TIP! Be sure to dribble correctly every time. Don’t use your palm, use your fingers.

One of the most beloved and well-known sports on the planet is basketball. Each player is crucial to the team and has special skills. If you need to improve some of your skills, keep reading for tips to help you do just that.

TIP! Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game.

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. Many times, defense actually wins the game. Offense gets all the praise and attention, but without a good defense, any basketball team is destined to lose.

TIP! When developing your jumping skills, limit your use of weight-training. While muscle mass is good for any basketball position, perimeter play requires less than other positions.

Get good at making free throws. This is one of those shots that seem easy but in real life are difficult. When practicing your free throw, concentrate on where you want the ball to go when it leaves your hands. Hold the ball level with your face. Maintain focus on the basket and try to visualize your basketball falling through the hoop. Shoot the basketball exactly as you saw in your mind.

TIP! If you post up, you need to use good footwork to get open and make sure you get a good shot. You must beat the opposing playing to an open spot.

Make layups a part of your daily practice regimen. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball. During practice you want to get up enough speed to quickly get to the rim then easily lay the ball towards the hoop. Knowing how to run and jump quickly and smoothly will assist you in knowing how to leap and shoot more effectively while playing.

TIP! Make it your goal to never turn away from the ball on the court. Passes and turnovers won’t take you by surprise because you will be more aware of what is happening on the court.

Free throws are mental as well as physical. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter. Relax and focus on your shot, and you can make it.

TIP! When you are passing the ball, get used to looking in the other direction. This throws your opponents off.

Learn good passing by drilling often without dribbling. It is hard to play a game when you don’t dribble, but it will help you to be sure that everyone is passing accurately. Do not get frustrated if it it seems difficult at first, over time your team’s passes will become more accurate.

TIP! The trick to grabbing a rebound on a teammate’s missed free-throw is to plan your footwork in advance. Slip around the defender moving your way and get the ball.

Play by yourself to practice. Even though you play on a team, practicing alone can be helpful. For concentration purposes, it can be good to practice on your own. In solo games, you can accomplish quite a bit. Practice pivoting or you can practice doing free throws. There are many things you can work on.

TIP! Whenever possible, take advantage of an attack. Taking charges gives you an opportunity to get defensive stops, get the ball and lay the groundwork for fouls.

Seek advice from your teammates about how you play the game. Can you get better at something? It could be your speed, or it could be your back-up abilities. You can learn a lot about your skills by knowing how others see you on the court.

TIP! Have two of your guards wait for the point guard to go past midcourt for the best results. The guards must then rush the opposing team’s point guard and create a trap.

Make it your goal to never turn away from the ball on the court. Passes and turnovers won’t take you by surprise because you will be more aware of what is happening on the court. Always scout the court for areas that will open up and allow you to make a clear shot.

TIP! To enhance your skills at shooting the ball from the outside, run drills every day from different locations on the court. To improve further, work on fast dribbling just before shooting.

If you want to correctly handle the ball, you need to know where to place your fingers. This keeps it under control. Do not allow the palm of your hand to make contact with the ball. You should only use your fingers to touch the ball when passing or shooting.

TIP! Keep dribbling until you’re ready to either pass or shoot. After dribbling is stopped, your choices are very limited.

One of the best ways to play a strong defensive game is to know your opponent. Watch tapes and stay up on scouting reports. For example, you might look to see which players favor their left side and which have dominant right hands. Once you understand the opposition, you will now how to mount your defense. Strong defenders are knowledgeable defenders.

TIP! Mix up different shots from all over the court when you practice shooting. Start by practicing grip and balance.

If you aren’t shooting the ball well, you need to concentrate on your shoulders. When your shoulders are not properly positioned, then it is almost impossible to perform at your best. Keep your shoulders square in line with the basket. You want your strong-side shoulder in perfect alignment with the rim.

TIP! Forge a strong bond between teammates, whether you are playing the game or off the court. Great basketball games happen when teams work together.

A good basketball player is really quick on his feet. If you want the advantage, you need to be quicker than your opponents. Steady drilling is the key to playing fast. Do not play beyond you capabilities, however. Playing beyond your own capabilities sends the game spinning past your ability to control it, and turnovers are bound to occur.

TIP! Be sure not to double dribble. Double dribbling happens when you’ve stopped dribbling once, and then start again a few seconds later.

In order to become better at dribbling the ball you should learn how to practice using your weak hand. When you are ambidextrous, you’ll be a better player. If you find it difficult to continue using your weak hand, make your strong hand unusable. You will quickly strengthen your non-dominant hand for dribbling.

TIP! When you come back down to earth from a rebound, try to land so that your legs are spread out wider than your shoulders to give your balance a boost. Hold the ball tightly against your chest with one hand on each side.

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. Basketball requires its players to move quickly, shoot accurately and pass well. The best way to get into the flow of the game is to be in motion.

TIP! If you guard someone that bigger than you are, try staying between the person with the ball and them. This prevents them from becoming open for passes and makes sure that they do not get the ball, which they would be have the ability to shoot over you.

Everyone that’s trying to play basketball is going to need to learn some skills so they can play better. This article offered up a bevy of ideas and insights to help you support your team. Look back over this piece if you feel the need to refresh yourself, but whatever you do, make sure you use these tips regularly to improve your game.