TIP! Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. Looking at your ball when you dribble indicates that you haven’t practiced enough.

Basketball is unlike any other sport. There is more to the game that learning to shooting, dribbling and passing. Sooner or later, you need to seek out new ideas. There is still a lot more to learn, and the following tips will show you how.

TIP! Better your basketball skills by watching the pros play. Watch some games on TV, view videos of professional games, and go to some games.

Many people forget that defense is as important as offense during practice. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring. Without good defense, a basketball team will lose the match.

TIP! If you get hurt during a basketball game, don’t try to play while in pain. Basketball is very challenging physically, and this can cause further serious injury.

Figure out how to perfect your free throw. It looks simple to do, but it isn’t that easy. Try using this technique in practicing. Hold the ball level with your face. Eye the basket and imagine the ball swishing down into it. Then shoot! Shoot the ball in the trajectory you imagined.

TIP! Consistency in your approach is vital to becoming solid at free throws. Focus on your shot and eliminate all outside distractions.

Improving your balance means improving your shots. Many the professional player can be seen slipping out of bounds or making baskets from far away, but these are not proper techniques. They are professionals, and they are able to improvise successfully. You need to be balanced properly if you’re going to be making shots, so that over time you’ll be able to always hit the basket.

TIP! Practice looking in a different direction when you pass. It can be very confusing to your opponents.

Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups. Run full tilt to the basket, then smoothly jump and shoot. Practicing the running and jumping method will help you shoot better this way in a game.

TIP! Consistent free throws require a consistent technique. A consistent routine enables the shooter to have a perfect motion every time.

Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. 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! In order to play defense successfully, you must be able to disrupt the game of your opponent. You should work to make your opponent feel uncomfortable.

You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. While you might see a zone defense mostly, a team can switch defenses to man-to-man quickly in order to confuse you. If your practice hasn’t included this type of scenario, you might lose control rapidly.

TIP! You must be able to box out other players when attempting to rebound free throws. Be aware that the defender who is below you will start moving in your direction.

Use hand signals to avoid errant passes. It’s frustrating to pass to your teammate at the very moment they’re heading toward the basket. A simple hand gesture can let your teammate know you’re ready for the pass. No signal, no pass.

TIP! Change up your pace so that you are not predictable to the offense. As you run towards the net, plant your front foot and begin to straighten up.

To hold the ball right, spread your fingers out. This makes sure that it does not escape away from your grip. Your palm should touch the ball as little as possible. Your fingers should be all that is holding the ball when you pass it or shoot it.

TIP! To enhance your skills at shooting the ball from the outside, run drills every day from different locations on the court. To improve even more, practice dribbling the basketball and then pull up fast for a quick shot.

Focus on your footwork and your core strength in your workouts. Your body will naturally balance well if you have strong core muscles. Focus on the back, buttocks, and hip muscle groups. You will improve your speed and footwork if you jump rope like boxers do.

TIP! Stay low and dribble the ball below the level of your knees. This makes it more difficult for your opponents to steal the ball.

If you find yourself unable to shoot well, consider your shoulders. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot. Keep your shoulders squared with the basket at all times. The dominant shoulder must be perfectly aligned with the rim.

TIP! Make sure your dribble is consistent until you decide to shake up the opposing player. A consistent pace for your dribble will lull your opponent, and help you move more quickly than they do when the time comes.

Practice your footwork and control the position of your feet at all times. This can help you avoid going out of bounds or making a bad pass. Going too many steps with no dribbling is a waking call and turnover situation. Avoid lifting your feet when you are screening or in position for a charge or the foul will be called on you instead of your opponent.

TIP! Make strong team environments off and on the court. When a basketball team is totally in sync, the game is taken to a higher level.

To increase your basketball playing abilities, consider strength training exercises. Strength, flexibility and stamina are all important things to have in basketball. Even kids can benefit by getting stronger through exercise. When they become teenagers, they will be able to step up to weight work to become even stronger. Playing as an adult, it is important that you focus on your stamina for optimal performance.

TIP! You need to learn how to change your opponent’s personal path. No matter what position you play, the ability to control other players is essential.

You can strengthen you weaker hand by using it as much as possible, for instance open jars or even brush your teeth. If your ability to use that hand starts to improve, the benefits to your basketball playing talents will be substantial. This will make you a force to be reckoned with on the court.

TIP! Don’t double dribble. A double dribble is when you stop dribbling, then start again.

If possible, keep the ball below your knees. This prevents your opponents from stealing the ball. This also allows you to cover large distances across the court, which makes it difficult for opposing players o block you.

TIP! Always focus on where the ball is going after it leaves your teammates hands or the opposing players hands. Rebounds are terribly important to the game.

Make sure your dribble is consistent until you decide to shake up the opposing player. Your opponent is looking for the best opportunity to steal the ball, and switching it up can break their concentration. The speed is important, but it works in tandem with the sound to disorient the player who is guarding you.

TIP! You need to learn to pass effectively in order to play a better game of basketball. Passing keeps your opponent guessing and on their toes.

Forge a strong bond between teammates, whether you are playing the game or off the court. When your team is of one accord, your game will be the best possible. When you feel like your team is part of your family, you have mutual trust. This bond will bring your game to new levels.

TIP! You must know how to pivot correctly when playing basketball. Work on your footwork to be able to move smoothly.

Always know where the basketball is headed when it leaves a players hands. Rebounds are one of the most important parts of the game. It does not matter how well you defend when the opponent takes a shot and misses, if you cannot get the ball back.

TIP! When you’re playing defense, one of the best things you can do is force your opponent to the sideline. When you let a player come down the middle, they will have options.

With all of the knowledge you have in front of you now, only you can decide your future. Set reasonable goals and practice regularly to become the best player possible. When you add in these tips and start using them within your strategy, your game will start to show the improvements you always wanted to see.