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Fundamentals - WABC Coaches Manuals

The WABC Coaches Education Platform at FIBA has online coaches manuals at four levels - Mini Basketball, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. The manuals can also be downloaded.

Player Skills

The Level 1-2-3 manuals have Coach, Player and Team sections, and include numerous short videos. The player skills are summarized below, by level:

Skills in italics are linked to a corresponding YouTube video. I created three YouTube playlists - WABC Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.

Level 1

1. Defensive Skills

  • Footwork
    • Basic - balanced stance (nose behind toes), defensive slide (big to bigger), changing direction (drop step), slide-run-slide.
    • Closing out - sprint, chop steps, two hands high, call "ball".
  • Defending the ball
    • Containment, turning the dribbler (nose on the ball), channelling the dribbler (forcing).
  • Defending a perimeter player away from the ball
  • Defending in the low post
    • Denial stance on either side (baseline or top), one foot behind; fronting the post
    • Defend behind the post player.
  • Blocking out an offensive rebounder
    • Turn and face your check, forearm contact, pivot to keep contact and face the basket, hands up, jump, catch, protect the ball (elbows out).
    • A help defender on the split line should get to the edge of the key.
    • For young players, find your check, get between them and the basket.up

2. Offensive Skills

  • Basic movement skills
  • Getting open
    • Use change of pace, change of direction.
    • Straight cut - towards the ball, towards the basket e.g. back cut.
    • V-cut, L-cut, backdoor cut.
  • Catching
    • Show hands to the ball, watch the ball until it is in your hands.
  • Protecting the ball
    • Two hands on the ball, head up, use fakes, pivot away, dribble backwards.
  • Triple threat
    • Face the basket, ball about hip height, be strong with the ball.
  • Passing
    • Chest pass, push pass, bounce pass, overhead pass.
    • Pass fakes.
  • Dribbling
    • Right hand, left hand, crossover, hesitation (stop and lift up), speed (alternating hands), retreat, behind the back, fake crossover (inside-out), double moves.
    • Attack the legs (get past your defender).
  • Shooting
    • Layup footwork.
    • Shooting - balance, grip, high arc, high release point, backspin (wrist flick), power from the legs.
    • Shooting off the dribble - jump stop or stride stop.
    • Jump shot.
  • Offensive moves
    • First step (explosive).
    • Getting post position
    • Perimeter offence
      • Square up.
      • Crossover-step dribble (left foot step to go right), onside-step dribble (right foot to go right).
      • Shot fake, drive fake (jab step).
      • Catch and shoot (ball in the air, feet in the air).
      • Dribble penetration - layup, shot, pass.up

Level 2

1. Defensive Skills

  • Advanced close-outs
    • On a driver (short), on a shooter (one hand up, may run by)
  • Front the post
  • Double-team the ball
  • Pressure defence
    • Anticipate the offence.up

2. Offensive Skills

  • Getting open
    • Horizontal cut (Iverson) - reverse pivot catch and rip baseline.
    • Turn-out cut - straight cut, curl cut, flare cut using a pin-down screen.
  • Catching
  • Passing
    • Curl pass - one-hand bounce pass into the post.
    • Baseball pass.
    • Skip pass.
  • Dribbling
    • Reverse spin (then change hands).
    • Snake dribble - crossover to get behind a ballscreen and cut off your defender.
    • Throw-down dribble - for an onside drive opposite the ball, instead of  sweeping the ball from one side to the other, throw the ball into the floor so that it bounces to the other side (avoiding a travel).
    • Step-back move - jump to shoot as you land on the back foot, or lift head and shoulders (hesitate) and drive.
    • Horizontal dribble - move sideways facing the basket (or face the direction you are moving).
    • Push dribble - to open space, usually a push crossover, e.g. splitting a ballscreen.
  • Shooting
    • Layups
      • Euro-step, outside-inside power layup, floater (tear drop), wrong foot (same hand and foot), hook shot (jump stop or running), scoop.
      • Reverse layup.
    • Shooting footwork
      • Jump stop or stride stop (two count).
      • On an onside drive you should be able to shoot with one dribble, ball and outside foot hit at the same time, then stride stop or jump stop to shoot.
      • You may need a second dribble on a cross-step drive.
      • Low post baseline spin.
    • Inside shooting
  • Offensive moves
    • Post moves
    • Beating the opponent - e.g. foot advantage, attack the hips, combination moves, changing pace, changing direction (move backwards to go forwards), contact, read the defence. Play 1 on 1.up

Level 3

1. Offensive Skills

  • Creative passing
    • Behind the back - hand on the side of the ball (not under).
    • Pocket pass - thrown from the hip in traffic, e.g. to a ball-screener, or a post drop pass to a cutter.
    • Pass fakes on the move, e.g., while taking layup steps.up


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