How to teach the essential basketball skills

Give your class the opportunity to improve on their basketball skills – You don’t need to be the pro yourself as the teacher, you just need to know the core coaching points when starting out (for grades 3-6).

Take a look at the fundamental skills below, (part of the ‘Basketball PE lessons’ pack) – and teach them in your next gym class when working on basketball. If you need an example basketball lesson, click here to see an easy to follow 1-hour example lesson.

dribbling basketball skills sport pe

  1. Use your fingertips to bounce the ball
  2. Stay low by bending your knees as you move
  3. Try to keep your head up as much as you can
  4. Keep your hand above/on top of the ball while bouncing it
  5. Use your body to shield/protect the ball when defenders are trying to steal it from you
  •  You are not allowed to bounce the ball, catch it, then bounce again
  • You must bounce the ball within every 1 and a half steps

cross over basketball skill games ideas teaching sport pe

  1. Bounce the ball across your body from left…to right…to left in a ‘v’ motion of the ball
  2. Move/rock your body as the ball moves side to side, staying low with your head up

basketball passing skills sport pe

(Chest pass)

  1. Hold the ball with 2 hands in front of your chest
  2. Step forward and push the ball to your target (once you have let go, point your hands to where you are passing to


  • If you stop dribbling and are holding the ball in both hands, you can keep one foot on the floor (it cannot come off), and swivel/rotate your body around and then pass

Other types…

basketball shooting ls games tips coaching pe physical education sport

  1. Face the net with your feet shoulder width apart, holding the ball with your strong hand under it, and support the ball with your other hand on the side 
  2. Lift the ball up in front of your head, making an L-shape with your elbow/strong arm
  3. Use your whole body to push the ball, straighten out your elbow and release the ball off your wrist to get backspin with the ball


  • Hold the ball with spread fingers, and snap your wrist as you release the ball to get backspin
  • You can aim to shoot the ball off the backboard and into the basket
  • Try to shoot in a high arc towards the basket

layup basketball skill ball net pe teaching coaching how to lesson plan

(opposite for left hand from left side of basket)

  1. Dribble towards the basket from the right side and leap up off your left leg with a high right knee, and grab the ball with both hands
  2. While in the air, roll/release the ball off your right hand with your fingers to bounce it off the backboard into the basket


  • You are allowed to take 2 steps after you have stopped dribbling, to shoot a layup
  • Jump off your foot opposite to your shooting hand
  • Try to stay upright and balanced in the air
  • Aim for the sweetspot (top corner) of the square on the backboard

basketball skills ball handling pe teaching stations ideas


Take a look at our Basketball PE lessons pack – You’ll be fully equipped with a huge range of activities for your grades 3-6, and the unit is great to start anytime of year in the gym/sports hall


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One thought on “How to teach the essential basketball skills

  1. NV says:

    During the crossovers, what should be the feet direction. It seemed like a V shaped, though that seems difficult to sprint/explode forward from that position.


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