Watching such excellent players as Kobe Bryant play always evoked mixed feelings in me – excitement, entertainment and discouragement. While one may wonder why Bryant could be a discouragement, others may understand that it is not the easiest of tasks to play like Kobe Bryant. I, however, made a promise to myself, to learn how to play basketball, and make the best out of my capability. This marked the beginning of what could later turn out to be a very interesting experience. Today, I may neither be the best basketball player, nor match Bryant’s skill, but I can explain to a wiling learner, or a layman, how to play basket ball. As a matter of common knowledge, it is critical to know how to play basketball because the game is not only interesting, but also one of the best ways to keep fit and healthy.
According to my personal experiences, playing basketball is all about mastering three key skills – dribbling, passing and shooting. When basketball players get to the court, the first thing is what instructors refer to as a warm-up. This is a session that entails the stretching of muscles. It is this session that enables me, and other basketball players to get our blood running. Typically, this entails a 400-meter walk, followed by a 400-meter jog and finally another 400-meter walk (Burns and Dunning 42). This gets the muscles stretched and flexible. This is critical in the reduction of injuries, and such hindrances as muscle pulls. After this step, the players should take time to relax – usually five to ten minutes. It is during this time that we get ready for the real game.
Perhaps the most critical step is the beginning point. At this point, the players are set to start. I prefer starting the game because in most cases, being the starting or opening player is motivating. To start, I bounce the ball four times for every two steps. In most cases, going three steps without bouncing the ball may cause the player to forfeit the ball, something that could give the opponent team an advantage. For this reason, I prefer running while bouncing the ball. Momentarily, I stand still and dribble the ball back and forth, and in between my legs. At this point, I or the player with the ball should be preparing to make a pass. Passing exposes the opponents’ defense, and enables us to penetrate through, so that we can make close-range shots (Burns and Dunning 61). While there are many ways of passing the ball, the chest pass and the bounce pass are the most common. I prefer passing using the bounce pass, since it is more accurate.
After passing the ball, I ensure that I am strategically positioned because there are high chances that the player I passed to will return the ball to me. This means that immediately after passing the ball, I should move forward. Once I am close enough to the opponent’s basket, I try to ensure that the defenders do not get me marked. At this point, I can, through signs, ask the player with the ball to tactically pass it to me. After effectively getting the ball into my hands, I realize that it is time to make or break the chances of our success. This will force me to employ a good shooting form – a skill that entails balancing the basket ball on one hand, raised above the head, and bent back. The other hand is then used to hit the ball with clipped precision to make a close range shot (Burns and Dunning 92). This will be the first score. In conclusion, it is clear to see that, form the foregoing; basketball is a kind of team-based game, which is both exciting and helpful to the health of the players.
Burns, Brian, and Mark Dunning. Basketball Step-by-Step. New York, N.Y: Rosen Central, 2010. Print.