Becoming a great basketball player takes practice and dedication. When you play for amusement, you still want to win! This article will help you better your game.

Free Throws

TIP! If you’re a jump shooter, don’t lift weights too often. While muscle strength is good to have in any basketball position, it is possible to have too much for perimeter play.

Practice hitting your free throws. There are usually a lot of distractions when you are shooting free throws so you need to concentrate. Practice constantly using this tip. First, keep the ball in front of you and at eye level. Your eyes should be on the goal. You should be thinking about the ball going in the hoop. Then shoot! Shoot the ball in the trajectory you imagined.

TIP! If you have student that wants to play basketball for their high school team, they will need to spend some time training their core muscles. The core muscles include the lower back, hips and abdonimals.

Any good basketball player needs to know how to make a layup. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. This running and jumping technique will help you learn how to jump and shoot better during the game.

TIP! Never have your back to the ball so that you’re ready for anything in a basketball game. This keeps you aware of what is going on so you aren’t surprised.

Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. Your body can be trained to make free throws, but your mind has to be focused on success if you want to make the basket. You are more likely to make more successful free throws if you relax and focus on the basket.

TIP! Spreading out your fingers is key to handling the ball correctly. You will have better luck holding onto the ball as well.

You should practice pass catching regularly. Don’t just work on waist-level, perfect passes, though, work on receiving tougher passes as well. During the game, not all passes will go where they’re intended. By learning to catch errant passes, you will do your team a great favor.

Zone Defense

TIP! If you find yourself unable to shoot well, consider your shoulders. When you’re in a shooting slump it usually means that your shoulders are not square to the hoop.

Do not practice by playing against the zone defense. Learn how to play a man-to-man defense and a zone defense to get the best understanding of how the game works. Practice with each type of defense so you will know what to expect.

TIP! Being a good defensive player involves disrupting your opponent’s concentration. Make them uncomfortable.

When developing your jumping skills, limit your use of weight-training. While muscle strength is good to have in any basketball position, it is possible to have too much for perimeter play. You might see a decrease in your goal percentages if your biceps become too large.

TIP! You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. Wrist curls are great for bettering your ball handling in basketball to the point where you could practically do it sleepwalking.

Play solo basketball in the months leading up to the season, as well as during the season itself. These skills all help with muscle memory so you know just what to do when you’re playing in a game. That’s fine. You’ll still be able to get a lot done when playing solo. Practice free throws and work on pivot moves. You can always do something.

TIP! When you’re working with defense, staying low is a good idea. This will help you be quicker on the jump and react to the man in front of you easier.

Never try to push through pain after an injury. Basketball is physically demanding, and it is easy to get hurt. If you keep playing when you are injured, you could end up with an injury which keeps you from ever playing again. If the injury feels too bad then seek medical attention right away.

TIP! If you are a basketball player you should be eating a healthy diet. In order to be ready for practice and games, it is vital that you have the proper energy stored in your body.

Remember to spread your fingers when handling the ball. This keeps it under control. Avoid putting your palm on the ball, too. Don’t let anything but your fingers touch the ball during passing or shooting.

TIP! Become a better basketball team by becoming a stronger team when playing and in practice. Basketball is one of those games that goes to another level when a team gels completely.

If you’ve developed somewhat of a shooting slump, focus on your shoulders. Whenever your shoulders aren’t in a good position, you simply will not shoot well, regardless of your skill level. Be sure to keep the shoulders squared up to the hoop. The dominant shoulder needs to be aligned correctly with the rim.

TIP! To succeed in basketball you should learn how to change the path of your opponent. This is an ability you need on both defense and offense, since you get to control where your opponent goes in either case.

Dribble hard to make it less likely for the ball to be stolen. This causes the ball to return to your hand more quickly, so the offense has less time to try to get it away from you. Stop dribbling when people guard you too closely.

TIP! If you’re in possession of the ball, learn when you should be passing the ball to a player with a better shot and when you should be taking the shot yourself. You are better off cooperating to make a winning shot instead of hot-dogging and making a bad shot that loses the game.

If you are in a defensive position, keep yourself low. You will become faster and react faster. Keep yourself in proper defensive stance at all times. If you find you have to abandon your stance to do some blocking, get back into formation as fast as you can.

TIP! Always pay attention to where the ball goes once your teammate or your opponent sends it out of their hands. Rebounds represent a crucial component of any basketball game.

When dribbling you want to keep your knees bent. If your knees are not bent, the basketball will be more difficult to control. Just a little bending at the knees can make a huge difference in your overall ball control.

TIP! Pivoting is something you must do if you wish to get good at basketball. You have to practice footwork and get ready to pivot without getting unstable on your feet or disoriented.

Always set your three-point shooting practice goal at the official NBA distance. All the other lines are closer. If you can score from NBA range, you’ll enjoy open looks at deeper range than your opposition.

TIP! If a team plays a good zone defense you can beat them with a penetrating dribble. Passing a defender with the ball causes the defenders to collapse inward.

To help ward off your opponent, practice using your other hand to help shield him away from you. This keeps your opponent from being able to steal the ball. Just make sure it is kept slightly up while you use the other hand to dribble.

TIP! Communication is the key to basketball. In order to establish a solid base of communication, it must be practiced from the beginning.

When shooting, try to keep your nerves under control. Maintain focus on the basket. Focus on the area of the basket where you want your shot to go. However, when performing a layup, shift your eyes to watch whatever spot on the backboard you intend to bank your shot off of.

TIP! There are lots of defenses, and the two most popular are man-to-man and zone. During a zone defensive move, you are accountable for a specific area on the court.

Have an idea as to when is the best time to shoot the ball and when is the ideal time to pass if your teammate has an open shot. It’s preferable to assist the winning goal, rather than be the sole reason a basket was missed,

TIP! Keep in mind the fact that it takes teamwork to play good basketball. While it may be a lot of fun to shoot the ball, you have to know what you can do to pass correctly.

Proper pivoting is essential in the game of basketball. Practicing pivoting will be able to help prevent you from tangling your feet or getting disoriented. You should first practice your pivoting stance, followed by practicing your reaction rate once you’ve gotten the ball.

TIP! Making free throws can be a key element when playing basketball. These foul shots are very crucial in a basketball game, especially if it’s a really close game at the end and a lot of fouling is occurring.

Use the techniques and tips from this article to become a great basketball player. You will start to see improvement little by little as you remember what you’ve read, use the tips, and practice them. That three step plan will see you to success.