Rugby skills from basketball

There are many rugby skills from basketball as you may imagine. Even small amounts of play may help you improve rugby skills.


Basketball hasn't always been about strolling around in shorts down to your ankles waiting for a time-out.

When I played - rightly or wrongly, it was at break-neck speed.

Of course I`m joking, I`m being unfair.

Some shorts I saw recently were only down to their knees! Juuust kidding!

I`ve seen tons of fast paced basketball.

It's like rugby - great to play and watch and at higher levels goes in cycles. One style of play becomes prominent (and boring?) for a while before being replaced by exciting play again.

Basketball - the benefits

I`m not suggesting you take up basketball just to improve your rugby skills - although that`s a very good idea!

There are opportunities everywhere - from simple flat hard surfaces to basketball hoops, half courts and full courts.

I suggest you will improve your rugby skills from basketball play.

The most important thing you may find is that you can`t just use brute force and barge through defences. You have to scheme and use subterfuge. You have to think a good deal, move the ball around to find weak spots.

Basketball - the skills and qualities

Basketball involves loads of stuff useful in rugby...

  • fast breaks - good for improving sprinting ability

  • dribbling means you may get caught - so slowing rapidly to maintain control of the ball is often necessary. Good for change of pace.

  • basketballs are heavier - it`s weight training for the fingers! You`ll notice better control when you go back to the rugby ball.

  • learning dribbling requires good hand-eye cordination

  • when you improve your dribbling you will do more by touch alone

  • shooting and passing improves co-ordination

  • the number of players in a small area makes play very crowded compared with rugby - imagine the perceptions of time and space in rugby after playing basketball

  • handling the ball much more frequently - more sustained practice while having fun

  • different passing - often useful in rugby

  • moving opposition players around by moving the ball

  • passing and shooting require similar skills and concentration to passing and throwing in to the lineout in rugby

  • speed and fitness - built in enjoyable ways rather than in drills

  • team play interaction helps build cooperation

  • fast paced play helps build good vision

  • fast paced play builds quick thinking, fast reactions

Other rugby skills from basketball ?

I remember I wanted to be good at basketball and I was relatively small so decided I had to be able to jump well.

I spent hours and hours, day after day, week after week at the side of the house with a piece of chalk in my hand.

I stood and jumped or ran and jumped and made a mark - always trying to get higher!

It paid off in a strange way.

I had so much spring in my legs I ended up being able to hop almost as fast as I could run - great for sidesteps!