All around the world, millions of people enjoy the sport of basketball. You can play with friends or even as a job. Read this article for great basketball advice.

TIP! Find out how to make free throw shots. This is one of those shots that seem easy but in real life are difficult.

Watch your form while you dribble the ball. When dribbling the basketball, use your fingertips rather than the palm of your hand. You retain much more ball control this way. Keeping the ball to your side will help it from getting in the way. Never look at the ground. Always look up.

TIP! Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. Being able to dribble the ball with both hands and crossover between the two will make you a better player.

Balance is essential to shooting. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score. They are improvising. Non-professionals should focus on having good balance to ensure good shots. As time passes, you will make more and more baskets with this method.

TIP! Don’t bulk up if you want to be good as a jump shooter. Being weighed down by too much bulky muscle can have a negative impact on your jump shot.

A good tip is to practice your layups on a daily basis. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. Drill the jumping technique regularly so you can do layups very smoothly and always stay in control of where the ball is going.

Practice Catching

TIP! One way to get a good understanding of your game is to ask your fellow players about your ability. You may have a certain skill that you have perfected.

It is important to practice catching the ball from others as much as passing. You want to practice catching perfect passes and bad passes. When playing in the game, it’s rare that every pass will hit a bulls-eye. Help your team by learning to catch those bad passes, as well as those perfect passes.

TIP! A great way to stay prepared at all times is to always face the ball. This provides court awareness and prevents you from unexpected turnovers or quick passes.

Would you like to pull one over on the other team? Try doing a back pass! To start, grab the ball using your good hand. Then, bring the ball back behind you. Pass the ball from behind your back by flicking your wrist in the direction you want the ball to go. It can be a dangerous maneuver that catches the other team off guard.

TIP! When trying to improve your strength to have better basketball footwork, work on building up your core. With a stronger core, you’ll be able to balance better.

Make sure, no matter what else happens, you can see where the ball is. Passes and turnovers won’t take you by surprise because you will be more aware of what is happening on the court. Keep an eye open for easy shots.

TIP! Always be sure of where you’re placing your feet so you’re aware of what they’re doing. If you step on the baseline, you will be out of bounds.

You can improve your control of the ball by spreading your fingers. You will have better luck holding onto the ball as well. Avoid putting your palm on the ball, too. Your fingers must be the only things contacting it when you shoot or pass the ball at the target.

TIP! Have someone taper your games and then watch it to see how you look on the court. On tape, you can see all the opportunities you passed and how things could have gone better.

Understanding the opponent is a good way to win with defense. Review videotapes and monitor scouting reports. Find out who are the right-handed or left-handed players. Once you start to get to know the other team, you can do a lot better when you’re on defense. A person that knows about defending makes a strong defender.

TIP! To become a better free throw shooter, use the same routine prior to every shot. Whatever you do, from bending your knees to dribbling three times, do every time.

When doing a layup, start running using the weaker of your two feet. Practice shooting using your right hand, then jump off your left foot. This will keep you balanced and going towards the basket.

TIP! When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. Use your left foot when shooting with the right hand.

In order to play defense successfully, you must be able to disrupt the game of your opponent. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position. Use aggression with your moves. Do not let them choose the plays to make. If you let them control the game, you will lose. Instead, you move first and throw them off their game.

TIP! A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. A routine that is constantly in flux will only open up more opportunities for failure.

Be sly on your soles to catch rebounds from free-throws your own team members are making. As you see the defender moving in, quickly slip around to grab the ball. You’ll be able to grab the rebound without fouling your opponent.

TIP! Good footwork can really help you to get those rebounds. Be aware that the defender who is below you will start moving in your direction.

Never pass up a charging opportunity. Taking a charge allows you a chance to earn a defensive stop, take the ball for your team, and sets up one more foul against the opponent. This can have a major impact on the other team psychologically, and it can be a powerful play as well.

Strength Training

TIP! Varying your pace and direction keeps the offense off guard. When running toward the hoop, plant your leading foot and start to straighten up.

You can really up your performance on the court by doing strength training. Strength, flexibility and stamina are all important things to have in basketball. Young children that play can even benefit from strengthening arms and legs through proper exercise. Adding weights in stronger increments is effective as the child becomes a teenager. As an adult, a player must continue strength training for optimum performance.

TIP! If you wish to get your weaker hand built up, you need to use it to brush your teeth and to do other simple tasks. These tasks help to make your weaker hand feel more natural when you use it on the court.

To trap with a 2-3 zone, have your guards cover the point guard once he gets a few feet past midcourt. At that point, both guards should move in for the trap. Your forwards can sprint to block the player on both sides. By doing this, you increase the chances for your big men to steal the pass from the point guard.

TIP! Be sure you’re doing the right kinds of exercises off the court to help you on it. Sprints helps with individual plays, and long-distance running gives you stamina.

Keep on dribbling until your shot or passing opportunity is imminent. You do not have many options after you stop dribbling. You can’t do anything but pivot if you don’t shoot or pass. This makes you open up to people that want to double team you and that means you are also more likely to get the ball stolen.

TIP! Maintain strong team camaraderie both on and away from the court. A team that works together is an unstoppable team.

Now you know how to better your game. All you need to do is work hard and use what you have learned. After you get going, you are sure to start playing more often than ever before. Hit the court and enjoy yourself!