TIP! Practice hitting your free throws. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard.

Countless fans and players the world over love basketball. You can play casually in pick-up games on most street corners or work hard to build a professional career if you get started young and have a natural gift. Read this article to gain some information about how to improve your skills.

TIP! Your balance is an important aspect to consider when you are shooting. You have seen some crazy shots made by professionals, but these shots aren’t going to be based on fundamentals.

It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. Basketball games are won because of good defense. Without good defense, a basketball team will lose the match.

TIP! Constantly practice layups. Almost 80% of shots will be layups.

Be sure to dribble correctly every time. Finger tips, not palms, are the key to successful dribbling. You retain much more ball control this way. Dribble along the side of the body, not immediately in front of it, and keep the bounce to the waist level or below. Instead of focusing on the ground, gaze upward.

TIP! Free throws are as much mental as they are physical. It’s easy to physically train for a free throw, yet mental preparation is also needed.

Keep your head up when you dribble. By focusing your sight on the ball, you cannot be fully aware of your surroundings. Take the basketball to all the places that you go. Practice in your home and wherever you walk. If you have to watch the ball, you will be unable to see whatever is going on at court level.

TIP! You can improve your skills by paying attention to how the pros play. Watch as many games on TV as you can.

It is important to keep your balance when you shoot. You’ve seen the pros fall out of bounds when trying to shoot 30 feet from the basket; this is a bad move. Those who do this are improvising. You should have proper balance when making your shots, and over time this will lead to consistently making baskets.

TIP! Work on being able to receive a pass. You need to be able to retrieve perfect passes and not so perfect passes.

Any good basketball player needs to know how to make a layup. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups. Practice running while dribbling, jumping and shooting as smoothly as you can. Perfecting this skill will enable you to get to the rim effortlessly during a game.

TIP! Jump shooters should not also be iron pumpers. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter.

Watch the pro’s play if you want to improve your game. Attend as many professional games as you can, watch the pros on TV, or watch video of professionals. You will see that each great player has certain skills that make him great and you can practice what you see him doing.

TIP! If you become injured when playing basketball, stop immediately. It’s easy to be hurt when playing basketball.

Quality footwork will help you get better shots. You always want to beat your opponent to the open spot. Once you get into your position, you need to secure it. These will both require powerful footwork.

TIP! See if your teammates admire something in particular about your game play. Do you have an area where you excel? You might be quick, or you might always be around to support them.

Speed is everything in basketball. You will have the advantage over your opponents if you can really play fast. Steady drilling will help speed up your play. Don’t attempt to play more quickly than your skills allow. If you play too quickly, you lose control over the ball and the match.

Free Throw

TIP! Look away when you practice passing. This is a great technique in order to help confuse the opponents.

To become a better free throw shooter, use the same routine prior to every shot. This can be any combination of movements that makes you feel comfortable and prepare for the shot. However, they need to be the same combination of movements each time. When you have a steady and consistent routine, your muscles will remember what to do to shoot those free throw shots.

TIP! When the opportunity arises you always want to take a charge. This allows you to get the ball back for your team, setting up a foul.

Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. You can really confuse your opponents this way. When you do this right, looking this way will make the opponents go to the wrong place so that when you pass the other person has a better chance at making a shot. It’s quite a play when done properly.

TIP! Never break your defensive stance when playing ball. To do this, avoid lurching or stepping across the floor; instead use smaller, shuffling steps to move with your opponent.

You must be able to box out other players when attempting to rebound free throws. You need to seek out a way to quickly slide around your opponent and be able to quickly react to the ball. Now you can achieve a proper rebound and not commit a foul.

TIP! To trap someone in a 2-3 zone, get your guards to wait for the point guard to get about 10 feet past midcourt. They should then trap the point guard.

Use wrist curls to increase the strength in your weaker arm. If you’re able to become more ambidextrous, you are going to be able to better control it on the court. This will have a positive impact on your basketball game, too.

TIP! Using your weak hand to brush your teeth can help you build skills with that hand. If you’re able to become more ambidextrous, you are going to be able to better control it on the court.

While you’re dribbling the basketball it is wise to bend your knees. Standing straight makes it hard to control the ball. Bending your knees slightly can really make a difference in the way you control the ball.

TIP! You should always have your free hand between you and your opponent when dribbling the ball. However, you’re not actually going to push with this hand; instead, you’re going to separate yourself using this hand.

Always set your three-point shooting practice goal at the official NBA distance. School and the international standard lines are nearer than that. If you can hit from NBA range, you can get open looks at a deeper range than a defense is probably going to mind you (until you start hitting).

TIP! One way to misdirect your opponent is to dribble in a rhythm, then break that rhythm. You can for instance suddenly speed up your dribbling to get past an opponent and get the edge you need for a shot.

We hope this article has given you the information you need to enjoy basketball to the fullest. As with any sport, getting better takes hard work and a willingness to learn. When you begin to play with your new knowledge, you will start to master the game. Whatever you do, remember to have fun!