TIP! To be a great basketball player you need to work on your balance. While some NBA players are able to launch a ball to the net mid-fall, this is not appropriate for most people.

Do you want to be as great as Shaquille O’Neil? Rather than merely dreaming of greatness, how about learning what it takes to really succeed? Read on to learn how to go about doing this.

TIP! Successful free throws require you to be mentally and physically strong. 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 must become knowledgeable about hitting a free-throw shot. It seems easy to do but surely isn’t. Practice frequently using these techniques. To start off, hold the ball in front of you. Look at the basket and imagine the ball going in it. Then shoot the ball with the trajectory that you visualized.

TIP! Work on being able to receive a pass. When you practice, drill yourself to pay attention to errant throws and passes that are picture perfect.

Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. Crossovers involve moving the ball from hand to hand. The action must be very swift if it is to be successful. When done correctly, the crossover dribble help you to change direction in order to move down the court efficiently.

TIP! Want to make the other team not know what’s going on? Try the back pass. Hold the ball using your dominant hand.

Work on improving your strengths to become an even better player. You can contribute to the team by consolidating your best skills, even if these skills do not make you one of the star players. Focus on the skills you have and work to make them better.

TIP! Ask your teammates what they like about the way you play. They will probably notice the things you do best.

Always work on your layups. Four out of every five shots taken in a given game will be layups. Run as fast as possible, while jumping and performing a smooth shot. This running and jumping technique will help you learn how to jump and shoot better during the game.

Zone Defense

TIP! When you want consistently good free throws, repeat your routine. For example, many people touch their foreheads or tap their chest before making a free throw shot.

Don’t spend all your time practicing how to confront a 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. If your practice did not include this, you can quickly lose control of the game.

TIP! If the other team has a good defense, passing the ball between your legs is a good option. Step forward and back while dribbling the ball between your legs hard.

Do you want to fool the other team? Back passes can give your team the opportunity to score while the other team is still wondering what happened. Hold the ball using your dominant hand. Then, put the ball around your back. Then do a wrist flick in the same direction that you want the ball to end up. This should help to trick the other team.

TIP! Consistent free throws require a consistent technique. Inconsistent shooting will lead to inconsistent results.

Play games against yourself in and out of season. Basketball is sport played in teams, but there are times when no one is around to play with you. That’s fine. There is still much you can accomplish playing alone. Practice free throws and layups. There are always things that can be done.

TIP! Your forearms and hands should be strengthened if you wish to handle the ball better. Wrist curls are especially effective at making you better able to handle a basketball like you could dribble sleepwalking.

To properly handle the ball, you have to spread your fingers out. This will help you to be sure that it won’t escape your grasp when trying to hold it. Additionally, the palm of your hand should not come into contact with the ball. Only use your fingers to dribble, pass or shoot.

TIP! If you wish to get a free throw rebound from a teammate, you have to stay on your toes properly. Defenders will start to move at you, so you need to get around them to grab the ball.

To rebound a free throw, you have to be quick. Try to anticipate the move of the defender between yourself and the basket so that you can maneuver around him and to the hoop. This allows you to grab the rebound legally.

TIP! Try to keep the ball in your line of sight at all times. This isn’t just so you can read the scoreboard and be able to make shots and catch passes.

Dribbling hard keeps the ball from being stolen from you. This will make the ball come back to you faster, and the opponent will have a hard time to get it from you. If you are being guarded closely, bring your dribbling to an end and pass the ball to another open team member.

Don’t leave your defensive stance. Use a shuffling side to side motion to ensure you are in position. Don’t cross your feet and no one will get around you.

TIP! Keep the lines of communication with other players open. In order to win games, you have to work together as a team.

To turn a normal 2-3 zone into a trapping machine, have your top two defenders (your guards) wait until the point guard has come about ten feet past the time line (midcourt). Then they should run to the point guard and trap him. While this is going on your forwards can be sprinting to the players located on the wings. A pass should be thrown by the point guard for forwards to steal.

TIP! Landing with a wide stance after catching a rebound will make it easier for you to retain you balance. Put one hand on each side of the basketball, and hold it against your chest.

Shoot from NBA distances to see your three-point skills improve. The International standard line, as well as college and high school lines are all closer. You are less likely to be guarded, the farther you are from the basket.

TIP! Control your nerves when you are shooting. It’s important to focus.

Make sure you don’t pick up your dribble unless you are prepared for a shot or pass. When you stop, your options are limited. If you decide not to shoot a basket or pass the ball on, you are only allowed to pivot on the heal that is furthest back. That leaves you wide open to double teaming by your opponents and the potential of a stolen ball goes way up.

TIP! 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 best to be a winning team, than someone that lost the game.

Be sure your exercise off the court is going to help you on the court. Distance running will help with stamina and sprinting can help with individual plays. Lifting weights can build the muscle you need for shots and the hustle of the game. Your shooting abilities are greatly enhanced by a more self-assured, aggressive mindset.

TIP! Focus on the ball and where it is going. An important part of basketball is rebounding.

Now that you’ve finished this article, you can get out there and practice. You need to be confident and you have to practice. Keep your head up and use what you learned here.