TIP! Learn to correctly dribble the ball. Use the fingertips, not the palm, for the best dribbling.

Practice is the most crucial key to improving your game. It is not only important to practice, but to improve through your practice as well. The tips that follow here are going to allow you to make your goals more often and teach you other things as well.

TIP! Figure out how to perfect your free throw. It looks simple to do, but it isn’t that easy.

It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games. While offensive players sometimes seem like the stars of the show, it is the efforts of defensive players that allow them to shine.

TIP! Concentrate on your strong points if you want to improve your game. You might not have star ability, but you can be an outstanding team player.

A good tip is to practice your layups on a daily basis. Eighty percent of the shots taken in a game are layups. When practicing this technique, run toward the goal and shoot. Practicing the running and jumping method will help you shoot better this way in a game.

TIP! You should practice pass catching regularly. When you practice, mix it up so that you can catch perfect passes and errant throws.

Connecting on your free throws is as much mental as it is physical. You can teach your body to make a free throw properly, but unless you are properly prepared mentally, you may not succeed. Relax and focus on the net, and you’ll be able to make more.

TIP! Are you interested in being able to fool the other team? Give the back pass a try! Use your dominant hand to palm the basketball. Next, place the ball behind you.

Practice playing a man-to-man defense and zone defense. Most of the basketball game will probably be played in this zone, but the other team might decide to surprise you and do some man-to-man coverage. If you have not practiced enough on this scenario, you could run afoul of the scoreboard very fast.

TIP! To keep passes under control, make use of hand signals. It can be frustrating to attempt to pass the ball to a team mate as that person is heading toward the basket.

One great way to pass good is to drill when you can without dribbling. It’s hard to play without dribbling, however, it can help you and your team create more accurate passes. 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! Never turn away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what’s coming. You will enjoy greater court awareness and avoid feeling surprised by rapid changes in game play.

Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. This will help prevent the ball from getting away from you while dribbling. Do not allow your palm to come in contact with the ball either. Only your fingers should touch it during a pass or when dribbling.

TIP! If you aren’t shooting the ball well, you need to concentrate on your shoulders. Shoulders are the key to a consistently successful shot.

Have someone record the games you play so that you can watch it to check out your form. You should be able to see what you missed or can do better. Be honest with yourself but don’t be too harsh. At times, it can help to see the truth of who you are, not as you imagine yourself.

Free Throw

TIP! If you want to better your dribble, start practicing with your weaker hand. If you have two hands that can dribble the ball effortlessly then it becomes easier to get by your opponent.

Create and stick to a routine each time you prepare to shoot a free throw. This could mean two dribbles before taking your free throw, bending your knees, or some other thing you do to get into a rhythm before shooting. If you make your routine consistent, your body will eventually know how to make the shot every time.

TIP! Upset and disrupt your opponent’s play. All successful basketball players do this.

Being a good defensive player means disrupting the game of your opponent. Force them away from their comfort zone. Display aggressiveness in your chosen moves. This will keep them from being able to choose which plays they will make. The more aggressively smart team is usually the one who wins. Rather, you move first so that you interfere with their rhythm.

TIP! In your drills, you should attempt to move the basketball the length of the court in fewer than half a dozen dribbles. Although this might seem tricky in the beginning, this can really help your game if you can master this skill.

Dribbling hard helps you protect the ball. The ball returns more quickly to your hand when you do this, giving the opponents fewer opportunities to steal it from you. If you are being closely guarded, then halt your dribbling and quickly pass the ball to a teammate who is open.

TIP! Take every charge you can. This helps get the ball for the team and allows another foul on the opponent.

Practice drills where you strive to make it across the full court within 5 dribbles. While this is a challenging goal, working toward it will make you a much better player. You will find that it becomes easier to score and make layups.

TIP! Basketball players need to engage in strength training. You need both stamina and strength to be a good player.

You need to take a charge anytime you can. This strategy can result in your opponent taking a foul and your team getting a defensive stop and taking possession of the ball. This can have a major impact on the other team psychologically, and it can be a powerful play as well.

TIP! A powerful play called the trapping machine, is to have your guards wait for the point guard to come just past midcourt. They should then trap the point guard.

Always stay low when playing defensively. This helps your reaction time against your opponent. Maintain proper defensive position at all times. If you need to block the opposing team’s shot, resume your stance as soon as you can.

Bad Pass

TIP! Be sure to keep your knees bent while you dribble. The ball is harder to control dribbling when you stand up straight.

Have two of your guards wait for the point guard to go past midcourt for the best results. Then they should run to the point guard and trap him. With the forwards blocking outside, you have a good shot at intercepting a bad pass. You will see the opposing point guard make a bad pass that anyone on your team can steal.

TIP! Until the moment you are prepared to shoot or pass, you must dribble constantly. If you stop dribbling, then you don’t really have that many options.

An excellent tip to help you with shooting skills is to shoot the ball from different spots on the court. For even better results, practice the run-up to your shot in addition to the actual shot. Do not focus on the target until you are already in the air. All these techniques give you the feel of actual game play, and this will help you become more accurate.

TIP! If possible, keep action beneath the knees. This makes it more difficult for the opponent to take the ball.

Keep on dribbling until your shot or passing opportunity is imminent. When you stop dribbling, then you limit your options. If you don’t shoot or pass, you have to pivot on the back foot. That leaves you wide open to double teaming by your opponents and the potential of a stolen ball goes way up.

TIP! Make sure your dribble is consistent until you decide to shake up the opposing player. Consistent dribbling followed by fast dribbling can confuse your opponent and put you in place for a shot.

You have to change the path of your opponent. Whether you are playing offense or defense, it is important to control the moves of your opponent. The will help you get to where you want to go and will deter them.

TIP! You need to be able to alter your opponents path. No matter what side of the ball you’re on, being able to direct your opponents movements is key to winning.

Take advantage of a player that shows weakness with a particular hand by forcing them to that side. If it is their left hand, come at them and stand on your left foot. Your head and their chest should be parallel so your body is primed to snatch the ball.

TIP! You must know how to pivot correctly when playing basketball. Practice your footwork until you aren’t even aware of what you are doing.

Become a better basketball player even if you know how to play. Use one tip and you’ll see your game get better. You will become a better passer, rebounder and shooter.