The centre of a basketball team is responsible for making close up baskets on offense and stopping shots on defence. Read the following for some tips to help you play your best at centre.

The basic shots that a centre needs to work on are:

  • Short jump shots from underneath the basket.
  • Powerful layups. A layup requires jumping high near the basket and rolling the ball with off with your fingertips so that it touches the backboard and falls into the basket.
  • Faking a shot by moving your body as if you were taking a shot to cause the defender to move and then take the shot.

Offense as a centre is also important. The centre must run down the floor quickly to get in position for a quick layup if you are open. Stay near the basket if your team has the ball. Move in and out of the key quickly to get open for the basketball and a shot.

Always look for the open man to pas the ball to if you are under pressure and don’t have a good open shot at the basket. Box out by placing your body between the basket and the defender when a teammate takes a shot at the basket. Move fast and rebound any missed shots.

Defending properly is very important for the centre of the team. It is important to get to the key as soon as possible if the opposition has gained possession of the ball. Take up space by playing wide with your legs and arms spread out more than on offense.

Block shots as often as you can by positioning yourself between the shooter and the basket and extending your arms as high as possible. When your opponent jumps to take a shot, jump as high as you can and try to hit the ball with one hand.

Box out again when the opposing team shoots by putting yourself between the basket and the other team. Finally grab loose balls bouncing off the rim or backboard to take possession of the ball for your team. Keep a look out for any opportunities for fast breaks.

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