Catching A Basketball

You can catch a basketball using either a two-handed or a block-and-tuck method. In the two-handed method, both hands contact the ball simultaneously. In the block and tuck method, one hand contacts the ball, followed immediately by the other. Place the hand with which you choose to catch the ball directly in its flight path. The moment the ball contacts that hand, tuck the other hand under the ball.

These two methods of catching are also used to get rebounds.

Regardless of the method you use, learn to do the following:

--See the ball into your hands, that is, once the ball is in the air, focus on it until one or both hands contact it.

--Do not point your fingers directly at the ball. If you point them, you are likely to sprain, dislocate, or break a finger or two.

--Make sure you have "soft" hands. Imagine the ball striking a brick wall. Imagine it striking a curtain. Like the curtain, you want to absorb the force of the pass. To have soft hands, your wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints must be relaxed. As the ball approaches, extend your arm/s toward the ball, keeping your elbows bent. As your hand/s contact the ball, allow the force of it striking your hand/s to push the arm/s back toward your body.

--When you use the two-hand method, block the ball, like in the block and tuck method, so that, if you mishandle the catch, the ball will not go past you, either out-of-bounds or to an opponent. Therefore, keep our hands close. When catching the ball at chest level or higher, the fingers are pointing upward, with the thumbs touching or almost touching.

When catching the ball at waist level or lower, the fingers and thumbs should be pointing downward, and the little fingers should be touching or almost touching.

--The moment you have both hands on the ball, get set, and initiate a play option.

--The end of your catching action should be the beginning of your shooting or passing action, that is, the time between catching the ball and releasing it should be as short as possible. Consequently, as you complete the catch, your wrist/s should be cocked.

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