Do you daydream of being the next Michael Jordan when you’re out on the basketball court? Don’t just dream about it, do it! Keep reading to see how.

TIP! Make sure your fingers are apart from one another when dribbling. The ball will not get away if you always keep your fingers spread when handling the ball.

It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Defense is what wins basketball games. Offense gets more attention, but the team is going to lose without a strong defense.

TIP! Being able to anticipate your opponent is a key skill. Make sure that you’ve watched tapes that show the other player.

A good tip is to practice your layups on a daily basis. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game. Don’t just walk through a layup drill. It is key to go at game tempo to practice the timing needed to maintain accuracy. Practicing your running and jumping as a single motion will improve your technique faster than practicing them separately.

TIP! Always have an awareness of the location and movement of your feet. This can help you avoid going out of bounds or making a bad pass.

Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. You can teach your body to make a free throw properly, but unless you are properly prepared mentally, you may not succeed. Take a deep breath, relax and imagine you are at practice to help yourself make the shot.

TIP! If you wish to dribble the ball better, you have to start using your hand that’s considered the weak one. You will be able to get past your opponent more easily if you can use either hand to dribble the ball.

Observing what the professionals do can be a great way to improve your game. Go to games, watch them on TV and you can also watch videos. Every truly great player has unique skills that you can learn from.

TIP! Build up your forearms to become a better ball handler. Wrist curls are great for working wrist muscles and improving your dribbling.

Practice catching passes as often as you can. While you are practicing, you should be sure to drill yourself on catching errant throws, as well as catching those perfect passes. When a game is underway, not every throw will be perfect. Be a better teammate by anticipating a bad pass to make sure it doesn’t get into the opponents hands.

TIP! To rebound off your fellow player’s free throws, use sly 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.

If you want to take jump shots, don’t spend time pumping iron. You do need muscle conditioning and strength, but you can have too much when it comes to shooting field goals. There have been instances where great shooters bulk up so much that it adversely affects their shooting percentage.

TIP! Always maintain a defensive stance when you are trying to properly defend the goal. Slide your feet from side to side or push off with your opposing foot so that you are always in position.

Would you like to pull one over on your opponents? Try a pass back! To accomplish this, grab the ball with the dominant hand. Pull it behind you. After determining which direction you want the ball to go, use a quick flick of your wrist to send it that way. This helps trick your opponents.

TIP! Alternating your pace is critical to keeping the defense guessing. When running towards the net, step on your front foot, and start to straighten up your body.

Avoid errant passes by using hand signals. Oftentimes frustration occurs when trying you aren’t on the same page with a teammate who cuts to the basketball when you try to pass him the ball. This can be prevented through the use of hand signals. If there is no signal, the player should not make the pass to them.

TIP! Always stay low when playing defensively. That helps you stay quick when it comes to the jump and will help you react more quickly to the person just ahead of you.

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. Trying to be tough so you can keep going, even when you’re just a little uncomfortable, can make an injury worse. See a doctor if the injury is serious enough.

TIP! Do not stop dribbling unless you’re going to shoot or pass. If you stop dribbling, then you don’t really have that many options.

Asking for feedback from coaches and teammates about your playing is important in order to become a stronger player. What areas are your strong points? Maybe you are quick like lightening or maybe you are a strong defender. Honest feedback can really help you to narrow in on areas where you might need a little extra help practicing.

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

Have your games taped so you can play them back later and observe your court presence. While reviewing the tape, look for opportunities you may have missed during the game. Look at how you did and judge yourself. Sometimes you have to face reality about your skills and just not dream about how you want to be.

Free Throws

TIP! Take control of opposing players’ movements. Whether you are playing offense or defense, gaining control over the path of your opponent is a critical skill.

To help you shoot better free throws you need to come up with a consistent routine. If you aren’t consistent, you won’t make the basket. You have to practice time and time again. Just keep repeating free throws, if you want to perfect that technique. If the routine is off in any way, then you’ll miss the shot.

TIP! Make sure you leap for a rebound while in control of your body, and try to land with balance, and you are more likely to end up with the ball. Use both feet when jumping; this improves both height and control.

To avoid turning the ball over to the other team, make sure that you’re dribbling hard. This causes the ball to return to your hand more quickly, so the offense has less time to try to get it away from you. When closely guarding another player, cease dribbling and pass it to another play on your team that’s open.

TIP! Learn to master the art of passing during game play. Passing helps confuse the opponent.

An excellent way to have proper defensive posture is to remain in the correct stance. To do this, avoid lurching or stepping across the floor; instead use smaller, shuffling steps to move with your opponent. Always keep your feet from crossing, and you will make it hard for any opponent to get past.

TIP! In order to beat a zone defense you must be able to get ball penetration into the lane. If you or another player can find a crease in the zone, the other team will have to swarm to the ball.

Never stop your dribble unless you are going to shoot or pass the ball. The moment you cease dribbling, you have given yourself very few options. Basically the only move you have at this point is to pivot while finding an opening to move the ball. This leaves an opening for your opponents to double team and try get the ball away from you.

TIP! When working out, make sure to jot down what you must achieve. A lot of players head to the gym without a plan.

When you’re getting down after catching the rebound, you should come down with spread out legs so that they’re wider than your shoulders to get good balance. Place your hands on both sides of the basketball while holding it close against your chest. Just make sure your elbows don’t hit the opposing player; this could be called a foul.

TIP! When you’re working on playing basketball, you have to know how to communicate. This should be done during your practices as well.

Have you learned some helpful tips? You must be self confident, and you must practice regularly. Show people what you got, and make sure you always remember the advice that you’ve read.