TIP! Dribbling the ball the right way needs to be done. Use the fingertips, not the palm, for the best dribbling.

Many people love basketball. Whether you’re playing or watching at home, basketball isn’t going anywhere. Naturally, most players strive to be excellent and help their team win. Check out the advice below to discover ways to help shift your game to that next gear.

TIP! Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. It is possible to practice the physical movements needed to make such a shot, but when your mental focus is lacking, you are likely to miss.

Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. You haven’t practiced enough if you keep looking at the basketball while you’re dribbling. The ball can go with you when you go anywhere. Dribble as you walk to the market. If you are staring at the ball, there is no way you can know what else is happening on the court.

TIP! You should practice pass catching regularly. When you practice, be sure to do drills that improve catching wild throws and making great passes.

Free throws are as mental as physical. It’s easy to physically train for a free throw, yet mental preparation is also needed. Take a deep breathe, relax and block out all outside distractions before taking the shot.

TIP! Are you interested in being able to fool the other team? Try doing a back pass! Hold the basketball with your writing hand. Move the ball so that it is behind you.

Don’t just practice playing against a zone defense. Zone play will be important, but man-to-man will pop up from time to time, too. If your practice hasn’t included this type of scenario, you might lose control rapidly.

TIP! When avoiding errant passes, use hand signals. One things that’s frustrating in basketball is passing to a teammate while they try heading to the basket.

Are you interested in being able to fool the other team? Try using a back pass! You want to grip the basketball with your strongest hand. Next, place the ball behind you. Next, snap your wrist in the direction you want the ball to be moved to. It is an effective means of confusing your opponents.

TIP! Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. This gives you better control of the ball.

You should ask your teammates about your strengths and weaknesses. Are you skilled at something? Perhaps you have good dribbling skills or maybe your footwork is enviable. Learn what the other people around you see while you are playing and it may open your eyes to new areas for practice.

TIP! Being able to anticipate your opponent is a key skill. Review videotapes and monitor scouting reports.

Remember to spread your fingers when handling the ball. 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! If you wish to do free throw shots reliably, always do the exact same thing before making each shot. This can be any combination of movements that makes you feel comfortable and prepare for the shot.

You can play a great defensive game if you know the opposition well. Watch taped games, and keep current with scouting reports. Keep track of which players are right hand dominant and which are left hand dominant. Once you understand the opposition, you will now how to mount your defense. Knowledge is power, even in basketball.

TIP! If the opposing team is guarding you to much, you can try a pass between your legs. Practice bouncing the basketball forcefully between your legs while stepping forwards and backwards.

Basketball players must be fast. Gaining agility and speed will give you the upper hand when playing a game of basketball. If you want to play the game fast, you need to drill continuously. Do not try playing faster than you can. Playing beyond your own capabilities sends the game spinning past your ability to control it, and turnovers are bound to occur.

Free Throw

TIP! Prevent the opposing team from stealing the ball by dribbling hard. The ball bounces faster, giving the guard less time to steal.

Create a routine to improve your free throw success. If you don’t have one, your accuracy may suffer. Practice and repetition are the only way to become a consistent free thrower. If your free throw routine is out of whack, you will miss.

TIP! Stay low when playing defense. This stance will keep you ready for whatever comes your way.

One good way to play good defense is to stay in the defensive stance at all times. To move, just slide from back and forth with your feet, or use a foot to push off, keeping your stance all the time. Don’t allow your feet to cross and opposing players will have difficulty getting around you.

TIP! As the point guard approaches within 10 feet of the middle of the court, your guards should take action and create a 2-3 trap. They should then trap the point guard.

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. Once he passes mid court the guards should rush up on him. Then, have the forwards on blocks run to the wing players. Your point guard must then launch a pass in a way that is easy for your forwards to steal.

TIP! Keep your knees loose when you dribble the ball. When you stand straight up, you’ll find that the ball is harder to control and the ball will be a lot easier for an opponent to steal.

You should make sure when practicing dribbling that you shift from one hand to the other. This will happen during games frequently. You might be able to go through an open court or have to switch sides to avoid opponents. Practice dribbling while leaning in many different directions. It really will get you out of some sticky situations.

TIP! To improve 3 point shooting, practice from NBA distance, at least. All other three point lines are closer than what the NBA uses.

As you’ve learned, there are various ways to better your game. Many require nothing more than a commitment to practicing them often. Practice is essential to mastering any of these, so be sure that you’ve got access to a hoop and try to play basketball when you can. You can build better basketball skills no matter who you practice with.