It was the last few minutes of the game. Our team needed to score - desperately. One basket and we would get the two points we needed to win. Our team regained the possession on the rebound, our center playing to perfection, not letting our opponents get the ball after they had scored. Our team had to transition quickly from defense to offense. The center, while still up in the air, turns her head toward the sideline of the court where I am waiting, without any defender marking me, screaming for a pass. Before she hits the ground, she passes the ball to me and I am off, dribbling the ball like mad.
I had the target in my sight and range, the basket into which I must shoot, my opponents swarmed all around me, my team took up strategic positions. Then a thought came inside my head - should I pass, or should I shoot? There was no time to think. Time was ticking away, and the referee already had the whistle in her mouth. And then time seems to slow down as if in a dream sequence of a movie.
I can hear my coach's voice in my ears, as I perform the action as if I am sleepwalking. When shooting, concentrate. Really focus your eyes on that hoop. It's not the general area of the basket, but that single point on the hoop - that is your target. My knees were bent in a slight crouch, and like a well coiled spring being released, I let my body straighten up, while at the same time my elbows straighten up with the ball held with the fingertips of my hands, and at the right moment, I let go of the ball, and saw it sailing over the rim, and into the basket, even as the referee's whistle blew in a shrill - Phrrreeeeeeee! And my whole team rushed toward me - we won!
This fast, adrenaline pumping sport is said to be the second fastest game in the world, after ice-hockey. The game is played between two teams consisting of five players each, whose motive is to get the ball into the opponent's basket, elevated ten feet off the ground.
A gentleman named Dr James Naismith, who had previously been the Athletic Director of McGill University in Montreal, had moved to the YMCA Training School, located in Springfield, Massachusetts. Since the winters were bitterly cold, Dr Naismith wanted to devise an activity that could be played indoors, which would help in developing skill, while not relying exclusively on strength. A soccer ball and two peach baskets as goals were used in the first basketball game ever played.
From those rudimentary beginnings, to the action-packed sport that it has become today, basketball has grown and evolved with numerous modifications and changes made to it over the years. Changes like the style of playing, the rules, the court markings, the equipment, and so on. Here are a few basketball tips and tricks that you will find interesting:
Your team scores by shooting the ball into the basket, of course. This is one of the most thrilling aspects of the game.
- When about to shoot, it is important to be relaxed, while remaining focused on the basket. When attempting bank shots and lay-ups, the player should concentrate on the backboard.
- When shooting the ball, players should learn to be completely balanced. Proper all-round balance of the body is critical when lining up a shot.
- It is important to develop the skill to sense the right time to take a shot. Players must not shoot too often. With enough practice, players will develop the ability to discern when it is the right time to shoot and when not.
- When using the jump shot, the jump should be natural and not forced. After jumping straight up, the ball should be released right at the crest of their elevation. A simple way to remember this is: "Up - Hover - Shoot."
- The follow through after each shot players take at the basket is also very important. Each time they shoot, players should practice an appropriate follow through.
Without a doubt, passing is one of the most vital aspects of the game. Efficient ball passing is crucial for the team to advance the ball effectively.
Here are some of the dos of ball passing:
Here are some of the dos of ball passing:
- Do opt for easy passes.
- Do pass to the player who is unmarked.
- Do make fake movements before actually passing the ball.
- Instead of the bounce pass, do make use of the air pass on a fast break.
- In order to generate better lanes for passing, do dribble.
- Do make use of the bounce pass in order to feed the ball to the post.
- With every pass you make, do make sure to follow through.
- When passing, do see that you do it away from the defense marking you.
- Do use both hands to pass. Single-handed passes are far more difficult to receive.
And here are some don'ts:
- Don't throw in the general direction of a teammate's voice.
- When making a pass, don't jump up in the air.
- Don't make a pass to a heavily marked teammate.
- Don't pass the ball from the center of the court, choose a side and pass from there.
Arguably, dribbling the basketball is one of the skills that players enjoy the most. There is just something magical about manipulating the basketball with your hands! Here are a few key aspects of dribbling that players must remember always.
- While dribbling the ball, it is important to stay low.
- Keeping the head up while dribbling is also important.
- While dribbling and advancing with the ball, instead of avoiding the defender, attack him/her.
- Purposeful dribbling is the most effective - hence avoid pointless movements.
- While dribbling, it is important to learn to use the body and the other hand to protect the ball.
- All players have one hand that is strong. In order to be an ambidextrous dribbler, the weaker hand must be strengthened by constant practice.
- The best way to keep the defender off-balanced is to learn to change the pace of dribbling, sometimes speeding it up and at other times slowing it down.
- Another tactic of keeping the defender off-balanced is to learn to change direction abruptly while dribbling.
- Once the player succeeds in beating the defender, he/she must learn how to keep the defender behind you.
- Dribbling mechanics and techniques can be improved by constant practice.