Basketball is one of only a few sports where the womens have grown at the same rate as the mens. Originally it was invented in America but has spread to an international sport with a host of countries having quality players. Basketball consists of two teams of five players, each team trying to outscore each other by throwing the ball through the oppositions basket from above.
Basketball: the essentials
Basically you have to score more points than your opponents while trying to stop your opponents from scoring in the other basket. You score two points for a successful throw or three points if the throw is from behind the three throw arc. The measurement from the basket to the arc is 6.25 metres in international games but in NBA games this increases to 7.24 metres. At any point during the game a team can make up to seven substitutions but only when play is stopped.
The match is played in four quarters each lasting 10 minutes internationally and 12 minutes for NBA. At half time 15 minutes are aloud for a break and 2 minutes for the other breaks. Basketball has quite a large fan base because of its action and sometimes heated arguments on court adds to the excitement.
The person with the ball on court can not move both feet unless dribbling and must keep his hand on top of the ball when dribbling. The ball has to stay in court for the game to continue, if the ball goes out of court then the team with possession before the ball went out of court looses possession.
Basketball is a team game and with this in mind generally the really good teams are not just good individually but good as a team, each member relies on the others to perform well and everybody knows what they should be doing or who they should be marking. You should always be looking for the pass rather than the spectacular shot.
Some exercises to improve your basketball
Many people believe that you are born with the ability to jump high but this is not true. A vertical jump is the distance is the difference between your standing reach and the measurement when you jump from a flat footed start. The average vertical jump of a professional NBA player is between 28 to 34 inches. Exercises are good for increasing the ability to jump higher; some of these include step-ups, squats, and lunges. These exercises can be done in a controlled manner which increases the muscles in the legs, knees and hips.
Step-ups are usually done with the use of dumbbells and a box or bench. The idea is to stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand, and onto the box and then step back down. The box or bench should be high enough so your leg bends to 90 degrees. You should do this about 10 to 15 times for each leg, and then repeat on the other leg. If you regularly perform different exercises you will increase your muscles which in turn will improve your vertical jump
Lunges are sometimes done with either dumbbells or a bar across your upper back.
You stand in an upright position and step forward as far as you can, keeping your back straight and upright at all times. Aim to get your leg bent at an angle of 90 degrees and return to the standing position. Do this 10 to 15 times again with one leg and then change legs and repeat.
Squats are quite hard but are one of the best exercises to do for athletes and also one of the most dangerous if not performed right. Stand with the bar on your shoulders not on your neck. Stand straight with your knees directly above your feet.