Skills Focus

The Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops Program allows a coach to demonstrate the basic skills of Basketball and allows a child to develop these skills in order to get the most out of the sport. A skills focus is paramount to the program and it is important that Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops participants work on these skills to effectively develop and enjoy their basketball experience. Basketball’s seven fundamental skills as recognised in the national Basketball coaching curriculum are:

1. Ball handling

2. Dribbling

3. Passing

4. Catching

5. Shooting

6. Body movement and footwork

7. Defence


All players should feel comfortable holding the ball. This is achieved through handling the ball as much as possible. When handling the ball keep it off the palms of the hand and on the fingers ensuring fingers are spread for better ball control. Confident ball handling greatly assists dribbling, passing, catching and shooting.


Dribbling is bouncing the ball on the floor repeatedly. A player may dribble the ball with either hand and can change hands but cannot dribble with both hands at the same time. Once a player stops dribbling they must pass or shoot – they cannot dribble again. The purpose of dribbling is to advance the ball to the offensive end when a pass is not possible or to improve an opportunity for passing or shooting.


The purpose of passing is to advance the ball up the floor as quickly as possible to achieve better court positioning and improved shooting positions. There are a variety of different passing techniques based on the ball carriers desires and court position. These include the two hand chest pass, two hand bounce pass, two hand overhead pass, push pass, lob pass, curl pass and the baseball pass.


Catching is a basic motor skill typically developed by children at an early age. With reference to a Basketball the basic skill requires both arms and hands to be extended forward and all fingers spread to grip the ball whilst watching it all the way into the hands. Practice and repetition is advised.


Shooting is the most significant basic skill of the sport which all players of all ages and standards should be skilled in. Shooting techniques always differ and often require technical advice to maximise efficiency. Players also have little understanding of the basic principles that are necessary to improve and develop shooting when inevitably practicing by themselves. This driving imperative means that how to best teach shooting as a skill should be understood by coaches. Shooting is also a vital skill in the Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops program as many participants see scoring as the fun part of the game. Refer to theVicinity Centres Aussie Hoops session cards for richer shooting content for coaches.


Good movement and footwork is essential to developing best practice techniques. The correct execution of most skills in basketball starts with good footwork. Good movement and footwork eliminates turnovers through ‘travelling’ and ‘double dribbling’ while facilitating effective passing and catching, drives to the basket, rebounding opportunities and improved shooting techniques. Effective and efficient movement and footwork rapidly bridges the gap between good and outstanding basketballers. Footwork development and training is intended to provide the offensive player with proper balance, an established pivot foot and in the appropriate stance commonly known as “ready to play”. Offensively this is the “triple threat” position. Defensively, the same development and training encourages the participant to assume the staggered “boxer’s stance”.


Defensive skills are typically developed with age maturation. In infancy defensive skills can be taught indirectly through maintaining a body position between the offensive player and the basket and reacting to the offensive player’s movement with the use of arms, hands and the body. Other focused defensive skills include rebounding, blocking, ‘Screen’ avoidance and zoning.