Basketball Fundamentals Every Player Must Master to be the Best

Do you want to learn the fundamentals of basketball? Perhaps you’re looking to become a basketball player yourself.

In order to pursue this dream, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of the sport first. After all, becoming an excellent basketball player requires more than just an abundance of ambition. In order to succeed at the game, you’ll need to know the basics.

The basketball fundamentals are some of the basic techniques involved in the gameplay. With the help of these skills, you can excel at the game.

Therefore, if you desire to improve and enhance your techniques, you should be familiar with the fundamentals. This article will take you through all the fundamentals you need to excel in basketball.

Significance of These Fundamentals

If you do not possess knowledge of basketball's basic rules and techniques, you won't accomplish much. With an in-depth and accurate understanding of all the details, you can aim for higher limits.

Stephen Curry, an NBA player for the Golden State Warriors, once said that you could tune in to a basketball game of any level — be it a high school or an NBA match — and still see players struggling to grasp the fundamentals.

On a trip to Barcelona, the late Kobe Bryant said that most basketball players in the United States lack the fundamental skills that teenage players overseas possess.

Talent and ambition alone cannot take you on the journey to success. Therefore, you must improve your skills according to expert advice and the fundamentals of the game. That way, you can build a firm foundation and excel at your basketball career.

The Fundamentals of Basketball

Here are some of the fundamentals of basketball:


Dribbling is the first technique that you practice on a basketball. Whether you’re playing casually or in a match, you’ll find that it’s important to dribble the ball. Thus, dribbling is the most essential of all the fundamentals.

Without mastering it, you cannot consider yourself a candidate for a successful career in the game. In simple terms, dribbling is a move the ball handler uses to move around without giving the ball to another player. It involves continuously bouncing the ball off the floor.

By possessing the ball, you can decide your next move. Dribbling helps you assess the movement required to throw the ball in the hope of determining the passing angle.


To excel at dribbling, you must learn to manipulate the ball with both of your hands. It would help to put slight pressure on the ball to let it bounce. As you dribble, ensure that your focus remains on the hoop while being aware of your opponents.

Keep an eye on the opposing team players using peripheral vision. At the start, practice dribbling using crossover and in and out techniques. Afterward, move on to complex movements such as spinning.

When dribbling, it is essential to remember that you can only use one hand at a time. Using both hands will result in a violation. Moreover, you cannot hold the ball as you run across the court. That is called traveling.

The only way to move while retaining possession of the game is to dribble it. Lastly, there is no limit to how high you bounce the ball.

You might also like: Best Weighted Gloves to Help Improve Your Driblling Skills


Rebounding is another crucial technique in determining your potential as an excellent player. When a shot misses during the match, the skill of acquiring the ball again is called rebounding.

It does not depend upon your physique or stature but is entirely the product of your abilities. Rebounding is a powerful technique in a basketball match. If you have possession of the ball before the opponent, your team will have a significantly higher probability of winning.

To excel in the rebounding technique, always seek out your opponent as soon as the shot misses. Keep your opponent away and prevent their contact with the ball as you play. Lastly, acquire the ball by maintaining a short distance from the rim so that the ball lands in your domain.


The most significant responsibility of the player is to shoot the ball into the hoop. This move can create intense pressure on the player, but they cannot succeed if the stress gets them. To direct the shot securely, place the ball in your hand and shift your focus on the rim.

Assess the correct movement to throw the ball according to your position. Ensure that both of your elbows remain below the ball and hold it in the upright position. Afterward, apply force according to the distance between the rim and shoot the ball into the basket.

To make a successful shot, you must have an established technique. Accurately place the ball in your hands and keep your elbows under the ball.


Maintain your balance by ensuring that the position you are standing in allows your feet to stay firm on the ground. Adjust our body posture according to the location of the hoop. To throw the ball, push yourself upward or jump if the rim is at a long distance.

Shooting gets better with practice. You are halfway through mastering the fundamentals when you learn your signature moves that do not cause a missed shot.

As you get better at shooting, your body naturally forms the most appropriate posture to throw the ball. So to accurately shoot the ball, don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong.

Related: Best Basketball Shooting Machine for Improving On-court Performance


Teamwork is one of the ways to win a match, and it requires coordination between the players. An expert basketball player knows when to communicate with their teammate and pass the ball. The eye contact and the proximity of the players are essential in successfully passing the ball to the player.

To make an accurate pass, ensure that you keep the opponents behind you or sideways so that your teammate is right in front of you. However, the directions can vary in real-time but ascertain the position of both opponents and teammates before passing the ball.


The most effective way to get this skill right is to practice it. Play in teams and partner with another player. Keep the other player next to you and pass the ball using various techniques.

After the practice, play in the team and utilize the skills to pass the ball to your teammate. Be quick, vigilant, and keep an eye on your partner as well as the opponents.

Related: What is an Assist in Basketball?


Defense is the only way to keep the rival team away from the ball. There are multiple ways to practice defense. The most basic ones are locking your opponents or remaining close to them to prevent any chance of contact with the ball.

To carry out defense moves, you can position yourself near the rim. When your teammate passes the ball, you can stay around the opponents to catch it if it lands in their proximity.

Furthermore, as soon as the rival team shoots the ball, stand close to the rim to block it from the basket. If you are tall, you can utilize your hands. Otherwise, you can jump and throw the ball away from the rim.


There are two modes of defense in basketball; on-ball and off-ball defense. A combination of both these defense techniques ascertains that the opponents do not score. For on-ball defense, maintain approximately an arm's length from the player.

For the off-ball defense, surround the entire court. Moreover, Adjust your position so that you can instantly assist your teammates.

Therefore all the four off-ball defenders should remain at the edges and around the opponents. However, remember that the coach decides the correct positions for these defenders in an actual game.

Related: What is Goaltending?


Another fundamental skill that you should perfect as a basketball player is footwork. Footwork is how you move across the field and perform different game tactics.

Efficiency in this technique allows you to doge the opponent and reach your planned destination. Whether you intend to defend, shoot, or pass the ball, you need to master the essentials of feet movements. It also involves the way you position your feet in the court.

The stance of the feet indicates how the player will move. If any efficient rival team players assess the position, they can decipher your gameplay. As a result, opponents can easily infiltrate your entire plan, and you may not be able to achieve the target you have set for yourself. 

Therefore, you should be subtle about your footwork as a skilled player. Stay in one position to confuse the opponents.

Afterward, move across the field with a swift movement and practice this fundamental technique within your grasp. Become efficient at this tactic, and your defense will automatically improve.

Pro tip: Get these agility ladders to improve your footwork tremendously.

Conclusion: Basketball Fundamentals

With consistency and constant practice, you can get better at these basketball fundamentals. All of these are essential for your career, and you will not be able to excel at them without determination. Follow the advice of your coach and rely on their judgment regarding your progress.

Along with that, remain critical of yourself. After all, you are your own best advocate. If you want to succeed, it’ll be up to you to do the hard work. Practice each skill like a religion, and you will be halfway to achieving brilliance in the sport.

Related: 4 Great Places to Practice Basketball (Team No Excuse)

Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast