The ball is first held with both hands with the guide hand on
the side of the ball and the shooting hand under the ball. The
ball rests in the shooting hand, in the manner of a waiter carrying
a tray. The power of the shot comes from the legs, passing through
to the elbow and wrist extensions of the shooting arm, finally
continuing through the fingers. The ball is shot toward the target
by extending the wrist in a half-arc until the fingers are pointing
toward the floor. The ball rolls off the finger tips while the
wrist completes a full downward flex motion. The shooting elbow
is extended upward, starting its extension from approximately a
90 degree flex.
The ball should be evenly placed between the index
and middle fingers.. Upon the wrist and finger actions, the ball
a reverse, even spin, called backspin. This deadens the shot upon
impact with the rim and applies "touch" to the ball.
The ideal trajectory of the shot is somewhat arguable,
but generally coaches will profess proper arch. The ball should
pass well above
the hoop, depending on the length of the shot, and travel downward
into the basket to create the best angle for success. A shot that
has little arch is called an "arrow" and has less chance
of going in. A shot with too much arch is sometimes called a "rainbow".
A "rainbow" is preferable to an "arrow".
Therefore, a fluid shot involves a sequenced motion
extending the knee, elbow, wrist and fingers. From behind, a
have their arm fully extended with the wrist and fingers forming
a "gooseneck" position.
A pass is a method of moving the ball between players. Most passes
are accompanied by a step forward to increase power and are followed
through with the hands to ensure accuracy.
One of the most basic passes is the chest pass. The ball is passed
directly from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest. This
has the advantage that it takes the least time to complete, as
the passer tries to pass as directly straight as possible.
Another type of pass is the bounce pass. In this pass, the ball
bounces about two-thirds of the way from the passer. Like the chest
pass, it is passed from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest,
and it is passed as directly as possible, for example, there should
be no downward motion of the ball between the bounce and the time
the receiver catches it. In this way, it is completed in the smallest
amount of time possible for this pass. It does take longer to complete
than the chest pass, but it is more difficult for the opposing
team to intercept (kicking the ball deliberately is a violation).
Thus, in crowded moments, or to pass the ball around a defender,
this pass is often used.
The overhead pass is used to pass the ball over a defender. The
ball is passed from behind the passer's head, coming over it and
aiming for around the chin of the receiver. This pass is also a
fairly direct pass and can cover more distance than a chest pass.
A pass is not necessarily always between two players a distance
from each other; sometimes a clever cut by a team-mate can mean
that a pass is to a team-mate who is in motion but at the time
of passing next to the passer.
The most important aspect of a good pass is that it is difficult
for the defense to intercept. For this reason, large arc-shaped
passes are almost always avoided and cross-court passes are extremely
Dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball continuously. When a
player dribbles, he pushes the ball down towards the ground,
rather than patting it, because this ensures greater control.
When dribbling past an opponent, the dribbler should dribble with
the hand furthest from the player. It is therefore important for
a basketballer to be able to dribble confidently with both hands.
In this way, the defender will not be able to get to the ball without
getting past the dribbler. Also, the dribble will be lowered so
that its movement is more frequent.
The dribble is also lowered when switching hands. This is because,
when switching the hand that is dribbling, the ball travels in
front of the player making it easier to steal. Alternatively, to
switch hands, a player can dribble between his legs or behind his
It is common for beginners to dribble into a difficult position.
A player should not have to watch the ball while he is dribbling.
The pushing motion means that he knows where the ball is without
having to see it; and a player's peripheral vision can also track
the ball. By not having to focus on the ball, a player can look
for teammates or scoring opportunities, as well as steer himself
away from danger.
Being tall is a clear advantage in basketball. At the professional
level, most men are above 1.8 meters (6 feet) and most women
are above 1.7 meters (5 feet 7 inches). In men's professional
leagues, guards tend to be the smallest players, though they
can occasionally be taller. Forwards in the men's professional
leagues are almost all 2 meters (6 feet 6 inches) or taller.
Many centers, and a few forwards, are over 2.1 meters (6 feet
10.5 inches) tall. The tallest players ever in the NBA, Manute
Bol and Gheorghe Muresan, are 2.31m (7 ft 7 in). Currently, the
tallest NBA players are Shawn Bradley and Yao Ming, both listed
at 2.29m (7 ft 6 in).
At the college level, most men are at least 5 feet 10 inches,
while women are usually 5 feet 5 inches or taller.