TIP! Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling.

Whether you’d rather cheer from bleachers or shoot the ball like a professional, you have to really understand the game if you want to truly enjoy it. Are you aware of what the score is? Do not waste time in despair. Basketball is easy to learn, and quite fun. Consider the following great tips to use for playing basketball.

TIP! Balance is vital to good shooting. Everyone has seen professional basketball players make a shot from 20 feet away as they are falling.

Learn the best way to make your free throws. It seems easy to do but surely isn’t. Practice this technique regularly. To start off, hold the ball in front of you. Visualize the ball sailing into the hoop. Next, take your shot seeing the ball move in the trajectory you envisaged for it.

TIP! Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. Making the right physical motions is easier than having the right mind set.

If you typically handle the ball a lot, it pays to learn the crossover. Moving the ball from hand to hand is a crossover. Speed determines the success of the crossover move. Once you’ve learned how to use it, the crossover dribble makes it easy to navigate the court in a more effective way.

TIP! Frequent pass catching practice is important. Be sure to be able to catch off-target throws on top of good ones.

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. They are not doing it right. If you are able to improve your sense of balance, then you will find that your percentage of successful shots improves.

TIP! Do not practice by playing against the zone defense. While you might see a zone defense mostly, a team can switch defenses to man-to-man quickly in order to confuse you.

Perfect your layup technique. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game. When you practice, run full speed ahead at the basket, jump, and shoot. If you can do this right, you can master this shot.

TIP! If you get injured while playing basketball, do not try to play through the pain. Basketball is physically challenging, and injuries are not uncommon.

Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. You must train both your body and your mind. Relax and focus on the basket; this will help you succeed.

TIP! One thing to consider if your shooting percentage drops is that your shoulders may be inconsistent when you are shooting. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot.

Understand your opponent. One great way to get a better understanding of your opponent is to take the time to watch film and get information from other players or scouts. Figure out which people are right or left handed. Defense is more effective when you know what your opponent is likely to do. A defender with an education will be good at what they do.

Core Muscles

TIP! You need to work on your forearms and your hands to handle the ball more efficiently. Consider wrist curls and and exercise machine that focuses on strengthening each finger individually.

When exercise, concentrate on perfecting footwork and strengthening your core muscles. If the core muscles are in good shape, you will feel lighter on your feet. You should get a good workout in your hips, buttocks, back and abs. Your speed and footwork can be improved by jumping rope.

TIP! To get the rebound from the free throw your teammate is making, you need to do some fancy footwork. Use your feet to slip around the opposing player below you, then get into position for a rebound off the rim.

Keep changing up your pace to help keep your opponents on their toes. When running in the direction of the net, straighten up while planting the front foot. Your guard will do the same, thinking you plan to stop. When that happens, rush forward and power past them.

TIP! Alter your pace to confuse the opposition. When running toward the hoop, plant your leading foot and start to straighten up.

In order to better your shooting skills, you must practice shooting hundreds of times each day from various position on the court. To improve further, work on fast dribbling just before shooting. While in the air check out your target, but never before that. Your accuracy will get better and you’ll have a better idea of what real game conditions will be like.

TIP! Use wrist curls to increase the strength in your weaker arm. If your ability to use that hand starts to improve, the benefits to your basketball playing talents will be substantial.

Only stop dribbling if you want to shoot or pass. You do not have many options after you stop dribbling. If you don’t shoot or pass, you are going to be pivoting with your back foot. This causes you to be wide open to some double teaming by the other team and increase your chances of having the ball stolen.

TIP! Only stop dribbling if you want to shoot or pass. When you cease dribbling, you’re really limiting your options.

Your height has nothing to do with your ability to play defense. Keeping your body in position will prevent them from getting a pass or being in position to shoot.

TIP! Practice dribbling by switching momentum. During a game, you’ll be dribbling in all kinds of situations.

Proper passing is key to a game. Your opponent will have a more difficult time stealing the ball if it is frequently being passed. Passing will show your teammates that you care about teamwork, which should help you build strong relations with them. Passing is an important part of playing this game. Be patient and wait for the right moment.

TIP! Be sure not to double dribble. This occurs if you restart dribbling seconds after you have stopped your original dribble.

Learning to pivot is important when playing basketball. It is important that you are able to pivot quickly and smoothly without taking your focus away from the game. Develop your pivot stance, and the practice quick reactions with the ball in hand.

TIP! Force your opponent to use his weaker hand. For example, if they’re left handed, step toward them using the right foot and they’ll need to switch sides.

Know what aspects of your game are weak. Be honest with yourself. You want to practice and strengthen the areas where you have the most trouble. Perfecting what you are good at and ignoring your shortcomings will only take you so far. Strengthen your weaknesses so you can be an all-around player.

TIP! Stand between the person with the ball and the one you are supposed to be guarding. In this way, you will prevent the larger player from being able to receive a pass.

See how easy it can be? Now that you know some things about basketball, you can see how much fun the sport is. Use what you have learned here to play a better game or have a better time being a spectator.

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