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Top 5 Skills Needed for Kids to Play Basketball

15 July 2023

On paper, winning a basketball game is simple: get the ball through the hoop more often than the other team. In reality, getting that ball through the hoop takes some skill though. Children will need the skills necessary to handle the large, heavy ball and, as they progress in the sport, they’ll then learn the many nuanced aspects of tactics, rules and gameplay that make it so much fun.

Catching and Passing

It’s essential that children learn and perfect these skills. Along with some other ball control techniques, catching and passing are fundamental. Both are basic motor skills, but children will need to know how to catch and pass effectively, in order to keep the flow of the game going and make sure they can keep up with the fast pace of a game. Both skills need to become second nature, so children need to practise for a long time, in a variety of drills, to get them right.


Just like catching and passing, dribbling is a core basketball skill that children will need to be able to perform in their sleep. It can be a lot harder than it looks. Basketball is a fast skill, with players moving quickly in and out of one another. There’s also a big difference between dribbling with eyes down and eyes up ahead, not looking at the ball. Children must be able to dribble without watching the ball, to see and keep up with the fleeting gaps and fast plays that will win or lose a game.


Again, this is a core skill to master for any children wanting to play basketball. In basketball, it’s essential that all players can consistently score for their team. It can be hard; passing, catching and dribbling are all ball skills that take place around head or body height. Shooting takes aim but also strength. To begin with, young children might struggle. Think about investing in an adjustable hoop to help them work on their technique in a way they can manage.

Defence, Attack and Strategy

Like in any sports game, winning a basketball game will require strategy and tactics. Basketball is a sport that utilises an interesting attack/ defence gameplay. The gameplay isn't too complicated, so it will help children to at least have an idea about how it works. It’s a good idea for them to have a grasp of man-to-man marking and the need for players to find space to receive passes when attacking.

Teamwork and Social Skills

Skills in teamwork and cooperation are central to any team sport. Basketball is fast-paced and intense, so children will need to know how to keep a cool head and let things slide. The court is no place for a person to lose their temper or get into arguments. At the same time, a good basketball player needs to be decisive and have the confidence to take an opportunity when they see it, for the sake of the team.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin ???????? on Unsplash

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