TIP! Proper balance is essential when shooting. You have seen how pros shoot a basket from thirty feet away and fall out of bounds, which is not the right technique.

Basketball is loved by many, in part because of how quickly things happen in the game. But, to really play it well, there are several things to keep in mind. Read these tips to turn your weaknesses into strengths and be the best player possible.

TIP! Perfect your layup technique. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball.

Be sure to dribble correctly every time. Use the fingertips, not the palm, for the best dribbling. Using your fingertips provides you with more control. You should be dribbling the ball at your side instead of in front of your body. The ball should always be dribbled at waist level. Look up and never down at the ground.

TIP! Making a free throw takes mental concentration as well as physical prowess. You can practice for hours on how to make the shot, but if you over think things or get distracted you will miss every time.

You can improve your skills by paying attention to how the pros play. You can do this by watching games in person and on television. You will notice great skills from different players that you can practice.

TIP! How would you like to trick the opposing team? How about the behind the back pass? Use the dominant hand to hold onto the basketball when trying this pass. Now hold the ball behind you.

Shake things up rather than focusing solely on a zone defense. You can count on quite a bit of the game being played in zone; however, you should not be surprised if it becomes one-on-one coverage just for the sake of confusion. You might lose your control of the court if the other team use this technique, unless you are ready for this possibility.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. It is possible to receive an injury when playing basketball because it is a sport that is physically challenging.

You should ask your teammates about your strengths and weaknesses. Is there something that you excel at? You may be quick with your footwork or are always there for backing them up. Honest feedback can really help you to narrow in on areas where you might need a little extra help practicing.

TIP! Asking for feedback from coaches and teammates about your playing is important in order to become a stronger player. What do you need to focus in on and practice more? They may say that you are a great team defender or are always playing with excellent speed.

A smart tip to follow while playing basketball is to always keep your eye on the ball and not away from the play. That will keep you aware, so you don’t get surprised by turnovers or quick passes. Always scout the court for areas that will open up and allow you to make a clear shot.

TIP! Practice looking in the opposite direction when you make a pass. This may confuse your opponents, greatly.

One thing to consider if your shooting percentage drops is that your shoulders may be inconsistent when you are shooting. Shoulders are the key to a consistently successful shot. Be sure that your shoulders square up in front of the hoop. You should also make sure that your dominant shoulder is lined up with the rim.

TIP! Create a routine to improve your free throw success. A routine that is constantly in flux will only open up more opportunities for failure.

Ask someone to take a video of you playing and watch it. This way, you have the opportunity to go through your play at a later time and see your mistakes. Be honest with yourself, but avoid being too critical. Analyze your skills honestly so you can become the player you want to be.

TIP! If you want to dribble the basketball better, you need to practice dribbling with your weaker hand. If you’re using both hands to dribble the ball well then you can get by an opponent easily.

Practice passing while looking in other directions. This can go a long way toward confusing the opposition. You give your teammate a better chance to make the shot because the opposing player is moving the wrong direction when you pass the ball. It can be quite powerful.

TIP! You want to keep your vision completely clear at all times. This will prepare you for unexpected passes and help you evade defenders.

To generate consistency with layups, leap from the opposite foot from the hand you use to shoot. Thus, if you tend to shoot with the right hand, make sure to jump off with the left. This keeps your body balanced and moving toward the basket and keeps your body between yourself and your defender.

TIP! Mix things up offensively to keep the other team’s defense off-balance. When you’re going towards the net you should plant the foot in front and start straightening up.

Dribble with force to prevent the ball from being stolen. This makes the ball go back to your hand quicker, so offense has reduced chances at taking it from you. When you are being guarded closely, pass the ball.

TIP! Bend your knees when dribbling the basketball. When you are rigid, the ball is not only hard to control, it is also an easier target for a rival to steal.

Try to get the basketball from one side of the court to the other in about five dribbles. This may be difficult in the beginning, but if you manage it, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with. That translates to smooth layups during fast breaks.

TIP! Always set your three-point shooting practice goal at the official NBA distance. All other distance lines, high school, college and International, are not as far.

Be certain that your vision is the best it can be. This means more than just being able to see well enough to play, but “seeing” the court deeply. Your peripheral vision should be up to par. When you can see the big picture, you can react to anything.

TIP! Always practice from all spots on the court. The first thing to do is work on balance and grip.

Alternating your pace is critical to keeping the defense guessing. As you are heading towards the net, straighten up and plant down your foot. This will make the guard think you’re slowing down, then they will straighten their body too. When they do this, push yourself forward and take the chance to run by them.

Strength Training

TIP! If you notice that a player is weaker with one hand, put them in a situation where they will have to use that hand. If they are right handed, step towards them with your left foot so they have to switch sides.

If you play basketball, you should incorporate strength training into your workout routine. Conditioning training will also increase your stamina. Even the youngest players need to have strong arms and legs. As they become adolescents, let them start using weights for added benefits. Adult players must use strength training to prevent loss of mobility, speed, and power.

TIP! If you want to be a great player, you need to pivot. You must practice footwork so you can pivot without a thought and never become confused or entangled.

When you are on defense, make sure to keep yourself low. Staying low will help you to be a more swift opponent when you mirror the man standing in your path. Maintain proper defensive position at all times. You may have to break your stance if you must block a shot, but return as fast as you can.

Stop Dribbling

TIP! Make sure you put the pressure on when your team is on defense. If you’re close up to him, he can only dribble or at most hold the ball five seconds.

Only stop dribbling when you are prepared to shoot or pass the ball. If you stop dribbling, then you don’t really have that many options. If you don’t shoot or pass, you can only pivot using your back foot. Then, you will be vulnerable to being double teamed by the opposition, and you are likely to have the ball stolen.

TIP! Remember, basketball is played by a team. Even professional basketball players understand the important roles that their teammates play.

As shown in this article, basketball is among the most loved sports around the world. This article has also proven that you need knowledge on this sport if you want to play like a pro. Use these tips to play the game better than you ever thought possible.