On high school and college levels, most basketball coaches prefer their players not to be too fancy with their basketball moves, as the heart of the game is to score, not to show off how many tricks they can maneuver. Besides, most of those tricks are quite risky; if the players can't pull them off precisely right, it is likely to cause a turnover. In some situations, however, those sneaky basketball tricks that we often see NBA players do can be very useful. The important idea is you have got to know how to perform them correctly and should try to use them sparingly in order to avoid unnecessary blunders.
1. Crossover Dribble
Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson are really good at this. Crossover dribbling is basically a weight shifting trick that enables you to use your momentum toward the hoop to your best advantage. To perform this basketball trick right, you have to push off hard toward your left foot (presuming you are guarded to the right), move the ball from your right hand across your body on a diagonal path, catch the ball with your left hand, then make a long crossover step toward the basket with your right foot. This move is a no-no when you are being guarded closely; it could be quite easy for the defender to steal the ball from you. Also, never reach out your left hand to grab the ball. Instead, just let it bounce to your left side. By reaching over, you automatically expose the ball to your defender and may dribble the ball off your foot.
2. Spin Dribble
Use this basketball trick when you are in the open court and the defender is blocking your path to the basket. To execute this move (presuming you are right-handed), dribble hard with your right hand toward the defender, plant your left foot slightly in front, make a quick 180-degree pivot off your left foot, then switch to dribble with your left hand half way through the rotation. As you have your back toward the defender, complete another 180-degree pivot off your right foot and you should be facing the basket again. Two disadvantages of this basketball trick is that you will be momentarily forced into a blind spot as you are spinning, and if you do this move too swiftly, you may throw yourself off balance.
3. Behind-the-Back Pass
This is a high-risk move, so either do it right or don't do it at all. A good time to perform this trick is in a two-on-one, fast-break situation. To pass the ball behind your back effectively, the impetus should originate from your arm and fingers, not from turning your shoulder. By turning your shoulder, you are giving away to the defenders that you are about to make a behind-the-back pass. Also make sure that you have good communication and mutual understanding with the teammate to whom you are passing the ball.
4. Change-of-Pace Fake
This can be a very useful move when you get double teamed. The more exhausted the defenders become, the more likely they will get fooled by this trick. As you are about to get double teamed, just slow down and plant your front foot. Keep your head up and straighten up a little, so that the defenders will believe that you are slowing down. As you see them also slow down, accelerate by pushing off your front foot, race past them and head to the basket.
5. Shot Blocking
Shot blocking is another thing we see more often in the NBA than in high school or college basketball games. Most tall players can easily block a shot, but not all of them can do it right. Here are things that you have to remember when blocking a shot:
1. ) Don't just block for blocking's sake. Try to deflect the ball to where your teammates may get an easy rebound position.
2. ) To avoid foul trouble, keep your hand straight up so that it will seem like the shooter puts the ball into your hand.
3. ) Keep your feet planted on the floor. Leaping could make you become vulnerable for being faked out.
Om Paramapoonya is a very versatile freelance writer. Although most of the articles she has written are about finance and lifestyles, sports are also her passion. She has done a lot of research about basketball skills and created the articles http://hubpages.com/hub/Basketball-Dribble and http://hubpages.com/hub/Basketball-Defense to encourage young players to pay attention on critical basketball techniques, important for all players from the beginner to pro levels.