Can I Play Basketball If I’m Short? (With Tips For Short Players!)

Can I Play Basketball If I'm Short

Key Takeaway: While height is important in basketball, shorter players can still excel, particularly in guard positions where their speed and shooting abilities can be advantageous. Developing strong dribbling, outside shooting, step-back moves, and speed can help short players succeed on the court.

Are you a short basketball player? If yes, have you ever wondered if playing basketball is for you? Almost all people know that basketball is for tall people only. So, does it mean you can’t play basketball if you are short? Let’s find out! 

Can you play basketball if you are short? Height plays a huge role in basketball. However, it doesn’t mean that a short player cannot be good at it. Short people can be good at basketball, but it can be difficult. I know lots of people below 5’8 that play as guards on their school’s team. 

However, there are other things you can learn from this topic. Let’s check the reasons why height is essential for basketball players and tips for short basketball players. Also, we are going to answer other questions related to our subject. If you are ready, let’s go! 

Check out the shortest NBA players here!

Why Is Height Important In Basketball?

The height of most basketball rims is ten feet. The courts you see in your backyard, gyms, parks, and driveways are almost always ten feet off the ground. 

Portable basketball hoops can be adjusted so that young children can play through them. But for high school, college, and professional basketball, the game is played on basketball hoops with standard 10-foot height. 

The height of the rim is tall, which is why taller basketball players have many advantages. Taller players have an advantage in basketball because they can lay the ball in the rim effortlessly, they can rebound the ball effortlessly, and have better blocking skills. 

However, even though height is essential in basketball, it is still possible for smaller people out there to be good at it. Many short NBA players proved to people that height doesn’t matter in basketball. Players like Muggsy Bogues, Spud Webb, and Earl Boykins are example players. 

Height is essential if you are aiming to get the center or power forward position in basketball. But if you are only looking to get the point guard or shooting guard position, it is better for you to be small. Why? Because if you are short, you will have some advantages against the taller guys, like speed. 

Can I Play Basketball If I'm Short
Spud Webb: one of the shortest NBA player in history!

Does Height Affect Performance In Basketball? 

Height may affect performance in basketball. When it comes to scoring, it is easier for tall basketball players to score than smaller players. Being taller can help you shoot the ball inside or outside without the risk of a player blocking the ball away from you. 

However, this doesn’t mean that small basketball players can’t compete with taller dudes on the court. Taller basketball players may have some advantages, but smaller guys have too. Small basketball players have a speed and outside shooting advantage, while tall basketball players have inside shot and defense advantage. 

Short or tall, all of us have different strengths and weaknesses. Height may be a factor that may affect your performance. But the mindset is the greatest factor that can affect your basketball performance. If you have the wrong mindset, you will still fail even though you have the height of Yao Ming. 

Is 6ft A Good Height For Basketball?

Yes! 6ft is already a good height for basketball. For the United States, this height is the ideal height for point guards. However, in Asian countries, this height is for centers already because they have a smaller average height of basketball players compared to the USA. 

The shortest NBA player is Muggsy Bogues, who has a height of five feet and three inches. Spud Webb is five feet and seven inches that win the 1986 NBA slam dunk contest. These two players are not six feet and not near to six feet. However, they still have an awesome basketball career. 

So if you are 6ft, you are lucky enough. You can have a chance to enter the NBA or other professional basketball leagues around the world. With that height, you might get the point guard or shooting guard position. 

Can I Play Basketball If I'm Short

What Is The Best Basketball Position For Short Players?

The best position for short basketball players is either point guard or shooting guard. The point guard is the one that handles the ball and runs plays. The shooting guard is the best outside shooter on a basketball team. 

The reason why short basketball players are usually put into these positions is that short players can dribble the ball fast, pass the ball properly, and run quickly. To be able to fit into these two positions, you need to have these three skills. Short basketball players have these three skills, which is why they fit into these positions. 

Can Short Basketball Players Dunk? 

Dunking does not depend on height but the vertical leap of a basketball player. Short basketball players can dunk if they have a high vertical jump. There are astounding small NBA players that can dunk, for example, Spud Webb. 

Yes, short basketball players can dunk the ball into the rim. However, it is much easier for tall basketball players to dunk the ball. Why? Because they are tall enough to easily touch the rim, but because there are many vertical exercises invented, it becomes easier for any basketball player, short or tall, to dunk the ball to the rim. 

Check out the top 7 NBA players who can’t dunk here!

Basketball Skills You Need As A Small Player To Score

If you are a small basketball player and looking to outplay other taller players on the court, keep reading! Because I am going to tell you the skills you need as a short player. 

