TIP! Make sure you are dribbling the right way. Instead of using your palm to dribble focus on using your fingertips.

Countless individuals love the sport of basketball. You can play casually in pick-up games on most street corners or work hard to build a professional career if you get started young and have a natural gift. To learn about how to play basketball better, read on.

TIP! It is important to keep your balance when you shoot. You’ve seen the pros fall out of bounds when trying to shoot 30 feet from the basket; this is a bad move.

Practice your defense more than your offense. Defense is what stands between you and a win. While everyone focuses on shots made, a good defense can kill the chances of even an amazing shot taker.

TIP! If you want to improve your game, play up your strengths. Your skills might not make you an all-start every time out, but playing up your strengths makes you a great contributor.

When dribbling, make sure you hold your head high and look straight ahead. You haven’t practiced enough if you keep looking at the basketball while you’re dribbling. Take the basketball around off-court wherever you are. Dribble while walking to the store. Maintaining unbroken visual contact with the ball makes it difficult to be aware of your surroundings.

TIP! One way to help improve your overall basketball skills is to spend some time watching what the pros do. Watch as many games on TV as you can.

You should often work on your layups. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game. During practice you want to get up enough speed to quickly get to the rim then easily lay the ball towards the hoop. This method will teach you to improve your jumps and shots throughout the game.

TIP! Do you want to fool the other team? Try doing what is known as a back pass. Perform this pass by holding the ball using your dominant hand.

In order to help you improve your basketball acumen you should watch how the pros play. Get tickets to some pro games, if possible, or catch some games on television. Every player has a skill that allows him to succeed. Practice their moves to become better.

TIP! If there’s no one around to play with, it is okay to play a basketball game by yourself. While it’s a team sport, you may not be able to find others that will play.

If there’s no one around to play with, it is okay to play a basketball game by yourself. Though basketball is surely a team sport, there may be times when you have nobody to play against. That’s OK! You can still accomplish a lot when playing solo. Work on free throws and pivot moves. You don’t need other players to work on your skills.

TIP! Understanding the opponent is a good way to win with defense. You can read scouting reports and watch tapes to evaluate your opponents game.

Make sure you know what is going on with your feet. If you have the ball and you step outside the baseline, then you’re out of bounds. Not dribbling when you take more than a few steps will result in a walking call as well as a forfeit of the ball. Being aware of your body movements can give you an advantage on the court.

TIP! If you slump when you shoot, look at what your shoulders are doing. If you do not have your shoulders positioned properly, you will not make the shot.

Practice passing while not looking in the direction of the pass. This throws your opponents off. If you’re doing it correctly you can fake your opponent out so he/she moves towards that direction and then you pass the ball to a wide open teammate for a shot. When completed correctly, it creates an awesome play.

TIP! Stay conscious of your foot motion and placement. You will be called out of bounds if even one toe is touching the baseline as you hold the ball.

If you want to better your dribble, start practicing with your weaker hand. Being able to effortlessly dribble with both hands gives you the ability to run both sides on an opponent and keep them off guard. You can focus on the strength of your weak hand by tying your dominant hand behind your back. You will improve dribbling with your weak hand soon enough.

TIP! Having a pre-free-throw shot routine will help you become dependable at free throws. You could dribble twice, touch your forehead, bend your knees, or some other kinds of movements.

You need good vision if you are going to play basketball. This is not just to make reading the scoreboard easier, but also to facilitate the making of shots and catching of passes. Your peripheral vision needs to be as strong as possible. Tunnel vision makes it difficult to play effectively, so try to view the entire court and all players.

TIP! To get the rebound from the free throw your teammate is making, you need to do some fancy footwork. Defenders will start to move at you, so you need to get around them to grab the ball.

Take charges whenever possible. By taking a charge, your team will get the ball. This may lower the other team’s morale, and it gives you a chance to take the offensive when play resumes.

TIP! Be certain that your vision is the best it can be. This is so that you’re able to catch passes, get shots in, and look at the scoreboard.

A great way to stay in a correct defensive stance is to always stay in position no matter what. You need to learn how to slide your feet instead of crossing one foot in front of the other. Always keep your feet from crossing, and you will make it hard for any opponent to get past.

TIP! If you want a 2-3 zone to be turned into a machine that traps, your two defenders that are guarding should wait until your point guard is around ten feet past mid court. Then they should run to the point guard and trap him.

Use the NBA three point line when practicing your shots. The standard line , high school and college lines are all going to be closer. By learning to shoot from NBA distances, you improve your range tremendously.

TIP! To better three-point shooting, try using NBA distance as the minimum. School and the international standard lines are nearer than that.

Be sure you do the sort of off-court exercises that help you during games. Sprints helps with individual plays, and long-distance running gives you stamina. Additionally, weightlifting and resistance training will help you develop the muscles needed for those long distance shots. This will also help you build confidence, a key aspect of performing well in any sport.

TIP! If possible, the action should remain below your knees. Opponents will have a hard time stealing the ball from you if you keep it low.

One way to misdirect your opponent is to dribble in a rhythm, then break that rhythm. You can for instance suddenly speed up your dribbling to get past an opponent and get the edge you need for a shot. Both the speed and the sound will contribute to confusing the player that is guarding you.

Always anticipate where a missed basket might go so you can grab the resulting rebound. It may bounce back right into the opponent’s hands.

TIP! Where you are standing on the court can make a difference as to whether you get a rebound. Jump with both feet for improved power and balance and retrieve the ball with both hands.

Keep calm while shooting the ball. You have to focus directly on the basket. Specifically, make it a habit to look right behind the basket when you take a shot. If you wish to do a lay-up, move them to the backboard needed for banking the ball off.

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 is far better to contribute to the winning shot than be the only person involved in the shot that lost the game.

These tips can help you become a more versatile basketball player. It’s not too tough, it just takes the right kind of knowledge and some work. When you begin to play with your new knowledge, you will start to master the game. You will learn more playing against highly-skilled players.