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Basketball Step-By-Step

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ISBN 13:
Skills in Motion
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New York

This edition published in 2010 by:
The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
29 East 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
Additional end matter copyright © 2010 by The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form
without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication
Burns, Brian.
Basketball step-by-step / Brian Burns and Mark Dunning.
p. cm. (Skills in motion)
Includes index.
ISBN-13: 978-1-4358-3360-9 (library binding)
1. Basketball I. Dunning, Mark. II.Title.
GV885.B87 2010
Manufactured in the United States of America
All other content copyright © 2009 Axis Publishing Limited, London







for more information
for further reading


The popularity of basketball is such that it now enjoys a truly global status,

National teams also compete at this global level and club teams contest

played and watched by an estimated 300 million people. This makes it

world championships, as well as championships for European, Asian,

second only to soccer in terms of level of participation and interest.

African, and Pan American geographical areas. The most famous, wealthy,

As well as grassroots interest at amateur level, most countries now have
national federations that organize not only professional leagues for men and
women, but also formal competitive leagues for boys and girls of all ages.

and hotly contested league in the world is run by the National Basketball
Association (NBA) in the United States.
As well as the able-bodied “running” game, there is also a thriving
wheelchair game that has its own world championships and other
competitions that are run along the same lines as the able-bodied game.
Basketball is also one of the most popular and keenly contested
Olympic sports, and the popularity of the original U.S. “Dream Team” in
1992 was a story that has become part of Olympic Games’ legen; d.

the origins of the game
The game today has inevitably evolved and improved since its
inception in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts, home now to
the Basketball Hall of Fame. The man who created this
immediately successful sport was the Canadian Dr. James

Balance, good footwork, and the
ability to think and react quickly are
prerequisites for basketball.

introduction | 5

Naismith, who had sought to find a team game suitable for indoor play
during the harsh winter months of the northern United States. Drawing on
an activity he had learned as a child, Naismith developed basketball's
original 13 rules and, consequently, the game itself. However, Naismith
regarded himself as a physical educator and academic and never sought to
profit from his great invention. He received his greatest compliment in
1936 when basketball became an Olympic sport at the Berlin games.
Naismith died in 1939.

The top professionals
exhibit speed, agility, and
athleticism each time
they run onto the court.
Aim to emulate them.

the game
Basketball as we know it now is a fast, dynamic sport played by great

The basket itself is a bottomless net hanging off a metal ring, 18 in (46 cm)

athletes who need to have the total fitness package in order to play the

in diameter, and attached to a backboard 10 ft (3.05 m) above the floor.

game successfully at the highest levels. However, it is as enjoyable as a

Each basket, or “field goal,” scores two points, or three points if shot from

recreational pastime as when played by serious professionals.

behind a line nearly 24 ft (7.3 m) from the basket. Teams must attempt a
shot within 24 seconds of getting the ball (NBA and FIBA rules); otherwise,

scoring and fouls
Basketball is usually played indoors by a team of five players and
lasts for 40 minutes (international and NCAA rules) or 48
minutes (United States’ NBA league rules). In both versions of
the game, the total time is divided into four equal quarters with
a 15-minute break at halftime. A whole basketball team,
however, is comprised of 10 players (12 in the NBA),
which allows for five (or seven NBA) substitutes to be
used during the course of the game.
Basketball is almost unique in its high scoring system,
which makes for exciting games and nail-biting pressure.
The other feature of the scoring is that no game can be
tied. So when scores are tied, five-minute periods of
overtime are played until one team wins.
The triple-threat position is the basic
fundamental for all players upon receiving
the basketball.

it is handed over to the opposition.

introduction | 7

Any player making illegal body contact with an opposing player is

the contest and must leave the court.

judged to have committed a foul; when this happens, the


opposing team may be given possession of the ball, or an

As well as learning the rules, all players must master

opposing player is awarded free throws at the basket

the basic skills of the game. The skills contained in

from the foul line. Each made foul shot is worth one

this book are the individual techniques that form the

point. Players who exceed the foul limit (usually five, but

basis of the game and are the ones that every player

six in the NBA) are disqualified from the game.

must acquire in order to be able to participate in the

Scoring is affected by the rules governing fouls. Most

game effectively. The fundamentals of passing, dribbling,

contact that is deemed by the referees (of whom there

shooting, rebounding, and defensive footwork are

are two in international play and three in the NBA) to

covered. Professional players will spend countless hours

be either deliberate or that places an opponent at a

refining these essentials, and serious players

disadvantage is penalized by a personal foul being levied

engage in a regular schedule of repetitious

against the offending player.These fouls may result in the

practice for several years working on the

opposing team being given the ball or an opposing player being

premise that “only perfect practice makes

given free throws from the foul line. A player who accumulates

perfect” and that “perfect practice makes

five fouls (six in the NBA) is ejected from the game.

permanent.” Only through this dedication

Unsportsmanlike and more serious offenses are penalized

can players compete to their full potential.

by a “technical foul,” often given for dissent and punishable by
a free throw.Technical fouls can also be levied against coaches.
A coach who gets two of these in a game is disqualified from
Work your way up and down the
court, dribbling two basketballs and
using alternate bounces.

the players and court
There are three main positions on the court: the guards, the forwards, and

from the basket area.The guards tend to do most of the ball handling and

the centers. Usually the guards are the shorter members of the team, and

longer-range shooting, with the forwards typically driving to the basket

the centers are the tallest. Centers tend to play nearer the basket, while

from the wings. An NBA court is shown below (the FIBA international

the more agile forwards and guards occupy areas of the court farther away

version uses a different 3-second area and 3-point line).


11. point guard

shooting guard


small forward


power forward







3-second area (the lane)


3-point line


free-throw line


side line


halfway line


end line










introduction | 9

point guard

in and around the 3-second lane.This position demands a great deal

This is the most important (and difficult) position on the

of strength, meaning the player is often involved in the more

court for offensive moves. The player must be unselfish,

physical side of the game, such as defense. Picking up offensive

willing to pass to teammates, yet be able to score himself,

and defensive rebounds is another key skill.

set up offensive plays, work out, and do what is best
for the team at any given moment, as well as being


a great dribbler and a good shooter.

The center is the most physical of all the five positions.
Offensively, it requires an ability to score from close range

shooting guard

while in close physical contact with the opposition’s

The shooting guard must be very agile and a good

defense. Defensively, the center is the most important

long-distance shooter. The player should be a good ball

position, as he or she is the last line of defense against

handler and be able to work quickly and accurately.

opponents driving toward the basket, so he or she must
be able to block shots and be an excellent rebounder,

small forward

turning defense into offense.

This position requires an unselfish player who can

In the modern game, however, all players tend to

not only shoot from the outside but can also make good

be able to do almost everything and have become

cuts to the basket with and without the ball. This player is

excellent all-rounders rather than specialists in

usually a superior athlete.

one position only.

power forward
The power forward must be a strong, athletic player
who is a good rebounder and competent scorer from

A one-on-one requires good awareness so that you
can execute a pass to a teammate or move past your
opponent without losing the ball.

