What position should I play in Basketball?

If you’re thinking about playing basketball, have all the right gear, and are eager to play, perhaps you are wondering “what basketball position should I play?” and what steps you can take to determine which position is the right one for you.

Choosing your position on the court can give you an idea of what to train and what skills you need to perfect, like rebounding or jump shots. There are several positions to choose from, and each is very demanding.

You’ll notice that there are many important characteristics for each of these positions that will help you identify which one best matches your skillset and explains your role on the court.

What basketball position should I play? The position you choose should be based on which one you feel the most comfortable playing in. There are five main positions to choose from.

Each position will require a certain level of skill, from height to pure power, or from shooting accuracy. You might play each position in practice during your next practice if you aren’t sure which position is right for you and go with the one that feels comfortable and confident.

Read on to discover the requirements of each of these positions and how you can figure out which one is a good match for you.

Place On the Court

Every player will have their own style on the court. Some players can prefer to hang back and wait for their chance to shoot, while others may want to handle the ball as often as possible or set teammates up for a shot.

Before you can decide upon which position works best for you, you need to assess your comfort level with the ball, your confidence level in shooting a strike, your kind of play when on the court, and how much control you prefer.

Once you assess your skills and weaknesses, then you’re ready to pick a position.

The Five Main Positions on the Court

There are five main positions you can choose from:

  • Center
  • Power forward
  • Small forward
  • Shooting guard
  • Point guard

Each of these positions will need a unique skill set and different job roles.

Point Guard

A point guard’s role is very demanding. In essence, you’re a coach’s extension on the court. On the court, you have to communicate constantly with your teammates.

There’s a good chance you’ll have to motivate other players, correct them, and yell at them – you’ll also have to run around a lot since you’re the one creating plays. You have to be quick to learn and quick on your feet.

Shooting Guard

Shooting guards’ main objective is to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court. Scoring is your main objective in this position. A shooter will require more size and strength than the point guard due to the fact that they must fight through stronger and bigger players in order to get to the basket.

Your responsibility will also include team rebounding. Good ball-handling skills are essential for the shooting guard. The ball is typically in your hands just as much as the point guard’s, typically during very intense moments of the game.

It’s possible you would be perfect for this challenging position if you like to make last-second shots and play under pressure.

Small Forward

You will always find a small forward in the thick of it. They will sometimes protect the ball and rebound it, as well as move into the corner, waiting for their turn. The small forward has to be a very versatile player. A solid defender can guard every position on the court.

Power Forward

A player who stands taller than six foot eight inches is automatically going to play power forward. This is one of the most challenging positions and it requires a player who is aggressive and can take on demands on the court.

Protecting the ball is just one of your priorities as a power forward. On the court, you’ll assist your teammates by setting screens for them, which in turn will generate plenty of scoring opportunities.

This position shares many of the same characteristics as the center and can usually play in the center position. The power forward must also be strong enough to guard the opposition’s strongest players and also be able to challenge players from the perimeter.


Are you typically the tallest and strongest guys on the court? Can you steal rebounds and block shots when you need to? If scoring is easy for you, then the center position may be the right fit.

This is a position that requires you to fight off offensive rebounds and dominate the opposing team’s players. However, you will need to share the ball between two players in this position.

Most of the time you will be so far away from the hoop that you face the opposite direction. It is the center who will spend the least time around the basket and must play under heavy contact.

Christina Mullenax

Christina is an American-Russian professional basketball coach and former player who is the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association. She currently also serves as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association.


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