TIP! A good way to get your basketball game up to speed is to start trying to see how the pros are playing. Get tickets to some pro games, if possible, or catch some games on television.

No one is born to be a star player. How can you succeed at basketball without researching the sport first? Use the tips from this article to be able to play the greatest game that you can.

TIP! If you want to take jump shots, don’t spend time pumping iron. Being weighed down by too much bulky muscle can have a negative impact on your jump shot.

Make it a point to concentrate on both your defensive and offensive skills. Focusing only on offense does not make you a well-rounded player. Basketball games are often won by the defense. Offense gets all the praise and attention, but without a good defense, any basketball team is destined to lose.

TIP! Don’t play when you are injured! Basketball is physically demanding, and it is easy to get hurt. By “playing through the pain” you take a huge risk that the injury will become much worse.

When you dribble, look forward, keeping your head up. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet. Wherever you go, take your ball with you. Dribble while walking to the store. Staring at the ball doesn’t allow you to watch the other players.

TIP! Seek advice from your teammates about how you play the game. Do you do something particularly well? They may say you’re fast or that you share well.

To be a better basketball player you should concentrate on the things that make you great. Your best skills may not be center-stage every game, but knowing how to play the best angles can help you give more to your team. Understand where you excel, and work on those talents until they are perfected.

TIP! When playing a game of basketball, have a friend tape the game. This way, you can take a look at your game.

Free throws are as much mental as they are physical, like other parts of the game. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss. Relax and focus on the net, and you’ll be able to make more.

TIP! Passing between the legs is great when you are being closely guarded. You can train for this maneuver by stepping forward or backwards as you bounce the ball real hard in-between your legs.

Do not practice by playing against the zone defense. Most of the game is played in zone, but your opponent may try to switch things up to do man-to-man coverage. This can cause your team to lose momentum to the other side if this isn’t something you’ve practiced.

TIP! Practice passing while looking the opposite direction. This will make your actions very confusing to the other team.

Have other players give you information about what they think are your strengths and weaknesses. Find out what they perceive as your best skill. Perhaps you are quick footed, or you are always ready to lend a hand on the court. It’s great to get an idea of how your teammates think of your skills, this way you know what areas of the game to focus on.

TIP! Launch your layup jumps from the foot that is opposite the hand you shoot with. Jump off your left foot when you shoot using your right hand.

Keeping your fingers spread wide is important for holding onto the ball. This makes sure that it does not escape away from your grip. Your palm should not be touching the ball. Remember to maintain contact with the ball through your fingers only.

TIP! Upset and disrupt your opponent’s play. All successful basketball players do this.

In order to be your best on defense, take the time to completely understand the player you are guarding. Make sure that you’ve watched tapes that show the other player. You can also check out scouting reports. For example, you should know which of the players are left-handed and which are right-handed. Understanding your opponent allows you to effectively play defense. The more knowledgeable a defender is, the stronger he is.

TIP! Make it your goal to dribble the ball across the entire court in under 5 dribbles. This seems an impossible feat when you start.

A solid routine is necessary for improvement in free throw shooting. If you are inconsistent then your shot will be off. A great way to get better at free throws is to practice, practice and then practice the same routine some more. A break in your routine will foul the shot.

TIP! Never break your defensive stance as this will assure you are in your proper position for defense. You will always be in a defensive position if you slide your feet one way and then the other and push off using your opposing foot.

Be slick with your feet so you can get a rebound from a teammate. The defender below you will be moving toward you, so find a way to slip around him and get to the ball. Doing so will allow you to get the rebound sans a foul.

TIP! If you are in a defensive position, keep yourself low. This allows you to jump or react quicker.

If you don’t want someone to steal the ball, dribble hard. The ball bounces faster, giving the guard less time to steal. If an opposing player is guarding you to the point where you can’t dribble well, it’s time to pass to an open teammate.

TIP! If you want to build the dexterity of your weaker hand, start using it for everyday tasks like shining your shoes or opening doors. By improving your weaker hand’s dexterity, your control over the hand will significantly improve.

Never pass up a charging opportunity. By taking charge you can create a defensive stop so you can get the ball, and allows you to create setups so that the opponent will foul you. That can be psychologically disturbing, and is a power play.

Strength Training

TIP! Don’t stop dribbling until you are ready to pass or shoot. The moment you cease dribbling, you have given yourself very few options.

Strength training can be a major help in basketball. You need both strength and endurance if you are going to excel. Even younger kids will benefit from strength training. When they become teenagers, they can start using weights to increase their exercise. It’s important to continue strength training when you are an adult to maintain your performance.

TIP! Use workouts to better your game. For example, you can improve individual plays with sprinting.

Always stay low when playing defensively. This allows you to jump faster and increases your reaction time should the person you’re covering do something. Be in the correct defensive stance all the time. When you block a shot, go back to a defensive form quickly.

TIP! Try to stay calm as you shoot. Keep focused on the basket.

You should keep the ball below the knees if you’re able to. The other team’s players will have a difficult time stealing the basketball from you. This also allows you to cover large distances across the court, which makes it difficult for opposing players o block you.

TIP! Proper passing is key to a game. Passing helps confuse the opponent.

You need to follow a rhythm when you dribble so you can break the rhythm and throw off an opponent. By dribbling consistently and then breaking it up into a different rhythm that’s fast, you can trick an opponent so you have more time to shoot. The change of sound and speed can confuse the opponent.

TIP! The best way to get through a zone defense is to penetrate with a controlled dribble. Passing a defensive player and moving into the lane is sure to prompt a defensive shift or even a collapse.

Positioning is key in picking up an essential rebound. When you jump, use both legs to give yourself a boost. Once you gain possession of the ball, your feet should be positioned more widely than your shoulders. Hold the ball near your chest and regain your balance upon landing.

TIP! It is important to master your footwork on the court, not just your shooting. You should know where to place each foot as you pivot or play a certain position.

When you master a skill, you will beam with pride in your accomplishments. That sense of pride is only rivaled by learning how you can improve your basketball game. Not only will you beginning more, but you’ll show your teammates how good you are.