You will need the right footwear and clothing to play basketball, though
equipment is minimal. Basketball shoes, with the laces tied up properly,
athletic socks, loose-fitting shorts, and a T-shirt are all you need.
Obviously, you will also need a ball. There are various basketballs
available.The regulation full-size ball is a size 7, though a size 6 ball is used
in the Women’s National Basketball
Association (WNBA) and by many
female competitions. Also, the size
5 mini-basketball is often used in
underage competitions. Balls come
in a variety of materials, such as
rubber, synthetic leather, and full-grain
leather, and prices vary tremendously.
Choose one to suit your age and size

■ Basketball is organized on a worldwide scale by FIBA, the world

governing body.This sets the international rules, including the size
and shape of the court and its markings. As we have seen, the
NBA in the United States sets slightly different rules, and the
game is played on a slightly different-sized court.
■ The NBA is considered to be the top league in the world and

generates massive revenue from selling TV rights.The league
itself comprises 29 teams, including such legendary names as
the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics, the LA Lakers, and
the Chicago Bulls.
Its megastar (and mega-rich) players have included Michael
Jordan, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, and Earvin “Magic”
Johnson, as well as many others from the past.The female
equivalent is the WNBA, which currently has 16 teams.

and make sure you look after it.
■ Also in the United States, besides high school basketball, there is

A basket and a ball are all you need to
start practicing shooting some hoops
in your backyard.

great interest in college basketball.The revenue-generating
NCAA Division One college level has over 300 men’s teams, not
to mention the Division Two and Division Three programs,
followed by an NAIA level for smaller schools. Finally, the junior
college system also runs a national competition.

introduction | 11

streetball and urban cool
The popularity of the game worldwide is such that, in recent years,
“streetball” has become a huge hit. Of course, most indoor basketball is
played on sprung wooden floors, but the “blacktops” (the slang name for
outdoor tarmac street courts) are used by ordinary people in urban
neighborhood areas all over the world. There has always been a populist
culture surrounding the outdoor basketball court. Many of the game’s top
players in the United States honed their skills on these courts, which are
accessible to anyone wanting to shoot some hoops. In the United States,
in particular, whole tournaments are played outdoors each summer and
are hugely popular.
Another aspect of the game, and we have the NBA to thank for this, is
the worldwide phenomenon of fashion, music, and “cool” that has become
synonymous with the sport. Young people from all sorts of cultures are
attracted by this, and indeed it is the combination of these aspects of the
game that can bring together people of all races and nationalities united
under one common theme—the great game of basketball.
The techniques shown in this book will give you a sound base on which
to build your physical knowledge of the game. The various fundamental
skills demonstrated are those that occur frequently in all basketball games
at every level. They can be practiced and worked on alone and some do
not even require a basket. Follow the flow of the pictures and try to copy
them as you practice. Work hard, but above all, enjoy the game.

warming up
In basketball, not only must you constantly work on and practice your skills

vigorous sports such as basketball, and to this end you should consult your

to ensure your technique is properly developed, but you must also pay

doctor to check your health before starting any training program.

significant attention to other areas such as body strength, cardiovascular
fitness, and nutrition.

This page and the ones that follow show some of the most common
and effective warm-up and stretching exercises that should always be done

If you take these issues seriously—starting

prior to any vigorous physical activity. As a general rule, warm up for five

in your teenage years—your sporting ability

to seven minutes with a slow-paced activity that doesn’t involve any sharp

will improve dramatically, not to mention
your everyday health and vitality. Your coach
or trainer should be able to advise you on the
correct amounts of carbohydrates (for
energy), protein (for muscle growth and
repair), fats (preferably non-saturated),
fiber (for healthy digestion), and vitamins
and minerals for nutrition and the
regulation of body systems. It is also extremely
important to understand that you need to be
in good physical health before undertaking


your way across the
court in an exaggerated running
motion, kicking your heels up behind
you as high as you can.

Move across the court, crossing
one foot in front of the other, while
swiveling at the hips.


introduction | 13

WALKING LUNGES Moving up and down the
court, lunge foward, extending one leg
and then the other. Maintain your
balance at all times.

movements or changes of speed and direction. Then, follow the stretches

feels comfortable. This will be enough to get a “stretch response,” which

outlined to prepare the muscles and joints for the vigorous movements

you should maintain for around 20 to 30 seconds.

experienced while playing or practicing basketball.The static stretches shown
on pages 14–16, if done properly, are adequate to prepare you to play.

Do not “bounce” the muscle; just “squeeze” and hold in order to get a
stretch response. Everyone is different, so get to know your own
limitations and needs.

don’t overstretch

Another important thing to remember is never to play sports wearing

Be disciplined in your approach to warming up and stretching. Never skip

jewelry.Take it off and store it in a safe, secure place before stepping onto

it, but also be aware that stretching should not hurt. Only stretch as far as

the court.

stretching exercises
CALF STRETCH Straighten one leg, hooking
the other over the heel. Push the
heel of the straight leg down toward
the ground. Feel the stretch in the
calf muscle.

out and bend the other into your
knee. Reach for your toes and feel the
stretch in the hamstrings down the
back of the leg.

PRETZEL STRETCH Straighten one leg, and
place the other on the outside of the
straight knee. With one hand behind
you, turn and look over your shoulder.
Feel the stretch in the upper and
lower back.

introduction | 15

BUTTERFLY STRETCH Put the soles of your
feet together. Push your knees down
toward the ground. Feel the stretch in
your groin muscles.

QUADRICEPS STRETCH Lie on your side and
pull one foot toward (but not directly
against) your bottom. Feel the stretch
in front of your thigh.

stretching exercises continued

Lie on your back and extend one leg
upward into the air. Grip this leg by
the calf and pull it toward your chest,
keeping the other foot on the floor. Feel
the stretch in the hamstring down the
back of the leg.


Lie on your back and pull both knees
into your chest. Feel the stretch in the
gluteus maximus muscles in your buttocks.


Lie on your back, arms out to your
sides. Bring one knee across your
body, keeping your shoulders in
contact with the ground. Feel the
stretch in the lower back.

introduction | 17

go with the flow
The special images used in this book have been created to ensure that you

explained with step-by-step captions. Below this, another layer of

see the whole movement—not just isolated highlights. Each of the image

information in the timeline breaks the move into its various stages, with

sequences flows across the page from left to right, demonstrating how

instructions for the different actions you should carry out. The pause

the technique progresses, and the body and ball movements you should

“button” symbol in the timeline indicates key moments in the sequence to

make to get the most out of each move. Each technique is also fully

which you should pay special attention.

left-hand layup | 45

left-hand layup
Even if you are right handed,
there will be times when you
will need to approach the
basket on the left side of the
court. Therefore, you must be
able to execute a left-handed
layup using the correct
footwork. As with every other
skill, the only path to success
is practice, practice, practice.

● Begin the approach to basket on
the left side, using your left hand to
dribble the ball. Keep the ball
protected from the defense.

protect the ball

 This indicates the beginning
of a sequence, as you start
the move.

● Keep your head up and your eyes
focused on the target.

focus on target

● As you approach the three-second
lane, begin to terminate your dribble
while still protecting the ball on the
left side of your body.

finish dribble

 This indicates

continued movement
in the sequence.

● Step first onto your left foot. At the
same time, move the ball up to the
shooting position above the left

move ball to shooting position

● The next step will be with your
right foot. Keep your eyes focused on
the target and extend the ball above
the left shoulder.

● Use your two steps to get you
as near to the basket as possible.
Jump off your right foot, as high as
you can, up toward the basket to
release the ball.

● Extend the elbow and snap the
wrist of your (left) shooting arm and
hand to shoot the ball softly off the
backboard. Aim for the top corner of
the small black square on the left side
of the rim.

release the ball

 This indicates  This indicates the
key moments in
the sequence.

end of a sequence, when
the move is complete.


spin back, forward pivot
Correct footwork is one of the
most important and basic
skills to master. The simple
pivot move demonstrated
here will be useful in many
game situations.

