the ball passes the ball to another then runs to the basket or an open space with a burst of

Basketball: Team Defense

Basketball is a team sport and if you want to win games you will need to learn to play defense as a team. Five players executing tough hard-nose defense and working as a team can stop even the best players from scoring every time.

There are two main types of team defense: man-to-man and zone.


Man-to-man defense is easy to explain. It’s just each player covering one player on the other team. You stay with your player and try to keep them from scoring.

When playing man-to-man you need to stay with your player. When your player has the ball, you keep between the player and the basket. When they don’t have the ball you stay between them and the ball and try to deny the ball.

Of course this is just the basics. In some systems, each position may have different requirements depending on the situation. The center may only stay on their player as long as they are near the goal. If the other center goes far away from the goal, the defending center may stay near the basket to block shots and rebound.

Zone Defense

In zone defense each player covers an area on the floor. There are different types of zone defenses,

Sports Basketball Rules

The rules of basketball can vary slightly depending on the level of play (for example professional rules differ from college rules) or where the game is played (international rules are different from USA professional rules). These rule differences, however, are usually just variations on the basic game of basketball and the majority of the rules discussed below can be applied to most any game of basketball played.

The winner of a basketball game is the team with the most points. You get points by throwing the basketball through the opponent’s hoop or basket. In regular play a basket made from within the three point line is worth 2 points and a basket shot from outside the three point line is worth three points. When shooting a free throw, each free throw is worth 1 point.

Rules for the offense

The basketball team on offense is the team with the basketball. When a player has the basketball there are certain rules they must follow:

1) The player must bounce, or dribble, the ball with one hand while moving both feet. If, at any time, both hands touch the ball or the player stops dribbling, the player must only move one foot. The foot that is


Just because you’ve clocked your last mile or finished your final rep, doesn’t mean your workout is over. In fact, what you do after your workout is just as important as what you do during it. After any workout—involving cardio or weights—your muscles are tired and begin breaking down. The immediate time after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair, strength building and overall recovery.

“The post-workout phase is a critical part of any exercise routine,” agrees Fabio Comana, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. Here, five key things you should do after every workout.

Cool down
There’s a reason the treadmill has a “cool down” setting: When you’re exercising, your effort is at, say, eight out of 10 and your body needs help getting back down to one out of 10. “A sudden stop in physical activity can cause blood pooling in your legs, your blood pressure could drop and you could get very dizzy,” warns Jenn Burke, a personal training manager at Crunch gym in New York City. After a run, slow down your stride and walk for three to five minutes (or longer if it was an exceptionally intense effort).

Cooling down is even important