How to Play Basketball
In a Nutshell...

Learn how to play basketball with free youth basketball drills, tips, and rules. Whether you want to learn how to improve your own game or teach someone else, you'll find lots of helpful resources within these pages.

A great way to become familiar with the game and get a good overview of the basic skills is to attend a basketball summer camp for kids. You can find outstanding camps with excellent coaching all over the country at prices to fit just about any budget. I encourage you to find one near you.

Fundamental Skills

Learning how to play basketball starts with some basic skills. If you're going to play the game well, you need to master each of these parts of the game.


Steve Nash dribbling

You've got to be able to handle the ball when you get it and protect it from the defense.


Ray Allen shooting

You need to learn how to shoot a basketball with proper basketball shooting shooting form.


Lindsay Whalen passing

Getting the ball to open teammates is a really important skill. Learn the types of passes needed in different game situations.


Greg Oden rebounding

Lots of shots are missed during a game, so players who know how to get rebounds will get the ball a lot more often than those who don't.


Michael Jordan jumping

Learning how to jump higher opens up more scoring and rebounding opportunities, and gives you an advantage over your opponents.

You can't learn how to play basketball well if you don't make each of these fundamental skills an important part of your youth basketball training.

Team Offense

Dirk Nowitzki offense

When your team has the ball, you need to learn how to move without the ball to keep the offense flowing and increase your chances of getting a pass.

Once you catch the ball, there are a variety of basketball moves that will help you take it to the basket and score.

Team Defense

Michael Jordan defense

Teams have to be able to keep their opponents from scoring, so you need to have good defensive skills.

You have to guard your individual player as well as help out teammates when they get beat.


basketball conditioning

Basketball requires players to be in great physical shape.

There are a lot of different aspects of the game, which require good cardiovascular conditioning, agility, speed, and strength.


how to play basketball

Boy, how the rules of basketball have changed over the past 100+ years!

Take a look at this timeline to see the rule changes that have had the greatest impact on the game.

If you're brand new to the game, you might want to start with How to Play Basketball: The Basic Rules to give you an overview of the game.


Dallas Mavericks positions

You need to learn about the different basketball positions that make up a team.

This can help you identify the position you are best suited for and focus on youth basketball drills to help you develop the specific skills you need.


Like anything, basketball has terms that are unique to it.

If you're going to learn how to play basketball, you need to become familiar with these terms because you will hear them used by players and coaches on the court.


basketball scoreboard

The game is played on a basketball court with a goal at each end. Each competitive level uses a different basketball court size.

If you want to see what the different types of basketball courts look like, check out our basketball court diagrams.



The equipment is simple. You need two basketball goals and one basketball.

There are different basketball sizes that can be used depending on the age and/or gender of the players.


basketball history

If you've ever wondered who invented basketball or how it developed into the game we know today, you may find it interesting to read about the history of basketball.

Learn about the origin of women's basketball, too.

So, there you have it. In a nutshell, you have all the tools you need to learn how to play basketball.

You'll be surprised how many skills players can develop right in their own driveway. With just a ball, a partner, some fun youth basketball drills, and a little hard work, you'll be amazed at the improvement you'll begin to see!

You might also be interest in checking into little league basketball programs in your area to provide your child more structured youth basketball training and give him the chance to showcase the skills he's developed.

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