● With your back to the basket, spin

● As the ball bounces and rebounds

● Secure the ball in both hands in the

the ball out in front of you, using

back to you, step toward it and then

triple-threat position. With your knees

reverse spin.

catch it.

flexed, begin the pivot move.

 back to basket

triple-threat position

spin back, forward pivot | 21

● Make a front (or forward) pivot on

● Your body should turn, too, as your

● Bring your right foot around fully

● You should now be facing the

your left foot by bringing your right

right foot comes around. Keep your

and drop it slightly in front of your

basket in the triple-threat position,

foot forward and around in a

eyes up and note how the ball is

left foot.

on balance.

counterclockwise direction.

positioned to assume the triple threat.


turn body


spin back, reverse pivot
The reverse pivot is carried
out in the same way as the
forward pivot, except that the
right foot moves the other
way. Both pivots achieve
the same result.

● With your back to the basket, spin

● As the ball bounces, step toward

● Secure the ball in both hands in the

the ball out in front of you, using

it and as it rebounds back toward you,

triple-threat position. With knees

reverse spin.

catch it.

flexed, begin the pivot move.

 back to basket

triple-threat position

spin back, reverse pivot | 23

● Make a reverse pivot on your left

● Your body should turn as your right

● Bring your right foot around fully

● You should now be facing the

foot by bringing the right foot back

foot comes around. Keep your eyes

and drop it slightly in front of your

basket in the triple-threat position,

and around in a clockwise direction.

up and note how the ball is positioned

left foot.

on balance.

to assume the triple threat.


turn body


basic dribble
Also known as the “control dribble,” this is the one move you are most likely to use in a game.
Practice it using both hands—you will need to be equally skilled with both.

● Keep your head and eyes up at all

● Protect the ball by keeping it slightly

● Extending the elbow and snapping

● Keep the ball in your fingers, not on

times while dribbling. Keep your

to one side of your body. Dribble

the wrist allows you to bounce the

the palm of your hand. As you dribble,

weight evenly distributed and your

from about waist height, keeping the

ball on the floor with the required

move forward on balance. Keep your

knees slightly bent.

ball slightly in front of you.

amount of control.

non-dribbling arm up and out in front
of you so as to protect the ball further.

 head up

protect the ball

move forward

basic dribble | 25

● Note the follow-through of the

● The hand goes down to meet

● Repeat the motion again. What you

● Here, the player has come to a

arm, wrist, and fingers.The body

the ball shortly after it bounces back

do at the end of your dribble is

one-count stop and is ready to

remains balanced and the head and

off the floor.The force is absorbed

dependent upon the game situation.

assume the triple-threat position.

eyes are up.

back into the arm by bending
your elbow.

follow through

bend the
the elbow


crossover dribble
The ability to beat the player
who is guarding you is an
essential skill. Not only must
you be able to do this
when you do not have the
ball, but also when you are in
possession of it and dribbling.
This is one move that can
help you get past a defender.

● Having been in the triple-threat

● As you approach the point at which

● With the defender now shifting his

position to assess the game situation,

you want to make your crossover

weight to guard you to your right, you

you have decided to dribble. Begin to

dribble, make a dribble and a body

can now begin to elude him by quickly

approach a defender, protecting your

move to your right while getting into a

coming to your left.

dribble by keeping the ball slightly to

slightly lower body position.

your side (the right side above).

begin approach

move right

shift quickly left

crossover dribble | 27

● Execute the crossover dribble by

● The crossover dribble should be

● As you move the ball across your

● The move should culminate in

switching the ball quickly from your

made using one bounce of the ball

body from right to left, your right foot

a change of speed and direction to

right to your left hand, keeping low

from right to left (in this example)

will also come across, protecting the

take you to your left and away from

to the floor. Keep your head and eyes

and below knee height.

ball further from the defender, who is

the chasing defender.

up throughout.

switch hands

now recovering.

protect the ball

change speed and direction

behind-the-back dribble
Moving the ball behind your
back is a dribble move to help
you to go past a defender
who is guarding you closely.
This is an advanced skill, and
a very effective one.

● Approach the defender using a

● At the point where the defender

● While keeping head and eyes up at

standard or controlled dribble.

lunges in to try to steal the ball, begin

all times, begin to angle the next

Here, the player is dribbling with

your maneuver.

bounce of the ball around your back.

his right hand.

standard dribble

Do not “carry” the ball.

angle bounce of ball

behind-the-back dribble | 29

● The motion must be continuous.

● The ball is brought around the back

● Resume your dribble with your

● Note how the player has also

As your arm and the ball are wrapped

completely and is now on the left side

left hand.

changed direction.

around behind your back, your body

of your body.

will begin to change direction slightly
from right to left.

change direction

bring ball around back

resume dribble

chest pass
The chest pass is the most
commonly used pass in the
game. Accuracy is the
key here, achieved by
using good follow-through and
keeping eye contact with your
intended receiver.

● The pass can be made after a

● From the dribble stance, gather the

● Spread your fingers around the ball,

dribble comes to an end.

ball into both your hands, held out in

with your thumbs behind it.

front of your body.

end dribble

gather ball

chest pass | 31

● Begin the pass from around chest

● Extend your elbows and snap the

● Remember to follow through

● As the wrists and fingers snap, the

height and step forward into the

wrists to release the ball in a straight

correctly—your arms should finish

backs of your hands will end up facing

passing action.

line from your chest area to your

out in front of your body.

each other, the palms facing outward.

receiver’s chest area.

step forward

snap wrists

follow through

bounce pass
The bounce pass is an invaluable move and can be used in a number of different game situations.
It is very effective after faking another pass, for example an overhead pass.

● The bounce pass can be made after

● Gather the ball from the dribble

● Spread your fingers around the ball,

● Begin the pass from around chest

terminating a dribble.

stance into both hands, which are held

with your thumbs behind it.

height and step forward into the

out in front of your body.

gather the ball

passing action.

step forward

bounce pass | 33

● Extend your elbows and snap your

● Aim for the ball to bounce just over

● The receiver should be able to

● The receiver grips the ball firmly in

wrists to release the ball and direct it

halfway between passer and receiver.

catch the ball comfortably at around

both hands and brings it up level with

waist height.

his chin.

at the floor.

direct ball at floor

overhead pass
The overhead pass can be
used in a variety of game
situations when the angle and
trajectory you need to get the
ball to the receiver calls for a
slightly elevated release.

● As always, start your move from

● Begin by raising the ball with both

● Lift the ball to a position slightly

the triple-threat position so that you

hands, knees slightly bent.

above and in front of the forehead.

can assess the game situation and
decide on the best response.

use both hands

lift ball above forehead

overhead pass | 35

● Your hands should be on the sides

● Start to extend your arms, taking a

● Straighten your arms and snap your

● Remember always to complete the

of the ball, slightly behind the midway

forward step as you do so.

wrists to release the ball.


point, for maximum control.

step forward

snap wrists

complete follow-through

baseball pass
When you need to pass over
longer distances that would
otherwise be reached using
a chest or bounce pass,
execute the baseball pass.

● From a good power base of the

● Take the ball back past your ear and

● With the ball still in your hands,

triple-threat position, with bent knees

transfer your weight from the back

your weight shifts from back to front,

and a lowered center of gravity, begin

foot through to the front foot.

and your arms begin to come

to take the ball back with both hands.

through and forward.

transfer weight to front

baseball pass | 37

● Keep your (weak) non-passing hand

● This is in case you have to adjust

● The action of releasing the ball is

● Project the ball in a straight line

on the ball for as long as possible

and change your decision to throw

similar to that of throwing a baseball

toward your intended target. Follow

prior to the release of the ball.

the baseball pass, depending on how

or a javelin.Your weight now comes

through with the throwing arm in the

you read the game situation.

through powerfully onto your front

direction of the flight of the ball.

foot as your body and arms follow

keep hold of ball

 read the game situation

through from behind the ball.

release the ball

Receiving the ball is a vital skill
that can be practiced and
polished in the same way as
any other maneuver.
Remember that a good pass
can be wasted if you are
not fully prepared to receive
the ball.

