TIP! Look forward when dribbling. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet.

It’s important to do research about basketball before you start playing. Why would you expect to become a great basketball player if you don’t research the game? This piece is full of ideas the pros utilize to improve their own game.

TIP! Lifting weights too much can actually take away from your jump shot. It’s possible to have excessive muscles when you play the perimeter.

It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Defense can make or break a basketball game. Even though everyone loves to watch offense, defense is what wins you most games.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. This sport is physically demanding and you can become injured.

Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. Anyone who watching the ball while they dribble surely needs to spend more time in the gym practicing. Bring the basketball with you everywhere you go. If you walk to the store, dribble the ball. Don’t look while dribbling, because you won’t be able to see what’s going on.

TIP! Turning away from the ball can be a costly mistake in basketball. This will make you more aware of the court and you won’t be surprised when turnover potentials come up or quick passes.

Free throws are as mental as physical. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game. Stay focused and vigilant to improve your ability to make free throws.

TIP! Study you opponent well to give yourself an edge. You can read scouting reports and watch tapes to evaluate your opponents game.

If you’re a jump shooter, don’t lift weights too often. Muscle flexibility is more important than muscle mass. Some pro shooting guards make their arms large enough to decrease their own field goal percentage.

TIP! Ask a friend to record your games so that you can see how yourself in action. Are you able to see missed opportunities or ways in which you could have improved? Don’t get yourself down about your performance, but stay honest with yourself concerning where your game needs some work.

Have other players give you information about what they think are your strengths and weaknesses. Are you skilled at something? Maybe you are quick like lightening or maybe you are a strong defender. Learn what other’s see as your natural skills and make sure to keep and develop those skills more fully.

TIP! Passing between the legs is something that helps when you have defense all over you. Step forward and back while dribbling the ball between your legs hard.

If you want to correctly handle the ball, you need to know where to place your fingers. This can help you avoid losing it when you hold it. Additionally, the palm of your hand should not come into contact with the ball. Remember to maintain contact with the ball through your fingers only.

TIP! Being a good defensive player involves disrupting your opponent’s concentration. Make them feel uncomfortable and to where they’re second guessing their next move.

Watch tapes of yourself playing basketball to get a more objective perspective. On tape, you can see all the opportunities you passed and how things could have gone better. Appraise your performance honestly but don’t be overly harsh with yourself. Sometimes it’s beneficial to look at yourself the way you really look and not just like you think you look.

Free Throws

TIP! When you dribble, keep your knees comfortably bent. When you are rigid, the ball is not only hard to control, it is also an easier target for a rival to steal.

Having a pre-free-throw shot routine will help you become dependable at free throws. Whatever you do, from bending your knees to dribbling three times, do every time. This routine will help you make your free throws, but make the routine a quick one.

TIP! Make sure you don’t pick up your dribble unless you are prepared for a shot or pass. When you stop, your options are limited.

Practice passing while not looking in the direction of the pass. This will easily confuse your opponents. If you do it right, the look makes members of the opposing team look in the wrong direction, which gives the person to whom you passed the ball plenty of time to make the shot. If you can master this move, it can really work in your favor.

TIP! Keep the ball below knee level if possible. The opposing team will have a harder time separating the ball from you.

Practice dribbling with both hands, dribble on both sides of your body and learn to dribble in front of you while taking large strides. If you have two hands that can dribble the ball effortlessly then it becomes easier to get by your opponent. You can focus on the strength of your weak hand by tying your dominant hand behind your back. In no time, the weak hand will also be useful for dribbling.

TIP! Use workouts to better your game. For example, you can improve individual plays with sprinting.

In order to be good at rebounding the ball off a missed free throw, you must be quick with your feet. You’ll have a defender coming at you and this means you have to figure out what can be done to get around them. This allows you to secure the rebound without finding yourself penalized.

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

Dribbling hard helps you protect the ball. A hard dribble returns the ball back to you faster, leaving less chance of it being snatched by the other team. If the defense gets to be too much, look to pass the ball to someone who is open.

TIP! When shooting the ball you have to be sure not to get nervous. You have to focus directly on the basket.

In order to ensure that you are always ready to defend, keep your stance at all times. Slide both feet side to side, or just push off using the opposite foot. Keep your feet from crossing to make it hard for your opponent to get by you.

TIP! If the person you’re guarding is bigger than you are, put your body between this person and the player with the ball. This will stop them from being open for a pass, ensuring that they don’t get the ball as they would likely be able to shoot it right over you.

Make sure that the pace changes when you are on defense. You can try faking a jump shot by planting quickly, and straightening your body. Your guard will do the same, thinking you plan to stop. Once that happens, switch tactics and move forward. You should go right past them.

Strength Training

TIP! If a team is good at defending their zone, you need to attack with a penetrating dribble. Getting past your defender and in the lane will make the other team collapse on the basketball or shift.

Basketball players need to engage in strength training. It is impossible to succeed if you lack endurance and strength. Even the youngest kids that play will benefit from the game. As they grow and become teenagers, weight-lifting can be beneficial. As an adult, strength training becomes vital in order to play your best basketball.

TIP! Do not argue with game officials. You can disagree with their call and you can ask them questions.

Basketball is similar to fixing a car alone where you have an unmatched sense of pride. This feeling can only be rivaled if you’re able to succeed in playing basketball well. This can help you to impress your teammates, and help you to win games.