What Basic Skills in Basketball Every Player Must Learn?

Basic Skills in Basketball

Written by Yvette

April 26, 2021

Basketball is a fast-paced game that requires both knowledge and instinct to play effectively. Basketball mastery is a never-ending process. Numerous skills contribute to the quality of a player’s game. While some players may be more skilled in certain areas than others, it is best to have some proficiency in each of the five areas for a well-rounded game. Here are the top five basic skills in basketball that every player should master.

Top Five Basic Skills in Basketball

Every player needs to learn each of the skills below to set a good foundation in playing games. These fundamentals will help the team develop tactics in different playing situations and enable them to be most suited for a role or position. Without mastering basic skills in basketball, a player won’t be able to execute advanced moves properly.


Dribbling is a fundamental skill that all basketball players should master. This ability enables a player to move up and down the court, around defenders, and execute plays. Without good dribbling and ball-handling skills, he will be unable to move the ball down the court, resulting in moving violations rather than points. Proper dribbling requires both ball-handling ability and an understanding of how to spread the fingers for ball control. It’s also beneficial if the player can dribble with both hands equally well and experiment with crossover, behind the back, low, and between-the-legs dribbles. Dribble with fingertips rather than the palm, and keep your head up rather than the eyes on the ball. 


Knowing how to shoot is possibly self-evident since putting the ball through the hoop is the only way to score. Properly handling, targeting, and rapidly throwing the ball while evading defensive pressure can be challenging to learn. To master a great shot, a player would want to start with the fundamentals. However, this is not just any shot: it is critical to learn how to fire from various angles and multiple ways. Although getting the layup that leads to the basket is essential, there are many other types of shots to add to your arsenal, including the free throw, the dunk, the hook shot, the three-point shot from outside the key, and others.

Start your basketball career and build essential skills with the right program.


Basketball being a team sport, requires players to locate an open teammate for a shot. Accuracy is necessary, but if you can’t quickly eye up to your teammate and initiate the pass, accuracy is irrelevant. An excellent passer will have a 360-degree view of the court and will be able to anticipate when a teammate is clear and closest to the basket. Develop proficiency with a two-handed chest pass, a bounce pass, and an overhead pass to fool your defenders. Excellent passers are a critical component of any basketball team since they usually set up scoring plays.


Excellent footwork is a necessary component of most court skills since basketball requires a lot of running as you sprint back and forth between the baskets. If you’re shooting, defending, rebounding, or heading down the court, the way you move your feet directly impacts your plays’ performance. The majority of warm-up drills include running, even though no ball is touched. By mastering these moves, you can maintain your equilibrium and make faster, longer-ranged passes. A strong foundation in footwork enables you to angle around defenders and execute successful counter moves.

Offensive and Defensive Skills

Shooting, bounding, passing, and dribbles are the offensive skills while blocking, stealing, and rebounding are part of defensive abilities. Take equal time to develop offensive skills for your team while simultaneously instilling the physicality and toughness needed on the ball’s defensive side.

Master Basic Basketball Skills with Consistent Practice

Learning about these skills is only the beginning. You need to set a schedule for practice on a daily or weekly basis. Consistent practice is key to mastery of basic skills in basketball. Apart from that, players must also perform or practice it under different game scenarios, pressure, or speed to master each skill efficiently. Practicing it at the same pace all the time won’t make it as effective. Change the pace as you go along. For more articles regarding each skill, check out our other posts.

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