● Always be ready to receive a pass.

● To receive a pass, make eye contact

● Present a target for the ball, with

Be alert at all times, with your eyes

with the passer and make an audible

arms extended and fingers spread.

up and your hands up and out in front

and visual signal. For instance, call

This is known as “to show ten,” which

of your body.

out your teammate’s name and

means all ten fingers are up and

indicate with your hands where to

showing to the passer and the ball.

be alert

make the pass.


“show ten”

receiving | 39

● As you are about to catch the ball,

● At the same time, bend your

● “Look the ball into your hands” is a

● As soon as you have caught the

make a “nest” for it. When you have

elbows so you can bring your hands

useful phrase to help you remember

ball, get into the triple-threat position,

caught the ball, wrap your fingers

and the ball in toward your body

how to catch the ball properly.

ready to react and make your next

around it to grip it securely.

(chest area) to secure and protect it.

appropriate move according to the
game situation.

make a “nest”

get into triple threat

In basketball, the V-cut is a
basic way of getting free, or
open, for a pass. This is a
simple method to use against
a defensive player at any level
of the game, and it relies on
a quick change of speed
and direction.

● Maintain good balance throughout

● This first move can be made at a

● By planting your left foot, the all-

and begin by taking your defender one

relatively slow pace as you are simply

important change of speed and

way. Above, the player is first going

trying to outwit and outmaneuver

direction can now take place.

toward his left.

your opponent.

fake your opponent

change speed

v-cut | 41

● Now, push off your left foot and

● The shape of the letter “V” is

● With the change of direction, you

● Having executed the V-cut,

make a hard and sharp cut in the

transcribed on the floor, and you have

should—if all has gone well—be free

you are now free to signal for the

opposite direction.

now eluded your defender by putting

for the pass.

ball and carry on according to the

him off balance.

cut sharp, opposite

 get defender off balance

game situation.


right-hand layup
The right-hand layup is the
most fundamental of shots
and the one resulting in the
highest percentage of scores.
All players must be able to
execute this shot using the
correct hand movements
and footwork.

● Begin the approach to basket

● Keep your head up and your eyes

● As you approach the three-second

on the right side, using your right hand

focused on the target.

lane, begin to finish your dribble while

to dribble the ball. Keep the ball

still protecting the ball on the right

protected from the defense.

side of your body.

protect the ball

focus on target

finish dribble

right-hand layup | 43

● Step first onto your right foot.

● The next step is with your left

● Use your two steps to get you

● Extend your elbow and snap the

At the same time, move the ball up

foot. Keep your eyes focused on the

as near to the basket as possible.

wrist of your (right) shooting arm and

to the shooting position above the

target and raise the ball above your

Jump off your left foot, as high as you

hand to shoot the ball softly off the

right shoulder.

right shoulder.

can, up toward the basket to release

backboard. Aim for the top corner of

the ball.

the small black square on the right

raise the ball

release the ball

side of the rim.

left-hand layup
Even if you are right handed,
there will be times when you
will need to approach the
basket on the left side of the
court. Therefore, you must be
able to execute a left-handed
layup using the correct
footwork. As with every other
skill, the only path to success

● Begin the approach to basket on

● Keep your head up and your eyes

● As you approach the three-second

the left side, using your left hand to

focused on the target.

lane, begin to terminate your dribble

dribble the ball. Keep the ball

while still protecting the ball on the

is practice, practice, practice.

protected from the defense.

left side of your body.

protect the ball

focus on target

finish dribble

left-hand layup | 45

● Step first onto your left foot. At the

● The next step will be with your

● Use your two steps to get you

● Extend the elbow and snap the

same time, move the ball up to the

right foot. Keep your eyes focused

as near to the basket as possible.

wrist of your (left) shooting arm and

shooting position above the left

on the target and extend the ball

Jump off your right foot, as high as

hand to shoot the ball softly off the


above the left shoulder.

you can, up toward the basket to

backboard. Aim for the top corner of

release the ball.

the small black square on the left side

move ball to shooting position

of the rim.

release the ball

power layup right to left
This move is made when you
have a path to the basket but
there is a defender on your
right and one on your left
when you arrive at the basket.
You have to be strong and
determined now in order to
achieve the shot. You might
also be able to draw a foul for
a bonus free throw.

● Make your dribble approach from

● Try to find a gap on the floor as

● You have now gone across the lane

the right side of the lane while keeping

near to the basket as possible (very

and to the left side of the basket.

your head up and your eyes on the

often in between two defenders).

target. Keep the ball protected on

Finish your dribble and be ready to

your right side.You will be power-

come to a two-footed, one-count stop

dribbling your way to the basket.

while protecting the ball.

power dribble

finish dribble

power layup right to left | 47

● With elbows out, ball at chin height,

● Before leaving the floor to jump

● This makes defenders jump into

● Maintain your balance throughout,

and knees bent, plant both feet at the

toward the basket, execute a “pump

the air in an attempt to block the

as you may get fouled during the shot

same time, ready to “explode,” and

fake,” which is basically a type of

(assumed) shot.Then, jump up straight

or you may need to go back up for a

jump off both feet.

“shot fake” made by slightly raising the

and high, protecting the ball, and shoot

rebound if you miss the shot.

ball and your head and shoulders up

the ball off the backboard into the

toward the basket.

basket on the left side of the rim.

get ready to jump

 execute “pump fake”

jump and shoot

left-hand reverse layup
There will be times in a game
when your usual path to
basket for a right-handed layup
on the right-hand side of the
basket will be blocked by a
defensive player or players. You
should be able to avoid the
charging foul and go across
and underneath the rim to lay
the ball up on the other side.

● From the triple-threat position,

● Dribble with the right hand, making

● Upon picking up the dribble, begin

begin your normal approach to the

sure to protect the ball as you go.

your normal footwork for a right-

basket for a right-hand layup on the

hand layup. Keep up a right-foot/

right side.

left-foot rhythm.

triple-threat position

right-foot/left-foot rhythm

left-hand reverse layup | 49

● Instead of going to the right side

● Jump up on the left side of the rim

● Try to release the ball from as close

● Sometimes, the reverse layup can

of the rim, travel across and underneath

and shoot the layup off the backboard

to the rim and backboard as possible,

be finished using the right hand on the

the basket, now protecting the ball

on that side with your left hand.

using the rim as a “shield” for the ball

left side of the rim, releasing it with a

so that the shot cannot be blocked.

back-flip of the wrist.

on the left side of your body.

protect the ball, left side



jump shot
This is the most commonly
used shot in the game of
basketball. Regular practice
using the correct techniques
is the key to becoming a
successful jump shooter and
to acquiring and maintaining a
good shooting percentage.
You have to work at it.

