TIP! Keep your head up when you dribble. Looking directly at the ball means you aren’t good at the game yet.

Basketball has been universally loved by the young and old for many years. However, only some people understands how to play the game really well. This article can help anyone, no matter their skill level, to improve their game and enjoy the sport much more.

TIP! A great way to hone your own basketball abilities is to watch the pros. Go to games, watch them on TV and you can also watch videos.

Balance is important when shooting. Falling when you make a shot is not the right way to shoot. They have just improvised, is all. By focusing on balance in your shot, you will develop the consistency needed to be a great scorer.

TIP! Don’t pump a lot of iron if you wish to become a jump shooter. Perimeter players don’t need the muscle strength that is necessary for other team members.

Know your strengths and they’ll help you become a better player. You may not be the star player, but by contributing the best way you can you will win more games. Know your strengths and keep practicing to get even better.

TIP! Play basketball games with yourself during the season and before it. Basketball is sport played in teams, but there are times when no one is around to play with you.

Make sure that your regular practice includes catching of passes. Make sure you get used to catching less than perfect passes smoothly. Understand that during a game, you will receive very scattered passes. Some will be good; some won’t. You and your team mates will be happier if you (and they) are more versatile.

TIP! Never turn away from the ball, so that you can always stay ready for anything. Passes and turnovers won’t take you by surprise because you will be more aware of what is happening on the court.

Practice using different types of defenses. A lot of the game is sure to be played in the zone, but your opponent could change to man-to-man coverage. When you don’t know how to defeat it, you will lose.

TIP! Learn to pass the ball without looking at your intended target. This is a great way to fake out your opponents.

If you are posting up, strategic footwork is important to becoming open and making a good shot. There are two important points you must remember. You must create a physical presence below the basket, and you must secure a good spot in advance of your opponent. If you are just stepping into position, you now have to secure the spot. These skills require solid footwork.

Playing Faster

TIP! You must be able to box out other players when attempting to rebound free throws. As you see the defender moving in, quickly slip around to grab the ball.

Quickness is something you have to have when playing basketball. Try playing faster than the opponents for a better advantage. Playing fast takes practice, though, and steady drilling. Avoid playing faster than your abilities allow. You will not be able to control your moves if you play faster than you are able to.

TIP! To avoid having the ball stolen, dribble hard. This means you get the ball back from your opponent faster.

Where are your feet? If you have the ball and you step outside the baseline, then you’re out of bounds. If you take several steps while holding the ball, you could be called for traveling. If you move either foot while trying to pick, take a charge or set a screen, it will result in a called foul.

TIP! You want to keep your vision completely clear at all times. Not to just be able to see the scoreboard, but to actually make a shot and catch a pass.

In order to be more reliable shooting free throws, practice your routine. Perhaps you will dribble twice, follow up by bending your knees, pulling your earlobe or performing some other ritualistic action for good luck. As long as this is a quick set of movements and it’s consistent, you won’t have any trouble having your body memorize what you’re doing.

TIP! Basketball players need to engage in strength training. Strength and stamina are both needed to excel at basketball.

When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. That means, if you shoot right-handed, use your left foot for taking off. This gives you better balance, while keeping you poised toward the basket.

Free Throw Shooting

TIP! To better three-point shooting, try using NBA distance as the minimum. The International standard line, as well as college and high school lines are all closer.

A solid routine is necessary for improvement in free throw shooting. If you’re not consistent you’ll find yourself missing free throws. If you want to perfect free throw shooting, pick a routine and repeat it continuously. If your routine is off, then you will miss the shot.

TIP! Use the hand that doesn’t have the ball as a block. You don’t need to be shoving the opponents, but you’re able to keep them away by using the arm that isn’t dribbling as a separator.

Perform drills in which you move the ball up the court in just five dribbles. This might seem impossible at first, but if you achieve it, you will have remarkable stride length and speed. This is a vital skill to give you points on fast break opportunities.

TIP! Exercise off the court. Running sprints can make you faster on individual plays, while long-distance running helps you make it through a game with good stamina.

Alternating your pace is critical to keeping the defense guessing. When you’re moving towards the net, act like you’re going to straighten up. The guard may think you’ve slowed down and may try to straighten themselves. When that happens, push ahead and run past.

TIP! Dribble in a rhythmic way until you desire to catch the opposing player off guard. Changing your pace can confuse them.

When you are on defense, make sure to keep yourself low. Doing so improves your reaction time with regards to your opponents’ actions. Remain in a correct defensive pose always. When you must break from your stance in order to block shots, make sure to return to form right away.

TIP! You should never double dribble. Double dribbling happens when you’ve stopped dribbling once, and then start again a few seconds later.

To create a trapping machine in a standard 2-3 zone, have your two top defenders or your guards wait until point guard is about 10 feet from the time line or midcourt. After he crosses the midcourt line, they should run and trap him. Simultaneously, forwards should block sprint toward wing players. This can cause the point guard to pass the ball in a way that your teammates can easily steal.

TIP! When coming down from a rebound catch, try to land and spread your legs wider than your shoulder span to better your balance. Put one hand on each side of the basketball, and hold it against your chest.

Increase your weak hand’s capabilities by using it for everything you normally would not. Being more dexterous means you will have better control. This will help you with your basketball game also.

TIP! When dribbling, practice building up a strong bounce. This is because when you bounce the ball hard, the ball is moving quicker and gives the defender less time to try to snatch it away when it is out of your hands.

Control the ball at a level that is below your knees. Defenders will have a more difficult time stealing the ball. You need to bend a bit more for this to succeed, but you will be able to traverse the court rapidly while keeping opponents at bay.

TIP! Write down a plan of what you should work on at the gym each time you go. So many players practice but they never have a good game plan.

If you are a basketball player you should be eating a healthy diet. Carbs, fats and proteins all keep your energy levels at the right place. Smart thigns to include in your diet are peanut butter, wheat breads, chicken and nuts. Salt and sugars should only been eaten rarely.

Double Dribbling

TIP! Whether you are playing a game, practicing with the team or running skill on your own, focus on the task at hand. That includes during practice or drills, when it is tempting to goof off and let your mind wander.

Double dribbling is a huge no-no. To keep from double dribbling, simply refrain from starting to dribble a second time after you have already stopped dribbling once in that same possession. If dribbling stops, you must pass or shoot the basketball. You can’t start dribbling again. When you do that, it’s called a turnover. It will cause you to have to surrender the ball to the opposing team.

TIP! Your defensive skills should be worked on. Working on blocking shots and passes and covering an offensive player well.

Make your opponent go into the sideline. A player who penetrates the center of the court will have far too many options. If you push your opponent toward the sidelines, their options will be limited.

TIP! Use the easiest method out there to pass the ball. Stay on your toes.

People from all backgrounds love basketball. Learning the game will not only help you enjoy watching the sport, it will also help you play better. Utilize the techniques discussed in this article to help you better understand the game.