Basketball Training Fundamentals for Beginners

If you asked Michael Jordan how to become a lethal weapon on the basketball court, here's what he'd say:

"Get the fundamentals down, and the level of everything you do will rise."

Any successful basketball coach or player would tell you the same thing: learn and master the fundamentals of basketball.

These fundamentals include:

  • Ball Handling
  • Shooting
  • Passing
  • Rebounding

The good news is that basketball fundamentals for beginners are pretty simple.

With a little hard work and dedication, you'll be on the court helping your team win games in no time.

The Importance of Basketball Fundamentals For Beginners

Becoming a well-rounded basketball player is like putting together many smaller building blocks to create something greater than the sum of its parts. If you look at any of the best players in the world, none of them is a "one-trick pony." They excel at several different basketball skills to become offensive and defensive nightmares on the court.

To start your basketball training journey, here are 4 basic fundamental skills that will help you become a strong foundational asset to your team on both sides of the court.

Ball Handling

The most basic skill you need to learn how to do is handle the ball or dribble. Being able to effectively dribble the ball will allow you to get from place to place on the court.Everyone on the floor needs to be able to dribble effectively — not just the point guard.

One important note: learn to dribble equally with both hands. Most people focus more on their dominant hand because it's easier, but if you dedicate yourself to developing your weaker hand, you'll have a huge advantage on opposing defenses in the future.

Practicing your dribbling is pretty straightforward. Several different drills can help you become a better dribbler.

Basketball Drills for Ball Handling

Here's an easy drill for basketball dribbling fundamentals: pound dribble knee-high.

  1. Bend your knees and dribble the ball with one hand. 
  2. Start with 10 dribbles with your dominant hand, then cross the ball over and "pound" the ball 10 times with your weaker hand. 
  3. Switch back and dribble 9 times with the dominant, then weaker, and so on. When you get to "1," crossover the ball from hand to hand 10 times.
  4. Aim to be able to dribble the ball faster and harder to improve your dribble. The better you get, the harder you should be able to "pound" the ball. 
  5. Make sure you're keeping your head up and not just staring at the ball or floor. This will help your court vision as you progress.


Shooting is not only one of the most important aspects of the game — it's also the most fun to work on!

Getting your shooting form down is essential to your future development as a player. Without correct shooting form, it'll be much harder to improve your shot down the road.

There are several nuances to perfecting your shooting form, including:

Hand placement

Put your shooting hand directly in the middle of the ball, with your elbow in line with your shoulder (not sticking out!). Keep your non-shooting hand on the side of the ball, acting as a guide.

Feet placement

Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. When you shoot, bend your legs and jump straight up.


After shooting, keep your shooting hand in the bent shooting position for 3 seconds after. My first shooting coach always referred to this as the "swan's neck." By keeping the same follow-through after every shot, you'll build muscle memory to keep your form consistent.

Even for the best players in the world, perfecting your shot takes years of dedication. Keep practicing basketball drills for shooting every day by keeping your form as consistent as possible to see results. 


Passing in basketball isn't just about getting the ball to another person — it's an art that takes skill and quality decision-making. 

The most basic passes that need to be mastered are the chest pass, bounce pass, and overhead pass.

If you're a beginner, line up with a teammate and practice each pass. It's important to understand the importance of each pass as you practice. A chest pass needs to be thrown directly to the other player's chest, which is the prime position for them to quickly take a jump shot or dribble quickly. A well-placed bounce pass and overhead pass is crucial for bypassing defenders.

Basketball Drills for Passing

One great drill is to play a game where players aren't allowed to dribble while the other team defends.

This will help you learn how to get open as well as use creative decision-making to get the ball where it needs to go.

Several new high-tech passing tools can help develop your decision-making, reaction time, speed, and accuracy. Learning basketball drills for smart basketball could be the key to hitting that next level.


Rebounding is the act of grabbing the ball after a shot misses the basket. It's one of the most important skills to learn, no matter what position you play. When a shot goes up, three simple steps give you the best chance to secure the rebound.

1. Find your man

Once the ball is up, it's important to not just go flying towards the basket. You need to find the man you're guarding.

2. Box out

The most important aspect of rebounding is boxing out. This means to drive your back and butt into your opponent and force them back. This clears out space in front of you that you can effectively get to — but your opponent can't. If your team boxes out the other team effectively, your chances of snagging the rebound goes up significantly. 

3. Rebound

If the ball is coming in your direction, don't wait for it to come to you. Jump for the ball and secure it with both hands and keep your elbows out as you come down.

Although the technique of rebounding is important, most rebounding is about hustle and effort. The players that work the hardest to grab the board are likely the ones to come out with it.

Get Practicing!

As you begin your journey into the world of basketball, you'll find that building these basketball fundamentals for beginners is the fastest way to becoming an all-around weapon on the court.

Once you learn the foundational skills on how to play basketball, you'll create a clear path forward on what you need to work on. 

Most of these drills are simple, but it takes repetition, dedication, and discipline to become a master that can perform these abilities effortlessly on the court.

Ready to take your game to the next level? Check out how Shoot 360’s basketball training, technology, and video game-like experience are being utilized to take your training to a whole new level.