● From the triple-threat position,

● Keep your eyes focused on the

● Bring the ball up to the shooting

which means having a good base

target (the back of the rim).Your feet

position (slightly in front of, and above,

of support and good body balance,

are pointing at the target. For a right-

your forehead). At the same time, your

start to flex your ankles and knees,

handed shooter, the right foot is

lower body is getting ready to jump

ready to jump.

slightly ahead of the left.Your

straight up into the air.

triple-threat position

shoulders are facing the target.

focus on target

ready to jump

● The elbow of your shooting hand

● Jump into the air, keeping your

● The ball is released upward and

● Land in the same spot from which

(right in the picture above) is now also

body straight. At the top of the jump,

forward in a high arc toward the

you took off. Maintain your follow-

pointing at the target.Your wrist is

begin to release the ball by extending

basket. Follow through by straightening

through even after the ball has

“cocked” and the ball is on the soft

your elbow and snapping your wrist.

your shooting arm and snapping your

left your hand. Land and keep your

pads of the tops of your fingers, ready

The non-shooting hand (left in the

wrist and fingers. Keep your head still

balance, ready to react to the next

for the release.

picture above) is not used in the shot.

and your eyes focussed on the target.

game situation.

ready for release

 jump and release

follow through and maintain

jump hook
There will be times when you
find yourself very close to the
basket but without much
room to move left or right for
a layup. The jump hook is a
useful shot in this situation and
is also a difficult technique for
defenders to block.
● Approach the basket using a one-

● With eyes up, locating the target,

● Your feet are almost parallel with

or two-bounce dribble.

come to a good, strong, one-count

the backboard and the ball is

stop, on balance.

protected in both hands, with your
elbows out. Keep your knees flexed.

one-count stop

 protect ball

jump hook | 53

● Move suddenly upward off your left

● As you jump, continue to lift the

● Your body position is almost

● Release the ball at the top of the

foot while pushing the ball upward

ball upward to the shooting position,

sideways on to the basket.You should

jump with a “hooking” motion of the

through the midline of the body. Note

which will be high above your head.

now be sighting the target over your

shooting wrist and hand. Follow

left shoulder.

through and try to land in the same

that your left elbow is leading the way.

spot that you took off from.

lead with elbow

be sideways on

follow through

shot fake & drive
This demonstrates a way of
moving that will enable you to
beat your defender and create
scoring opportunities for you
and your teammates.

● Provided you are within your

● The shot fake is a motion with

● You are simply trying to get your

shooting range, with the defender in

the arms, shoulders, and ball that

defender to react to the threat and

front of you, begin to make a shot

should look identical to your jump-

potential of your jump shot.

fake from the triple-threat position.

shot technique, except that you
do not complete the move and

make shot fake

release the ball.

shot fake & drive | 55

● Many defenders will actually leave

● At this point, bring the ball back

● Begin to drive past the now off-

● If the game situation dictates, then

the floor and jump in an attempt to

down and protect it on the outside

balance defender. Protect the ball and

continue your drive to the basket and

block the (assumed) shot.

hip (right in the sequence above).

have your head up and your eyes on

take the layup shot.

the target.


protect the ball

focus on target

jab fake & go
The aim of this offensive move
is to enable you to elude and
beat a defender who is
guarding you closely.

● From the triple-threat position,

● With the right foot, make a jab

● The action of the jab step must be

you now know the position of

step to your right (the defender’s

made quickly while maintaining

your defender.

left). While executing this move, bring

balance.The defender is guarding you

the ball onto your right hip in order to

closely and your aim is to step just

protect it.

past his left foot.

jab step right

maintain balance

jab fake & go | 57

● At the same time, try to get your

● At this point, you have him beaten.

● Once past the defender, you can

● In the instance shown above,

head and shoulders just past the

Now, dribble the ball and lift your

assess the game situation and make

the player has decided to pass to an

defender’s left hip.

back (left) foot and continue past him.

a decision to continue to drive to

open teammate.

basket, pass, or shoot.

get past defender


assess game situation

shot fake, one dribble, & jump shot
This is another good move to
make to try to beat an
opponent who is closely
guarding you. Assume that
you have the ball and are
away from the basket.

● Provided you are within your

● The shot fake is a motion with

● You are simply trying to get your

shooting range, with the defender in

the arms, shoulders, and ball, which

defender to react to the threat and

front of you, begin to make a shot

should look identical to your jump-

potential of your jump shot. Many

fake from the triple-threat position.

shot technique, except that you

defenders will actually leave the floor

do not complete the move and

and jump in an attempt to block the

release the ball.

(assumed) shot.

make shot fake

● At this point, bring the ball back

● Begin to drive past the defender,

● Make one dribble to your right.

● Go up and take your jump shot,

down and protect it on the outside

who is now off balance. Protect the

This should be enough to put some

concentrating, as always, on achieving

hip (right in the picture above).

ball and have your head up and your

distance between you and the

perfect form.

eyes on the target.

defender, who is now recovering.

focus on target

dribble right

protect the ball

drop step baseline
This move for a post player is
a very useful one if the
defender is playing you slightly
to the topside, that is, nearer
the free-throw line. You can
either detect that he is already
there, or you can try to make
him move a little in that
direction by executing a fake.

● Having caught the ball in the low

● The offensive player does not need

● The offensive player now lifts and

post and located the position of the

to move his feet: he simply brings the

steps on his left foot, pointing it across

defensive player, the offensive player

ball, and his head and shoulders, to

the defender toward the basket.

makes a ball fake to the inside, that is,

the right in a quick fake move.

the opposite way to the move he

The aim is to make the defender shift

actually intends to make.

slightly to the right.

ball fake

● Keeping the ball protected as he

● This involves the offensive player

● After this dribble, he collects the

● The offensive player should try to

does so, the defender is now pinned

taking one hard bounce between his

ball, gets his elbows out to protect it,

land where he took off from, in case

behind the attacker.The offensive

feet, which are now well spread out.

keeps his shoulders parallel with the

he needs to go back up and rebound

player can dribble the ball using a

end line and backboard, and jumps up

a missed shot.

power dribble or crab dribble.

to power the ball into the basket.

pin defender behind

 one hard bounce


drop step middle
The ability to elude your defender in the low post area with a variety of moves is a
useful addition to your whole game. This move ends with a point-blank shot at the
basket from the middle of the lane.

● In the post-up situation, protect

● Try to get the defender off balance

● Make a head and shoulders fake

● Now, come back the opposite way,

the ball and locate the position of

by faking him in the opposite direction

toward the baseline side. Keep both

that is, toward the free-throw line. Lift

your defender.

to your eventual move.

feet still. If the defender moves this

off the right foot and direct it toward

way (thinking that you are going that

the middle of the three-second lane.

way), move in the opposite direction.

protect the ball

fake one way

drop step middle | 63

● At the same time, make a power

● Now, you can bring both feet and

● Keeping your elbows out and your

● Go up strong and power the ball

dribble between your feet to gain

the ball around to face the basket.

knees bent, begin your shot toward the

into the basket.Try to land in the

further ground in the direction of the

Be sure to protect the ball.

basket.You may need to precede the

same spot that you took off from.

basket area.The defender should now

shot with a pump fake.

be “locked off ” behind you.

power inside

protect the ball


inside pivot & shoot
If you are playing in the lowpost position, you will need a
variety of moves. Your choice
depends on where your
defender is playing you.
The inside pivot & shoot is
just one move you can try.
Make sure that you can easily
locate the basket after having

● Having received the ball in the low

● If the defender is playing directly

● Protect the ball by keeping it

post, make sure you protect it and

behind and slightly off your position,

at chin height and your elbows up

locate the position of your defender.

then, with a quick inside turn, you

and out.

pivoted to face it.

can momentarily “freeze” him and get
a shot off.

locate defender

“freeze” defender

inside pivot & shoot | 65

● Pivot on your right foot as shown,

● This brings your body around to

● As your left foot is swung back and

● Try to take off and land in the same

lifting your left foot up off the floor as

face the basket.Your left elbow has

planted slightly behind your right foot,

spot, following through and remaining

you swing it across your right leg.

cleared a little amount of space for

jump and shoot in one motion.

on balance so that you can react to

you to get into the shooting position.

pivot on right foot

 get into shooting position

the next game situation.

jump and shoot

screen & roll
The art of setting a screen to
get a teammate free for a
pass is an important strategy
in team basketball. In this
situation, the rules will allow a
certain amount of contact to
be made between two
opposing players.

