FUNdamentals

To put it technically, by definition fundamental means "serving as a basic supporting existence or determining essential structure or function." To put it simply, fundamentals are the basics. Strip away all the bells and whistles and what makes something pretty and what you're left with is what makes it actually run. You get down to the core. You get down to the fundamentals. The game of basketball can be stripped down to four fundamental skills: dribbling, passing, rebounding and shooting. Forget about all the fancy tricks you see on tv - you need to learn how to do these four things soundly to make it to the top in basketball. Good thing you came to Inside the Key, because every week here in FUNdamentals we'll have all the tips you'll need to become the best dribbler, passer, rebounder and shooter you can be!

BALL HANDLING

Big Ball and Heavy Ball Dribbling

  • Use a bigger ball to practice dribbling. It will make dribbling a standard basketball a piece of cake.
    * For girl’s/women’s teams – Use a NBA regulation basketball.
    * For boy’s/men’s teams – Use a “Big Ball” – A specialized bigger basketball that you can purchase through several basketball catalogs.
  • To work on pounding the ball into the ground for increased control, use a heavy ball to practice with.
    * Heavy balls are specialized basketballs that are weighted. You can purchase these basketballs through several basketball equipment catalogs.

    Cone Dribbling

  • On both sides of the court, place cones on the spots marked X on the diagram.
  • Players start on both ends of the court lining up one behind the other on the left side of the court.
  • The players dribble to each cone. At the cone the players do a change of direction move and continue to the next cone.
    *Change of direction moves include: crossover, fake crossover, behind the back, through the legs and spin.
  • Once the players reach the last cone they will explode to the basket for a lay-up.
    * On the right side = right-handed lay-up
    * On the left side = left-handed lay-up
  • Once they have shot a lay-up, the player will go to the end of the other line at the baseline.
  • Coaches should call out the moves that the players make.
  • Have the players work on all of the change of direction moves on both the right and left sides of the floor.
  • Make sure the players are dribbling at game speed and changing their direction at every cone.
  • Coaches, do this drill for 5-7 minutes.

    PASSING

    Here are a couple of drills to enhance your passing skills.

    Two at Once
    Try not to have all of the basketballs fly away on this tricky but fun drill.

  • Divide the team into pairs. Each pair should stand eight feet apart from one another.
  • Each player starts with a ball.
  • Player A makes a chest pass to Player B, while the Player B makes a bounce pass to Player A at the same time.
  • Make sure your passes to each other are sharp and at the same time. Step toward your partner with the same foot you are passing the ball with.
  • Remember to follow through on each pass and react quickly to catch the ball.
  • Have your target hands up waiting to receive the pass.
  • Watch the ball into your hands as you catch the pass from your partner.
  • Do this drill for 15 passes and have the players switch which pass they are doing.
  • Also work on other passing combinations i.e. overhead and bounce or overhead and chest pass.

    For more advanced teams:

  • Do the above drill, but have the players side step down the length of the court while passing to one another.
  • Start the groups at the baseline and have one group go one after another passing both balls at the same time, while moving down the court.