Dribbling Skill

First is you need to have good dribbling skills. Everyone needs to have basic dribbling skills. But for a small guy like you, you need to make your dribbling skill better than the basic and others. This will give you lots of advantages on the court. With good dribbling skills, you can get the spot of the point guard. 

Outside Shooting

Because you are a short basketball player, shooting inside is not probably a good idea. Why? Because tall basketball players are inside waiting for you. These tall players can effortlessly block your layups or floaters. This is why you need to have a good outside shooting. Improve your three-point shooting so that you can still give your team lots of points even if you are short. 

Step Back Skill

Creating separation with your defender is essential for a short player like you. You have to learn how to execute the step-back move. When you master the step-back skill like James Harden, you will be unstoppable on the court. You can score more jump shots and three-pointers if you know how to create separation from your opponents.


If you want to score inside, make sure that you are fast as lighting! You are a short guy, and if you move like a snail on the court, you will be useless. Improve your quickness on the court so that you can outplay taller players. If you are fast as lighting, you can drive into the basket quickly, and your inside shots will most likely be uncontested.

7 Tips For Short Basketball Players

Now that you know the skills that you need as a short basketball player, I will give you next to the tips you need to improve those skills you needed. These tips are essential and proven to help you compete on the court even if you are short. Let’s check them out!

Improve Your Dribbling

The first tip I will give to you is you should improve your dribbling skills. Like I have mentioned above, dribbling is one of the skills you need as a short player to outplay other taller players on the court. 

If you are a beginner, start with the basic dribbling first, then escalate to the harder type of dribbling moves when you master the basics. If you have good dribbling skills, you can ankle break and leave your defender behind. Also, if you have good dribbling skills, you can get the point guard position. 

Learn Defense

Do you know the saying defense is the best offense? It is true! 

If you are a short basketball player, you need to learn proper defense to defend any basketball player on the court. Even the tall ones! Don’t be lazy in defense because if you are lazy on your defense, you will earn your ticket to the bench. 

You should also know how to steal the ball from your opponents. Because you are a short basketball player, you have to improve your defensive skills. If centers are looking for their teammate to pass the ball, you should steal the ball from them. Because you are a short player, you can move and react quicker than taller basketball players.

Master The Floater Shot

Floater shot is a good shooting technique in basketball for short players. It is easy to make a floater shot because you don’t need to release the ball with an active jump. You only need a couple of steps and release the ball quickly up. It is better to learn to use one hand if you shoot a floater. 

Floater shot is a good shooting technique for short basketball players because it is a shot that is hard to block. It is a high arching shot giving tall basketball players a hard time reaching your shot in the air. So if you want to be an effective scorer even if you are a short basketball player, master the floater shot!

Lift Weights

Strength is essential in basketball. If you are already short and also not strong, opponents can effortlessly push you down. If you don’t have enough power on the court, you cannot perform well. 

To get more strength, you need to have a healthy diet and hit the gym. Lifting weights is the only way to build your strength. If you have a robust body, you will be a good defensive player and you can bump on anyone on the court. 

So if you are not practicing or playing basketball, go to the gym and lift weights instead of playing video games during your free time. 

Improve Your Basketball IQ

Basketball IQ is essential, especially if your position is a point guard. Short basketball players are the point guards of every basketball team. If you are a short player, I suggest improve your basketball IQ for better performance on the court. 

If you have a good basketball IQ, you can read your opponents’ next moves. You are a short player, which means you are not strong enough to power your way down inside the paint. What you can do is to have a sharp mind to be able to outplay taller players. 

Rely On Your Speed

Like I have said above, speed is essential for a short basketball player like you. If you love shooting inside the paint, you need to rely on your speed so that your layups will never get blocked. If you are quick enough to leave any defender, your shots are most likely an uncontested shot. 

If you are not fast enough, then improve it. There are many workouts on Youtube about how to be a quick basketball player. Let me give you one video below:

Improve Your Three-Point Shooting

If you are a short basketball player, you cannot go inside the paint because your shots will most likely get blocked, especially if you are not quick. You need to be a three points marksman so that you can give your team more points. 

Three-points is the safest shot to take on the court. You can create a separation from your defender and release the ball quickly from your hands. If you make it, you will get three points. If you can score from a range, height never matters because you don’t need to go inside the paint.

Final Verdict 

If you are a short basketball player, never lose hope! Because there are tons of things you can do to outplay taller basketball players. I hope that the tips above will help you become a good basketball player even though your height is not that tall. 

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