TIP! Try learning how to hit free throw shots. This seemingly simple shot can be difficult to execute under game conditions.

For years, basketball has been a popular sport all across the world. To become a star in basketball, you need a strong work ethic and lots of practice. Finish this article, because it has knowledge you can use.

TIP! Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet.

Many people only direct their attention to the offensive part of the game without realizing that defense is the key to winning. Basketball games are often won by great defensive play. Offense is flashier, so it draws the attention of fans and journalists, but a team that can’t defend well won’t win any games.

TIP! Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. This is when you switch hands while dribbling.

You must become knowledgeable about hitting a free-throw shot. This is one of those shots that seem easy but in real life are difficult. Practice a lot with the following method. Start with the ball held out from your face. Eye the basket and imagine the ball swishing down into it. Then shoot! Shoot the ball in the trajectory you imagined.

TIP! Keep your skills sharp in the off-season by playing different challenging games. While it’s a team sport, you may not be able to find others that will play.

Watching the pros play is a great way to see how great basketball players use their skills in the game. Go to as many pro games as possible, watch them on TV, or watch videos of them playing. Watch great players to learn the specific skills that make them exceptional.

TIP! Quickness is a key skill in basketball. Speeding up the temp allows you to out-quick your opponent.

Practice using different types of defenses. Your opponent may change their game up to keep you on your toes. If your practice did not include this, you can quickly lose control of the game.

TIP! Work on passing in a direction you are not looking. This may confuse your opponents, greatly.

A good way to practice sound passing is to drill without dribbling. It is hard to play basketball without dribbling, and demands accurate passing and teamwork, so it will be a challenge. This may be hard and frustrating at first, but as you get the hang of it your entire team will begin to excel at passing.

TIP! As soon as the ball leaves your teammate’s hands after a free throw, start moving into position. The defender may be coming toward you, so its important to slip away from him and get the ball.

Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. You will have better luck holding onto the ball as well. Do not allow your palm to come in contact with the ball either. When passing and shooting the ball toward its target, the sole contact point should be fingers.

TIP! Never pass up a charging opportunity. By taking a charge, your team will get the ball.

Being able to anticipate your opponent is a key skill. Review tapes and keep up with scouting reports. One simple thing to know before the game is if your opponent shoots with their right or left hand. When you know your opponent, you will be better able to play an effective defensive game. Strong defenders are knowledgeable defenders.

TIP! Strength training can be a major help in basketball. In addition to strength, stamina is key in basketball.

Watch your shoulders and their position if you notice yourself developing a slump in your shooting. When your shoulders are not properly positioned, then it is almost impossible to perform at your best. Your shoulders should always be squared towards the hoop. The shoulder that is dominant should be perfectly aligned with the hoop rim.

TIP! Always attempt to remain low when you are playing defense. You will become faster and react faster.

Have your games taped so you can play them back later and observe your court presence. You’ll likely see ways that you can improve. Be honest in your assessment but not overly critical. You can learn a lot by watching your plays instead of just trying to remember what you did.

TIP! In order to improve your weaker hand, make use of it for everyday things, such as brushing your teeth, eating out of a spoon, etc. If you’re able to do more with your other hand daily, you can start controlling it better.

To land your layups, jump off the foot opposite the hand you shoot with. Use your left foot when shooting with the right hand. That will build your balance and help you stay in the right position.

TIP! Be sure to keep your knees bent while you dribble. When you stand straight up, you’ll find that the ball is harder to control and the ball will be a lot easier for an opponent to steal.

A solid routine is necessary for improvement in free throw shooting. Inconsistent shooting will lead to inconsistent results. Practice makes perfect when shooting free throws. This will help you develop a routine. If that routine goes off, it will cause you to miss your shot.

TIP! Switch your body’s weight from side to side while practicing your dribbling. Real game dribbling has a lot of variety.

To trap with a 2-3 zone, have your guards cover the point guard once he gets a few feet past midcourt. Then your defending guards should encircle the point guard to trap him in place. While this is going on your forwards can be sprinting to the players located on the wings. The point guard will then probably throw an easily interceptable pass.

TIP! If possible, keep the ball below your knees. The other team’s players will have a difficult time stealing the basketball from you.

To improve 3 point shooting, practice from NBA distance, at least. The International standard line, as well as college and high school lines are all closer. By practicing at the NBA line, you will be used to getting a look a little further than what most defenses will cover.

TIP! Use exercises that are adapted to your level and needs. Running for long distances will increase your stamina, while running sprints will help you with fast-paced moves.

To make your shooting skills better, shoot from all around the court. To improve even more, practice preparing for a shot quickly after dribbling the ball. Be sure you look at the target as you’re in mid air. That helps you boost your accuracy.

TIP! Passing should be a focus if you want to improve your game. Passing causes confusion among your opponents.

It is important to eat well if you want to be in tip-top basketball shape. Increase your intake of carbohydrates to boost energy levels. You should also consume protein and a limited amount of fat. You should try to include more wheat bread, chicken, nuts and peanut butter into your diet. Salts and sugars shouldn’t be used that often.

TIP! Avoid arguing with the game officials. You might not agree with every call the referees make, and questioning them is fine.

If someone is shooting from a corner of the court, a missed shot will likely bounce right over the net and to the other side of the court. Anticipate where the ball lands and grab the rebound.

TIP! Do some practice with your footwork. Be aware of where your feet should be, pivoting and trying different positions.

Make a strong team both off and on the basketball court. When a basketball team gels fully, their game can reach entirely new heights. If you’re able to figure out who your teammates are and you can trust them as well, then you’ll be able to take your game up a notch.

TIP! When you concentrate, your skills will develop quicker. This definitely includes practicing drills because this is especially a time when minds can wander.

Positioning is key in picking up an essential rebound. If you wish to have better balance and power, then make sure you use both feet when you jump. When you land, ensure your feet are beyond shoulder width apart and hold the ball near your chest.

TIP! Practice defensive skills. You will stand a much better chance of winning games if you can successfully block shots and force turnovers.

When you have the best knowledge under your belt while you are playing basketball, you will enjoy the game more. Find other article and blogs to read to continue learning. The next time you are on the court, think back to what you’ve just read.