● First, you must have located the

● Now, make an approach with

● You must arrive at a point on the

position of your teammate and

the aim of making contact with the

floor so that, at the moment of

his defender.

defender’s inside shoulder (that is,

contact with your opponent, you are

the shoulder nearest the midline

stationary. Have your knees bent, your

of the court).

back straight, and head up with a good

locate teammate

 approach to make contact

strong base of support.

screen & roll | 67

● Make a “double arm bar,” as

● Sometimes, there can be a lot

● After contact has occurred

● To execute this roll, make a reverse

shown, with your forearms held out

of body contact, so the body

(assuming that the screen has

pivot on your left foot, locate the ball,

in front of your body. It is up to your

positioning described is essential

been successful in freeing up your

and, if appropriate, signal to receive it.

teammate—whom you are screening

to avoid injury.The impact can be

teammate), the screening player

for—to maneuver the defender into

absorbed, momentarily, by the arms

should roll toward the ball (and

your screen.

when held as shown.

very often the basket, too).

make “double arm bar”

 absorb impact

roll toward ball

using a screen topside
This is another way of using a screen that has been set for you by a teammate away from the ball. This
time the defender plays behind the screen, so you need to execute a topside cut.

● Begin to use the screen by making

● Having read the position of your

● Quickly change direction by pushing

● Couple your change of direction

a V-cut. Above, you can see the player

defensive player, start to execute the

off your left foot to elude your

with a change of speed as your move

going first left and then coming back,

required cut, which will be the topside

defensive player.

takes you in front of the screen and

to his right.

cut off the screen.

execute topside cut

toward the ball.This is the topside cut.

change direction

change speed

using a screen topside | 69

● Once you have made the topside

● Catch the ball and get yourself into

● If you’ve executed well, you will

● Having caught the ball, pivot to

cut, look to receive the pass by

a potential scoring position.

have managed to lose your defender

face the basket in the triple-threat

signaling, visually and audibly, to

by making him go the wrong way and

position and be ready to go up for

the passer.

get caught on the screen.

a jump shot.


pivot into triple-threat position

using a screen—backcut
This is another way of using a
screen set for you by a
teammate away from the ball.
The one you opt for will be
decided by the position of
the defensive player. If your
defensive player plays “on
topside” of the screen, then
you will need to execute the

● Begin to use the screen by first

● Having read the position of your

● Quickly change direction by pushing

stepping up as if to use it by cutting

defensive player, begin to execute the

off your right foot to elude your

topside of it toward the ball.

required cut, which will be the backcut

defensive player.

backcut or “backdoor” cut
shown here.

off the screen.

backcut off screen

change direction

using a screen—backcut | 71

● Couple your change of direction

● Once you have made the backcut,

● Catch the ball at the end of your

● If the cut is into the basket area

with a change of speed as your move

look to receive the pass by signaling,

backcut to get yourself into a potential

and the pass is caught, you are in a

takes you behind the screen and

visually and audibly, to the passer.

scoring position. Hopefully, you have

good position to go up to the basket

toward the basket.This is the backcut

managed to lose your defender by

for the score.

or “backdoor” cut.

making him go the wrong way and get

change speed


caught on the screen.

get into scoring position

up-and-under move
This is another “post move.” It is an advanced move and
an extremely effective one when executed correctly.

● From the post-up position, protect

● Begin to make a forward or front

● With the ball at about chin height,

● As you complete your front pivot,

the ball, having made sure that the

pivot. Above, the player is pivoting on

protect it with elbows out and

you will be facing your defender

defender is playing behind you.

his right foot.

continue your pivot toward the inside

and the basket. Begin your pump

of the three-second lane.

fake move.

protect the ball

make a strong pivot

up-and-under move | 73

● The pump fake involves raising the

● The aim of this maneuver is to get

● Don’t release the ball. Instead, bring it

● The step through is directed toward

ball and your head and shoulders as if

the defender to anticipate a shot and

down onto the outside hip and, at the

the basket, and you can dribble the

you were going to shoot the ball.

react, perhaps by jumping to attempt

same time, step “under” and across the

ball once you get all the way to the

to block the shot.

airborne defender with the left foot.

basket for the shot and release.

 and a convincing pump fake

dip “under” and power up for shot

jab, cross over, & go
This is another move in a
series of one-on-one moves
that are useful to you when
faced with trying to beat your
defensive player. First, get the
defender off balance by using
the jab fake.

● From the triple-threat position,

● As you make the jab step, bring

● Swing your right foot across your

begin the move by making a jab step

the ball down and protect it on the

body, right to left, placing your right

(on the right foot, above).This jab step

outside hip. At this point, if the

foot to the right of the defender. At

is a fake but needs to look to the

defender has reacted by shifting to

the same time, swing the ball through

defender as if you intend to go to

his left, you have him where you

onto the left hip.

the right.

want him.

stay on balance

protect the ball

● This is the crossover move, and the

● Having now got the defender off

● Keeping your body between the

● React to the game situation. In the

idea is to “lock” the defender’s feet

balance, you have, in fact, changed

defender and the ball, dribble now

sequence above, the player has driven

behind your front foot (right).

direction and are now able to go on

with your left hand to go past, and

all the way to the basket.

the dribble to your left.

beat, the recovering defender.

cross over with foot and ball

 change direction

go past defender


blocking out
Most contact in basketball will
result in a foul being called by
the officials. However, this is
one area of the game where
the rules allow a certain
amount of contact. When a
shot goes up and you are the
defensive player, you should try
to “box out” or “block out” in an

● As the shot goes up, make sure you

● Step toward this player and make

● Your opponent will try to get

can locate the player you are guarding.

contact, as shown above, by using the

around you in an attempt to go after

legal “arm bar.”

the rebounding ball. So, start to pivot

effort to prevent your opponent

to block his intended path.

from getting the rebound.

locate player

make contact

pivot and block

blocking out | 79

● Above, the offensive player is

● If possible, contact should be

● With your hands up and your

● After blocking out or boxing out

moving to his left. Immediately, make

maintained and this is still within the

elbows up and out, bend your knees

your opponent, go for the rebound

a reverse pivot on your right foot in

rules.Try now to locate the

and try to “pin” your opponent using

and try to secure the ball and the

order to block the way.

rebounding ball while at the same

your lower back and lower body.This

possession for your team.

time adopting the “box-out” position.

contact is maintained for a second or

maintain contact

two at most in any rebound situation.

 pin your opponent

defensive stance & lateral slide
The ability to react and move quickly is essential to being a good defensive player. You have to be
able to guard opponents in all game situations, and the most efficient way is to stay down in the
defensive stance and move your feet in the appropriate manner.

● In this defensive stance, the player’s

● In order to move laterally, try to

● Move your feet quickly, trying to

● As you move your feet, your body

feet are about shoulder-width apart,

make foot movements that involve

maintain contact with the floor as

weight should remain slightly on the

backside is down, back is straight, head

a step-slide action. As you stay

much as you possibly can.

balls of your feet.

is up, and hands are up and active.

down low, the center of gravity

One heel should be roughly in line

remains constant,

with the toes of the other foot.

stay down low

keep weight on balls of feet

defensive stance & lateral slide | 81

● Your feet should not be brought

● Step and slide to the left by turning

● As you now want to change

● The position of the hands and arms

together, as this raises the center

your left foot slightly outward in the

direction and come back toward the

will change, usually depending on what

of gravity of the body and throws

direction you want to slide.

right, push off the left foot and step-

the player you are guarding is doing

slide, with your right foot leading.

with the ball.

you off balance.

turn left foot outward

push off right foot

forward slide with close out
When defending the player with
the ball, it may be that he dribbles
backward at some point and/or
catches the ball and is ready to
take a shot. Depending on your
court position at that moment, you
will need to be able to execute a
movement that takes you toward
your opponent—without fouling or
being off balance—in order to
contest the shot.

