TIP! Learn to correctly dribble the ball. Use fingertips to dribble.

Basketball is exciting to watch but it is much more fun to play. But, not everyone has a thorough understanding of what it takes to truly play the sport well. This article should be of help to fans and players of all skill and dedication level.

TIP! Practice shooting free throws. This seems like an easy shot, but it is quite hard.

It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Victory requires the ability to play defense. While everyone focuses on shots made, a good defense can kill the chances of even an amazing shot taker.

TIP! When dribbling, your head must be up, and you need to look forward. If you start staring at the ball while you dribble, you know you need to practice more.

Dribble the ball correctly. Proper dribbling technique involves use of the fingertips, not the palm of the hand. Doing so will allow you a greater degree of ball control. When dribbling the basketball you should bounce it to your side instead of right in front. Keep your head up and do not look at the ground.

TIP! Perfect your bounce pass. Bounce passes should not go above or below the receiving players waist.

You must have good balance to shoot well. Everyone has watched a pro player drift out of bounds while still making their shot, but this isn’t something to emulate. They have just improvised, is all. If you have correct balance when you are making a shot, you will make more consistent baskets over time.

TIP! Do not practice solely against 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.

To improve your game, concentrate on your strong points. Your skills might not make you an all-start every time out, but playing up your strengths makes you a great contributor. Understand your strengths and use it to your advantage to help your team win!

TIP! Keep your skills sharp in the off-season by playing different challenging games. Even though you play on a team, practicing alone can be helpful.

Make layups a part of your daily practice regimen. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots. When you practice, run toward the net, and then get a high jump in so you can smoothly shoot. This method will teach you to improve your jumps and shots throughout the game.

TIP! Try using hand signals to prevent passes in error. One of the more frustrating aspects of basketball is making a pass to a teammate at the same time they head to the basket.

Learn how to throw a proper bounce pass. Bounce passes need to be at waist level when received. It’s generally a good idea to pass the ball about three-fourths of the distance between you and the receiving teammate. There can be other factors in play to keep in mind, as well.

TIP! Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. That makes it less likely that you lose control of the ball.

Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game. Stay relaxed and just focus on the goal and you will increase your free throw rate.

Pay Attention

TIP! To increase the efficiency of your layups, begin your takeoff on the foot opposite from the hand you’re shooting with. If you use your right hand to shoot, use your left foot to take off.

Study you opponent well to give yourself an edge. Pay attention to how they play. Pay attention to dominant hands. Having a good understanding about your opponent strengths and weaknesses allows you to focus on how to better stop him. The strongest defenders are those who have information.

TIP! You need to practice dribbling with your weak hand in order to be a more effective player. Utilizing both hands to dribble the basketball and switching effortlessly is key to advantage over an opponent.

When you’re working out, concentrate on core strength building and your footwork. Your body will naturally balance well if you have strong core muscles. Work your ab, back, hip and buttocks muscles. Jumping rope can also help you become lighter on your feet and quicker on the court.

TIP! Dribble the ball hard to keep it from being stolen. A good hard dribble brings the ball back to you much faster, leaving less time for the opponent to steal it from you.

If you are being heavily guarded, a pass between your legs might help. Take a step back or forward and bounce the ball hard through your legs. Once you get the move down, you can use it to gain a tactical advantage.

TIP! Always maintain a defensive stance when you are trying to properly defend the goal. To do this, avoid lurching or stepping across the floor; instead use smaller, shuffling steps to move with your opponent.

Practice dribbling with your weak hand as much as possible. If both hands are useful for dribbling, your opponents will not stand much of a chance. Try tying the dominant hand behind you and forcing yourself to just using your weak hand. You will quickly strengthen your non-dominant hand for dribbling.

Peripheral Vision

TIP! To trap the opposing players in a 2-3 zone, have the defending guards hold back till the opposing point guard has moved beyond the midcourt line by about ten feet. They can then trap the point guard.

Practice noticing what is in your peripheral vision. This will prepare you for unexpected passes and help you evade defenders. You want your peripheral vision to be as good as it can. Having good court awareness to see everything around you lets you see plays develop before they happen, either by warding off the defenders or getting the ball to open teammates.

TIP! To become a better three-point shooter, make sure you attempt shots from where the NBA three-point line would be. All other three point lines are closer than what the NBA uses.

Changing pace can help you keep the offense guessing. When you’re moving towards the net, act like you’re going to straighten up. Your defender will likely think you are taking a shot or passing, and straighten up as well. You should push and get past them as they straighten themselves.

TIP! To enhance your skills at shooting the ball from the outside, run drills every day from different locations on the court. Taking quick shots during practice will help you during the game when the pressure is on.

One way to misdirect your opponent is to dribble in a rhythm, then break that rhythm. A consistent pace for your dribble will lull your opponent, and help you move more quickly than they do when the time comes. Changing the speed also changes the sound which can be off-putting.

TIP! If a shooter is located at a corner, their missed attempt is likely to waft to the opposite side. Figure out where it will be and rebound the ball.

Work together with the other players on the team. When a basketball team is totally in sync, the game is taken to a higher level. Trusting your teammates is key to becoming a good team and also bettering your own skills, and that leads to your team winning lots of games!

TIP! Try to remain calm when shooting. Maintain focus on the basket.

Try always focusing on the location the ball goes after it exits your teams’ hands or the opponents’ hands. Rebounds and recoveries are important parts of a basketball game. It doesn’t matter if you defend an opponent greatly when they shoot and miss if you can’t get the ball once again.

TIP! When you are facing a zone defense, you must use a penetrating dribble. Passing a defensive player and moving into the lane is sure to prompt a defensive shift or even a collapse.

Really understand where your playing is weak. And that starts with being honest about your skills. You want to practice and strengthen the areas where you have the most trouble. The same goes for your inside game, as practicing jump shots will not help you improve your game at the boards. Practice those weaker parts to your game in order to become a better overall player.

TIP! For basketball players with an advanced skill set, dribbling ends up being more mental than it does physical. You have to be able to do the math in your head about how to control the ball.

Basketball is appealing to people of all types. To really have a great experience and to fully appreciate the game is to acquire as much knowledge about it. Use these tips to become an even better basketball player.