Basketball is a popular sport loved by many all around the world and Waiheke basketball is available right here on the island at The Rec Centre. The best part about the game, apart from its healthy competition and the social skills you learn from it, is that you can play it outdoors and indoors, pretty much anytime you want and anywhere you can find a small section of hard surface!
Because basketball is an international game with a set group of rules, it is easy to learn and play – even in Waiheke! The regulations are simple to understand but at the same time, there are a lot of skills and tricks that you can try and do yourself, in your owns space )and then come and share with us ‘;-)
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert in the game, dribbling is arguably the most important aspect of the sport – it’s both offensive and defensive. You also need to be able to dribble with both hands to enable you to move freely in either direction.
Here are 4 Drills and 4 Dribbling styles you can try to make your Waiheke basketball game extra fun:
1. Barber Pole
Work on your ball handling skills and simulate a behind-the-back dribble move by standing with your feet together and taking the ball around your body right hand to left starting with your head. After circling your head, move to your waist, legs and then your ankles, circling each with the basketball.
Work your way back up to your head and then repeat going left hand to right. Keep your eyes up throughout the drill to ensure you are getting a feel for the ball without watching it. Time yourself to see how quickly you can complete this drill.
2. Figure Eights
Improve your ball handling skills and simulate a between-the-legs dribble with this drill. Start by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent. Take the ball in your right hand and move it to your left hand by putting it through your legs from the front to the back. Then with the ball in your left hand bring it around the outside of your left knee and move it to your right hand by putting it through your legs from the front.
Once you have done this several times, switch to do a reverse figure eight where you put the ball in your right hand behind your right leg and move the ball to your left hand from back to front. Be sure to keep your head and eyes up and don’t let the ball hit the floor. See how many figure eights you can do in 1 minute.
3. On the Floor Form Shooting
Strengthen your shooting muscles and practice your shooting stroke by lying on your back and shooting the basketball into the air. Catch the ball and repeat. Focus on your arm extension and the release of the basketball, making sure you follow-through to ensure proper backspin.
4. Sit in Your Stance
Improve your lower-body strength and endurance with this defensive stance drill. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and bend your knees so your body is in a squat position. This simulates a defensive position and helps you work on proper defensive positioning. Hold this position as long as you can. Time yourself and see if you can hold the position longer each time you do it.
One of the first dribble moves a player needs to practice when they start learning basketball tricks is the crossover dribble. It’s also one of the easiest basketball moves for a player to perform, but don’t be fooled by the simplicity — players at all levels use the crossover to blow past an opponent.
The crossover involves bouncing the ball from one hand to the other in front of you. You would mostly use this move when you want to change direction and you’re not being closely guarded by a defender who could poke the ball away from you.
A great basketball move for players learning the game is the in-and-out dribble. It’s a move that’s designed to fool a defender into thinking you’re going to perform a standard crossover. You can get a defender to switch their weight to the wrong leg, opening up a driving lane to attack.
While bouncing the ball with one hand, you use a fake move of the head and shoulders to make it look like you’re going in the other direction. You move the ball inside and then back out by changing the position of your hand on the ball and then move forward in the same direction.
7. Through the legs
The through-the-legs dribble is similar to the crossover in that you bounce the ball from one hand to the other, but you cross it between your legs. As the ball passes through the legs, the front leg makes it difficult for an opponent to reach in. It also keeps the ball further from the defense.
Young players can find this move difficult because of the coordination and timing involved. However, when you learn to stay low and explode out of it, this can be one of the most effective basketball tricks.
8. Behind the back
Like the through-the-legs move, the behind-the-back dribble enables you to cross the basketball from one hand to the other while protecting it from a defender. As you pass the ball behind you, your whole body protects it.
One of the biggest advantages of this basketball move is that you can pass the ball out in front of your opposite hand, allowing for a quick offensive attack. While you’re on a fast break and a defender lunges in to take the ball, using the behind-the-back dribble helps you protect the ball and escape from your opponent without breaking your stride.
Whether you’re playing a full team game or just with a few friends, you can practice these basketball tricks at the Waiheke Recreation Centre.
We have basketball sessions available several times a week; check the schedule here