TIP! Learn the best way to make your free throws. This is one of those shots that seem easy but in real life are difficult.

As far as basketball goes, the best players don’t even know everything about the sport. Not only must you know the basics of basketball, you must also keep up with the many and frequent changes as they evolve. Do you want to beat your opponents more frequently? Make sure to read on so you can learn the techniques to bring your game to the next level.

TIP! When dribbling, make sure that you look forward and keep your head up. You haven’t practiced enough if you keep looking at the basketball while you’re dribbling.

It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball. Without good defense, a basketball team will lose the match.

TIP! If you hold the ball a lot, you have to learn crossovers. A crossover is when you move the ball from one hand to the other.

Free throw practice is vitally important. This seems like an easy shot, but it is quite hard. Use the following directions to perfect free throws and practice often. First, hold the ball just above your nose, about 8 inches from your face. There may be a number of distractions so you need to focus on your goal. You should then shoot and try following the trajectory you visualized.

TIP! You can learn to trick the opposing team. Give the back pass a try! Use the dominant hand whenever trying a behind the back pass.

Look forward when dribbling. If you must look at the ball while dribbling, you haven’t practiced enough. Always have a basketball handy. Walking to your mailbox? Dribble the ball. If you have to watch the ball, you will be unable to see whatever is going on at court level.

TIP! Good footwork is important when you’re posting up in the paint. Although a strong presence in the key is important, beating your opponent to good spots on the floor is more important.

Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. You must train both your body and your mind. Relax and focus on the net, and you’ll be able to make more.

TIP! If you’re looking to be the best defensive player that you can be, you’ll want to know your opponent. You should be look at scouting reports, practicing techniques and watch tapes.

Watch the pro’s play if you want to improve your game. Try to go to games, watch televised games, or check out videos of the pros playing. When you find a player who has the skills that you want, then watch them and emulate.

TIP! For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. Perhaps you will dribble twice, follow up by bending your knees, pulling your earlobe or performing some other ritualistic action for good luck.

You need to practice more than defeating a zone defense. Always try to anticipate when your opponent is going to switch up their game to catch you off guard. If you haven’t trained yourself to counter this, you could lose any control you have over the game.

Strong Core

TIP! Get into a consistent routine to improve your free throw shots. Inconsistency does not make a better shot.

Basketball players need to build strong core muscles. The core is the following areas: abdominal muscles, lower back muscles and hip muscles. The core connects the lower extremities to the upper extremities. Without a strong core, your performance may be limited. Building a solid core helps maintain the leg strength that lies at the core of a strong game.

TIP! Dribble harder if you want to avoid the ball being stolen. This speeds up the dribbling cycle, which means the person covering you has less of a chance to steal the ball each cycle.

To make sure there are no errant passes, use hand signals. It’s frustrating to pass to your teammate at the very moment they’re heading toward the basket. This can be prevented through the use of hand signals. Without a signal, you should not attempt to pass the ball to a player.

TIP! A powerful play called the trapping machine, is to have your guards wait for the point guard to come just past midcourt. Once your opponent is trapped, he will have no option but to make a pass.

If you don’t want someone to steal the ball, dribble hard. This causes the ball to return to your hand more quickly, so the offense has less time to try to get it away from you. If your opponent is playing you up close, stop what you’re doing and quickly look to find and open teammate to pass the ball to.

TIP! Never stop your dribble unless you are going to shoot or pass the ball. You are limited once you cease dribbling.

Be sure that you’re able to see clearly. Vision is an integral part of making shots and catching passes. You want to make sure that you see what is going on to the sides of you. Being aware of the entire court will help you to better anticipate who will move where.

TIP! Be certain to practice moves off the court that will truly help you on the court. Running for short quick bursts at a time will help you become quicker, and running long distance can help with stamina.

To increase the strength of your weaker hand, utilize it for doing everything, including brushing your teeth and opening jars. If you’re able to do more with your other hand daily, you can start controlling it better. Keeping your opponents on their toes is an important part of basketball.

TIP! Keep a rhythm while dribbling to throw your opponents off. 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.

Use the NBA three point line when practicing your shots. The standard line and college lines are much closer. If you’re able to get the shot from where the NBA shoots, then you can start working from a range further than the defense expects.

TIP! Mix up different shots from all over the court when you practice shooting. Practice your grip and balance first.

The only way to gain skill in outside shooting is to make over 100 practice shots every day from various spots on the court. If you wish to get even better at this, try dribbling and then stopping to make a quick shot. While in the air check out your target, but never before that. All these techniques give you the feel of actual game play, and this will help you become more accurate.

TIP! As you come down from catching a rebound, land with your legs spread wider than the span of your shoulders to increase your balance. Hold the ball next to your chest with your hand on either side.

Only stop dribbling if you want to shoot or pass. When you stop, your options are limited. If you don’t shoot or pass, you are going to be pivoting with your back foot. This will leave you open for double teaming from opponents and you may lose control of the ball.

TIP! Having good positioning on the court when trying to grab a rebound will help you keep the ball. Improve your balance and power by jumping using both feet.

Make sure that you are exercising properly for basketball. Running for long distances will increase your stamina, while running sprints will help you with fast-paced moves. To play more physically, lift weights to make yourself a more dominating presence. Practicing will also build your confidence when shooting.

TIP! Stand between the person with the ball and the one you are supposed to be guarding. This prevents them from getting easy passes, and hopefully prevents them from catching the ball and shooting it over your head.

Hopefully, you are more confident with your basketball skill after reading the above tips. These techniques will help improve your game. Don’t ever stop learning and practicing. Take the game to new heights, and keep this advice in mind when you start.