● In the defensive stance, begin to

● Once again, use the step-slide

● You will need to adjust your feet

move forward by adjusting the

movement of your feet to take you

and body position according to what

position of your feet and shifting the

forward and to the left, then forward

your opponent is doing.

body from left to right (or vice versa).

again and to the right.

shift from left to right


forward slide with close out | 83

● If the attacker elects to shoot the

● Get a hand up in order to try to

● Do not jump into the air at this

● After closing out on the shot, you

jump shot, recognize this and begin to

distract the shooter (or, even, to

point unless your opponent has

will probably need to block out (or

bring a hand and foot forward, ready

attempt to block the shot).

already used and picked up his

box out) the shooter. Locate the

to contest and put pressure on the

dribble.This action of bringing the

player, make a pivot into the path of

shot. Above, the player is bringing his

hand and foot forward is known as

that player, and make contact in order

left foot and left hand forward.

“closing out.”

to block out this potential rebounder.

apply pressure

distract or block

close out

backward slide & dead dribble
The ability to keep an offensive
player who is dribbling the ball
in front of you and apply the
right pressure on the ball
when he or she picks up
the dribble is the key to
effective defense.

● In a balanced, defensive stance, the

● Keeping your back straight and your

● Without lunging in, which will put

weight is slightly on the balls of the

head up, begin moving your feet in a

you off balance, keep your hands

feet, the hands are up and active, and

step-slide motion left and right,

active, ready to jab at the ball when

the feet are “alive” and responsive.

keeping the dribbler in front of you.

your opponent is off guard. While

Be alert and ready to react quickly to

Try to keep an arm’s-length distance

retreating, try to prevent the ball-

the ball-handler’s movements.

between you and the offensive player.

handler getting past you.

be alert


backward slide & dead dribble | 85

● If the dribbler picks up the dribble,

● This tells your teammates that the

● This means “tracing” the movement

● Try to force a five-second violation

start repositioning yourself forward,

dribble has been picked up and you

of the ball as the offensive player tries

through your pressure on the ball. Be

toward your opponent. With knees

are covering it. With your hands fairly

to pass or shoot it. Be careful not to

ready to react again, depending on the

slightly flexed, get as close as you

close together, start to “mirror” the

foul, keep your hands in the same

movement of the ball and the player

can without making contact, yelling

ball with both hands.

plane as your body, and apply

you are guarding.

“Dead! Dead!”

reposition forward

“mirror” the ball

maximum pressure to your opponent.

apply maximum pressure

defensive rebound & outlet pass
Rebounding is a crucial part
of the defensive game. The
success of this move means
you will gain extra possession
for your team, which could
make all the difference
between winning and losing.
Go after it!
● Having watched the flight of

● Create a good base of support by

● Keep your eyes focused on where

the ball and boxed out the player

keeping your feet approximately

the ball will rebound from. Jump as

you were guarding, establish your

shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and

high as you can and try to extend

rebound position.

back straight. Have your arms up,

your arms toward the ball.

ready to go and catch the ball.

establish rebound position

 focus on ball

defensive rebound & outlet pass | 87

● Try to catch the ball at the top of

● As you land, try to maintain your

● Protect the ball and begin to pivot

● Locate an open teammate for a

your jump with both hands.

balance. Bring the ball down no lower

away from the basket, out toward the

good outlet pass.This could be a

than chin height and keep your elbows

sideline—on the same side of the

chest, bounce, or overhead pass.

out.This helps to protect the ball from

basket as you rebounded the ball.

opponents. Grip the ball firmly with

both hands.

maintain balance

pivot away from basket

deny the wing & back door
If you are guarding a player who is one pass away from the ball, you should try to
“deny” the ball; that is, stop your opponent from receiving it. In the sequence below,
imagine you are the player in green.

● The defensive player has his arm

● The defensive player will be making

● The defender’s denial motion here

● If the offensive player starts to try

nearest the ball extended and up in

a series of step-slide movements,

is similar to a fencer moving forward.

to cut backdoor or make a backcut,

the passing lane, his palm toward the

defensively sliding back and forth to

He tries to maintain about one arm’s-

the defender quickly adjusts his feet

ball, and left foot forward and up

deny the offensive player the ball.

length distance between himself and

and brings his other hand (right in the

toward the mid-court corner. He

The offensive player will be trying to

his opponent. Also, he should be

picture) up to deny the offensive

“looks” a little over his left shoulder.

get free to receive it.

slightly back toward his basket.

player once again.


deny again

deny the wing & back door | 89

● At the same time, the defender

● He now has to make a couple of

● The defender must regain vision of

● The defensive player’s position in

quickly turns his head so that he is

step-slide movements in the opposite

the ball and his opponent (through

relation to his opponent and the ball

now “looking” over his right shoulder.

direction, in order to try to deny the

peripheral vision) as quickly as

is now the same as at the start. For

ball to his opponent.

possible. Also, he must maintain a

the moment, though, his position in

constant stance, as this allows him to

relation to his defensive basket has

react and move quickly and efficiently.


 step-slide, opposite way

maintain stance

denial defense & helpside position
This move helps you stop a player who is one pass away from the ball from getting it. The player
below is guarding a player on the right side of the court in the “wing” area between the lane and
the sideline.

● In the defensive stance, your arm

● Make a series of step-slide

● If the offensive player starts to

● At the same time, turn your head

nearest the ball is extended and up in

movements, defensively sliding back

try to cut backdoor or make a

quickly to look over your left shoulder.

the passing lane, palm facing the ball.

and forth so as to deny the offensive

backcut toward the basket, adjust

You will now have to make a couple

Your right foot is forward, facing the

player the ball (the offensive player

your feet and bring your other hand

of step-slide movements in the

mid-court corner.Your head is turned

will of course be trying to get free to

(left, above) up to deny the attacker

opposite direction, in order to try to

a little over your right shoulder.

receive it).

once again.

deny the offensive player the ball.


deny again

step-slide, opposite way

denial defense & helpside position | 91

● As the offensive player has now cut

● Having denied the offensive player

● Begin to pivot to reposition

● Regain peripheral vision of the ball

into the three-second area, he must

with your left arm up, you can see

yourself according to the position of

and your opponent. With arms up, you

exit within that time allocation. Above,

that he is going out and away from

the offensive player and the ball.

are now in the helpside position in the

imagine he is going to cut across the

the ball.

Make a reverse pivot on your left

middle of the lane area, in defensive

basket and out of the lane on the

foot, and maintain your balance and

stance, “pointing” to the player you are

other side of the court.

defensive stance.

guarding and to the ball.

pivot to reposition

for more
FIBA (Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur)
International Basketball Federation
Avenue Louis Casai, 53
Geneva, Switzerland
+41 (0) 22 545 00 00
Web site:
This independent organization is the global governing body for basketball and includes 213 national federations of basketball worldwide. It establishes the Official Basketball Rules, specifications
for equipment, regulates transfer of players from one country to another, and governs all international competitions, among other activities.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Inc.
1000 West Columbus Avenue
Springfield, MA 01105
(413) 781-6500
Web site:
The Basketball Hall of Fame presents all aspects of the game, including the invention and history of the sport.

National Basketball Association
Olympic Tower
645 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 407-8000
Web site:
The organization and Web site provide information on the history of the sport, the players, the leagues, and statistics, among other facts.

