TIP! Free throws have a huge mental element to them. 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.

When you’re trying to start to improve at basketball, then you’re going to have to start practicing. Of course, you need to understand the basic techniques before you can actually practice them. Keep reading for some basketball pointers that will have you hoop ready in no time.

TIP! Lay off the weights if you are trying to become a jump shooter. Muscle strength can be great for basketball players, but it is actually possible to have excessive amounts for playing on the perimeter.

It’s simple to want to work on offense when you’re getting into basketball, but it’s smarter to think about defense practice too. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games. Offense receives all the glory, but it is nothing without the best defense.

TIP! Would you like to completely fool the opposing team, making them look silly? The back pass is just the thing! Use the dominant hand whenever trying a behind the back pass. Next, pull the ball behind your back.

Practice shooting free throws. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard. You should practice as often as possible with this technique. Start out by holding the basketball right in front of you. Look at the basket and imagine the ball going in it. Then throw the ball just as you had visualized.

TIP! Play by yourself to practice. It is possible to enjoy this team sport even in the absence of your team.

Concentrate on your strong points if you want to improve your game. Your strengths might not make you a star player, but you’ll be contributing a lot to your team. Understand your strengths and use it to your advantage to help your team win!

TIP! Spread your fingers out to handle the ball properly. The ball will not get away if you always keep your fingers spread when handling the ball.

One way to help improve your overall basketball skills is to spend some time watching what the pros do. Watch as many games on TV as you can. You’ll notice that each player has a skill that they are great at. Choose a move that you like and start practicing it.

TIP! Always be aware of your feet. Stepping ever so slightly out of bounds while you have the ball can cause an overturn.

You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. A lot of the game is sure to be played in the zone, but your opponent could change to man-to-man coverage. Failure to prepare for this type of tactic makes you more vulnerable and hurts your team.

TIP! Video tape your games, and then review your technique later. While reviewing the tape, look for opportunities you may have missed during the game.

If you want to take jump shots, don’t build your arms up too large. Even though having strong muscles is great for the inside game, being on the outside it can harm you when shooting the ball. Some guards increase their upper body to the point of harming their field goals.

TIP! Learn how to dribble and pass between your legs in case you are being guarded very tightly. Take a step back or forward and bounce the ball hard through your legs.

Focus on your footwork and your core strength in your workouts. This allows your body to be in balance and be more explosive on the court. Concentrate your efforts on the back, abdomen, buttocks and hips. Jump rope like a boxer to improve your fancy footwork.

TIP! When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. What this practically means is that if your right hand is your shooting hand, you need to take off with your left foot.

Always be sure of where you’re placing your feet so you’re aware of what they’re doing. Out of bounds will happen with even one toe over the baseline of the lined play area on the court. Going too many steps with no dribbling is a waking call and turnover situation. You may get a foul call if you move your foot while you are attempting to take a charge, pick a charge or set a screen.

TIP! Consistent free throws require a consistent technique. Inconsistency will ruin your shots.

In order to be successful with layups, the foot that is opposite from shooting hand is the one you should take off from. That means, if you shoot right-handed, use your left foot for taking off. Your body remains balanced while you move towards the basket.

Shooting Free Throws

TIP! Sly feet will help you get the rebound of your team mates free throw. Guards will be attempting to stop you, so get around them.

Develop and use a consistent routine for shooting free throws. If you’re consistent, your shots will be too. The simplest way to get better at shooting free throws is through constant repetitive motions when shooting the ball. If you are off your game, you will not make the shot.

TIP! One of the best ways to always be in proper defensive position is to never break out of the defensive stance. Slide your feet from side to side or push off with your opposing foot so that you are always in position.

Build up your forearms to become a better ball handler. Wrist curls are great for working wrist muscles and improving your dribbling. Don’t assume that you are able to just stand anywhere, catch the ball and shoot it. You have to start moving the basketball around to get things to happen.

TIP! Use your weak hand for brushing your hair, doing up your belt and opening bottles so you can build up its strength. You will have more control as you use it to do daily activities that require dexterity.

A good drill to try is the five dribble drill. You try to get the ball the entire length of the court in only five dribbles. This may seem quite difficult at first, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll have great speed and stride length. This is a vital skill to give you points on fast break opportunities.

TIP! Don’t discontinue dribbling until you have the chance to shoot or pass. You do not have many options after you stop dribbling.

Be certain you are able to see well. This means more than just being able to see well enough to play, but “seeing” the court deeply. Peripheral vision must be razor-honed. When you can see the big picture, you can react to anything.

TIP! Practice dribbling while switching the momentum of your body from side to side. Expect to encounter many different situations in a game.

Continuously dribble the ball until you have an opening to pass it to one of your teammates, or you are prepared to shoot. If you stop, you limit your options. If you don’t shoot or pass, you will have just stand there pivoting. This will leave you open for double teaming from opponents and you may lose control of the ball.

TIP! Make sure that you are exercising properly for basketball. You can run longer distances to build up stamina.

You should keep the ball below the knees if you’re able to. This makes it more difficult for the opponent to take the ball. You need to bend your body somewhat to accomplish this. It will, however, increase your overall effectiveness, as you are making the ball much harder to steal.

TIP! A good way to improve your game is by finding out from your teammates what they plan to do. You are sure to understand that it takes teamwork to play basketball.

The hand not used to dribble the ball should serve as a wall separating the ball from the opposing players. You can’t push the person guarding you, but you can hold your arm out gently. Keep this hand up as you’re dribbling the ball with the other.

TIP! You have to learn to get your opponent to alter their path. Regardless of whether you play defense or offense, the ability to control the other team creates a significant advantage.

These tips will help your game, whether it is for fun or competitive. Just start with one tip and watch your game improve. You can get better and better in every way from rebounding to passing to taking the perfect shot.