TIP! Practice shooting free throws. This is one of those shots that seem easy but in real life are difficult.

The sport of basketball is extremely popular. No matter if you prefer to watch games on television, play in a pick-up game on weekends or shoot baskets in the driveway, you likely know that basketball isn’t going anywhere. Those who play would prefer to become better players and win games. Use these basketball tips to enhance your understanding and love for this incredible sport.

TIP! Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. It’s easy to physically train for a free throw, yet mental preparation is also needed.

Balance is vital to good shooting. You’ve seen the pros fall out of bounds when trying to shoot 30 feet from the basket; this is a bad move. They are going with the flow when this occurs. You need to maintain good balance while shooting, which is sure to produce greater consistency.

TIP! Practice the skill of pass catching. When you practice, be sure to do drills that improve catching wild throws and making great passes.

Teach yourself how a bounce pass can be properly thrown. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist. Aim for a firm bounce pass that hits the ground around 3/4 of the distance between you and the intended player. There are other things to keep in mind, though.

TIP! You may have better luck honing your passing skills if you forgo dribbling during practice. It is tough to play when not dribbling, but your accuracy is sure to inprove.

Make sure that your regular practice includes catching of passes. While you are practicing, you should be sure to drill yourself on catching errant throws, as well as catching those perfect passes. During a game, not all of your passes will hit the mark. So you should do the team a favor by knowing how to take in any kind of a pass that comes from someone.

TIP! Hand signals can help stop you from turning the ball over. One things that’s frustrating in basketball is passing to a teammate while they try heading to the basket.

Learn good passing by drilling often without dribbling. Playing without any dribbling is very hard, but builds your passing skills. Keep your emotions in check if quality passing is not happening right away as it takes time to perfect this part of the game.

TIP! Focus on your footwork and your core strength in your workouts. When your core is strengthened, you will have more balance and be able to move more swiftly.

Need to dupe the opposition? You should try a back pass. To start, grab the ball using your good hand. Next get the ball pulled up behind the back. And last, flick the wrist in the direction you want the ball to go. This is a very useful trick to confuse the opposing team.

TIP! One thing to consider if your shooting percentage drops is that your shoulders may be inconsistent when you are shooting. If your shoulders aren’t properly positioned, your shot is not going to go in.

Hand signals can help stop you from turning the ball over. Often in basketball, a player makes a pass at the exact same time the receiving player heads to another part of the court. Hand signals help ensure that the player is ready to take the ball. If the player does not flash the signal, then the player can avoid an errant pass.

TIP! A good way to see yourself playing is to have someone record your games. Can you see chances that you missed or ways that you could have done better? Appraise your performance honestly but don’t be overly harsh with yourself.

Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. You are more likely to hold onto the ball this way. Also, keep your palm off the ball. Remember to maintain contact with the ball through your fingers only.

TIP! To make your layups count the most, take off from the foot opposite your shooting hand. So, if you shoot using your left hand, launch with your right foot.

Play a good defense by knowing your opponent. Watch games if you can and look at their tendencies. Also know which is their dominant and weak hands. The more you understand what you are up against, the more likely you are to develop an effective strategy during games. The more knowledgeable a defender is, the stronger he is.

TIP! A good player on defense will annoy the heck out of the opponent and cause the other team to get flustered. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position.

Work on core strength when you work out. Your body will naturally balance well if you have strong core muscles. Exercise your abdominal muscles as well as those of the hips, buttocks and back. To help get even quicker and have better footwork you can jump rope.

TIP! Mix things up offensively to keep the other team’s defense off-balance. As you approach the goal, plant your foot and then straighten up.

Clearly, there are quite a few ways to help yourself play a better game. Some skills can be learned by repetition. It’s important to practice to become the best you can be at basketball. Whether it is team practice or practice with your friends, it all works to improve your prowess on the court.