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
700 West Washington Street
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, IN 46206-6222
(317) 917-6222
Web site:
The NCAA is a voluntary organization by which U.S. colleges and universities govern their athletics programs.The Web site provides information about programs, schools, players, records, and
history of the NCAA.

for more information / for further reading | 93

USA Basketball
5465 Mark Dabling Boulevard
Colorado Springs, CO 80918-3842
(719) 590-4800
Web site:
This nonprofit organization is the national governing group for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. It is responsible for the selection, training, and fielding of USA teams that
compete in the International Basketball Federation’s sponsored competitions.

Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)
Olympic Tower
645 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 688-9622
Web site:
The WNBA is the organization that governs the professional basketball league for women in the United States. It was formed in 1996 and currently has thirteen teams.

Web Sites
Due to the changing nature of Internet links, Rosen Publishing has developed an online list of Web sites related to the subject of this book.This site is updated regularly.
Please use this link to access the list:

for further
for further

DeVenzio, Dick. Stuff Good Players Should Know: Intelligent Basketball from A to Z. Austin,TX: Bridgeway Books, 2006.
Gentile, Derek. Smooth Moves: Juking, Jamming, Hooking and Slamming. Basketball’s Plays, Players, Action and Style. New York, NY: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 2003
Halzle,Theresa S. Spirit of Play: Basketball. Minnespolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2003.
Herrold, Benjamin. We’re Loyal to You, Gilman High: Story of a High School Basketball Player. Overland Park, KS: Leathers Publishing, 2007.
Kolb, Joe. Get Fit Now for High School Basketball: Strength and Conditioning for Ultimate Performance on the Court. Long Island City, NY: Hatherleigh Press, 2002.

Krause, Jerry V., Don Meyer, and Jerry Meyer. Basketball Skills and Drills. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 2007.
Pim, Ralph L. Winning Basketball: Techniques and Tips for Playing Better Offensive Basketball. 2nd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
Stewart, Mark, and Mike Kennedy. Swish: The Quest for Basketball’s Perfect Shot (Exceptional Sports Titles for Intermediate Grades). Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press, 2009.
Swidey, Neil. The Assist: Hoops, Hope, and the Game of Their Lives. Jackson,TN: PublicAffairs, 2008.
Thomas, Keltie. How Basketball Works.Toronto, Ontario: Maple Tree Press, 2005.
Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The Women’s Basketball Drill Book. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2007.

accuracy, passing 30
arm bars 67, 78–79
assessing the game 26, 34, 37, 57, 91

backcut 70–71, 88–89, 90–91
“backdoor” cut 70–71, 88–89, 90–91
backward slide 84
defense 81, 84, 87, 90
faking 56
shooting 46, 50, 65
triple-threat position 21, 23, 25
balls 10

baseball pass 36–37
basic dribble 24–255
baskets 6
behind-the-back dribble 28–29
blocking out 78–79, 83
body contact 6–7, 66–67, 78–79
bounce pass 32–33
boxing out 78–79, 83
butterfly stretch 15

calf stretch 14
centers 8–9
changing direction
cross over 74–75
cuts 40–41, 68–71

dribbling 26–27, 28–29
faking 60–63
pivots 20–23, 64–65, 72
changing speed 40–41, 68, 71
chest pass 30–31
closing out 83
clothing 10
contesting shots 83
control dribble 24–25
markings 8
outdoor 11
crab dribble 61
crossover dribble 26–27
crossover move 74–75

backcut 70–71, 88–89, 90–91
topside cut 68–69
V-cut 40–41, 68

dead dribble 84
see also eluding defense
denying the ball 88–91
moves 76–91
positions 9
rebound & outlet pass 86–87
stance 80–81, 89
diet 12
double arm bar 87

for further reading / index | 95

basic 24–25
behind-the-back 28–29
crab 61
crossover 26–27
dead 84
power 61, 63
practice 7
driving 54–55
drop steps
baseline 60–61
middle 62–63

dribbling 25
passing 30, 31
shooting 51
forward pivot 20–21, 72
forward slide 82–83
forwards 8–9
fouls 6–7, 46, 47
freezing defenders 64


glutes stretch 16
governing bodies 4, 10
guards 8–9

eluding defense
cuts 40–41, 68–71
dribbling 26–29
move fakes 56–57, 60–63, 74–75
screens 66–71
shot fakes 54–55, 58–59, 72–73
equipment 10

moves 56–57, 60–63, 74–75
passes 32
shots 47, 54–55, 58–59, 72–73
FIBA 6–7, 10
fitness 6, 12–13
five-second violation 85
flow sequences, understanding 17


hamstring stretch 16
defending 80–81, 83, 84
dribbling 24–25
passing 30–31, 35, 36–37
receiving passes 38–39
shooting 43, 49, 51
health 12
helpside position 91
history 4–5
hook shot 52–53

inside pivot & shoot 64–65

inverted hurdler's stretch 14

NCAA 6–7, 10



jab, cross over & go 74–75
jab fake & go 56–57
jump hook 52–53
jump shot 50–51

offensive moves
combinations 54–63, 72–75
dribbling 24–29, 61, 63
fakes 54–63, 72–75
passing 30–39
pivots 20–23, 64–65, 67, 72
screening 66–71
shooting 42–53
V-cut 40–41
Olympic Games 4, 5
outdoor courts 10
overhead pass 34–35

lateral slides 80–81
left-hand 44–45
left-hand reverse 48–49
power right to left 46–47
right-hand 42–43
left-hand dribbling 24
left-hand layup 44–45, 48–49
left-hand reverse layup 48–49
locking defenders feet 75
long-distance pass 36–37
low post area 60–65
lower back stretch 16

"mirror" ball movements 85

Naismith, Dr. James 4–5
National Basketball Association (NBA)
4, 6–7, 10

baseball pass 36–37
bounce pass 32–33
chest pass 30–31
outlet pass 87
overhead pass 34–35
receiving 38–39, 68–71
pivot moves 20–23, 64–65, 67, 72
player positions 8–9
post area 60–65, 72–73
post-up position 72
power dribble 61, 63
power layup right to left 46–47

pretzel stretch 14
protecting ball 55, 59, 64, 72, 87
pump fake 47, 73

quadriceps stretch 15

rebounding ball 9, 78–79, 83, 86–87
receiving passes 38–39, 68–71
reverse pivot 22–23, 67
right-hand lay up 42–43
roll move 67
rules 6–7

scoring rules 6–7
screen & roll 66–67
screens, using 68–71
shielding ball 49
eluding defense 54–65, 72–74
jump hook 52–53
jump shot 50–51
left-hand layup 44–45
left-hand reverse layup 48–49
power layup right to left 46–47
right-hand layup 42–43
shot fakes
& drive 54–55

one dribble & jump shot 58–59
pump fake 47, 72–73
“showing ten” 38
signaling passers 38, 40
spin back 20, 22
step-slide action 80–81, 82, 88–90
streetball 11
stretching 12–16


topside cut 68–69
“tracing” ball movements 85
triple-threat position 20–23, 26, 34, 50,
56–58, 74

up-and-under move 72–73
using screens 68–71

V-cut 40–41, 68

screening 66–67
unselfishness 9
using screens 68–71
three-second area 91

warming up 12–13
Women’s National Basketball
Association (WNBA) 10

about the author
the author
Mark Dunning has been involved in basketball for more than twenty-five years as a teacher, coach, and administrator. For the past eighteen years he has been a head
coach at the professional level in the English Premier League. In addition to giving presentations at numerous coaches’ clinics around the world, he has been a coach with
the England National teams and has been president and founder of the Basketball Coaches’ Association.