TIP! Get good at making free throws. This kind of shot seems easy, but it really is not.

Have you imagined you were LeBron James, Michael Jordan or another celeb on the court? Don’t just dream about improving your game; instead, take the pointers and learn how you can get out there and practice right now. This article will tell you how to master the game of basketball.

TIP! If you want to excel, you have to play to your strengths. You might not have star ability, but you can be an outstanding team player.

Always keep your head up when dribbling instead of focusing on the ball. Looking at your ball when you dribble indicates that you haven’t practiced enough. You can practice dribbling almost anywhere. Whenever you are walking and it is appropriate, dribble there. Always look ahead when you are dribbling the ball.

TIP! There is a lot of pressure when shooting free throws. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss.

Practice your layup shot often. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. Perfecting this skill will enable you to get to the rim effortlessly during a game.

TIP! Are you interested in being able to fool the other team? Back passes can give your team the opportunity to score while the other team is still wondering what happened. Perform this pass by holding the ball using your dominant hand.

Don’t just practice playing against a zone defense. Most of the game is played in zone, but your opponent may try to switch things up to do man-to-man coverage. You might lose your control of the court if the other team use this technique, unless you are ready for this possibility.

TIP! Avoid turning away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what occurs on the court. This will give you court awareness and keep you from being surprised by quick passes or turnover potentials.

Don’t pump too much iron if you plan on being a jump shooter. Though muscle strength is great to have with any sport, it is very possible to be too buff for serious game play. Overdeveloped muscles could actually interfere with your score percentage.

TIP! Knowing your opponent is the best way to play a tough defensive game. Make sure that you’ve watched tapes that show the other player.

One great thing to do if you wish to be prepared while playing is to make sure your back isn’t turned to the ball. It’s all about court awareness, and always facing the ball will make it so you are less surprised by passes. That means less turnovers. Keep an eye open for easy shots.

TIP! Watch your shoulders if you obtain a shooting slump. If your shoulders aren’t properly positioned, your shot is not going to go in.

One thing to consider if your shooting percentage drops is that your shoulders may be inconsistent when you are shooting. If you do not have your shoulders positioned properly, you will not make the shot. You’ll want to ensure that your shoulders are squared up towards the hoops. You want your strong-side shoulder in perfect alignment with the rim.

TIP! Speed is a key attribute in the game of basketball. You’ll have an advantage if you’re faster than an opponent.

Speed is one of the best virtues when playing basketball. Try to outplay your opponents by being fast to win the game. In order to be fast, you must constantly do drills. Never try though to get too fast that you can’t make any plays. By playing beyond your speed capabilities, you will quickly lose control of the ball, which will lead to bad passes, bad shots, and turnovers.

TIP! Between the leg passes are usually helpful when another team’s players are riding you hard. Refine this skill by bouncing a ball with force between the legs while stepping backwards or forwards.

If you wish to dribble the ball better, you have to start using your hand that’s considered the weak one. Opponents are a lot easier to blow by when you can dribble with ease using both hands. If you find it difficult to continue using your weak hand, make your strong hand unusable. You will quickly strengthen your non-dominant hand for dribbling.

TIP! You can really up your performance on the court by doing strength training. Conditioning training will also increase your stamina.

You need to mess with your opponent’s head. Don’t let your opponent get comfortable out there on the court. Be assertive and focused within the rules, aggressively keeping your player off balance. Don’t let them choose what plays to make. The more aggressively smart team is usually the one who wins. You need to adopt an aggressive style and react quickly so you can interrupt the patterns set by your opponents.

TIP! Using your weak hand to brush your teeth can help you build skills with that hand. You’ll find it becomes more controllable.

Be sly on your soles to catch rebounds from free-throws your own team members are making. Your defender will move towards you, so figure out how to slither past him and grab the ball. This allows you to grab the rebound legally.

TIP! Keep dribbling until it is time to shoot or pass the ball. After dribbling is stopped, your choices are very limited.

Practice drills where you strive to make it across the full court within 5 dribbles. This will help you to gain speed, stride length and control of the ball. This will help you accomplish great layups on those fast breaks.

TIP! Control the ball at a level that is below your knees. This makes it more difficult for the opponent to take the ball.

When you have the chance, take charge. By taking a charge, your team will get the ball. This play can give your team a psychological boost, as well as demoralizing the other team.

TIP! If you want to perform your best in basketball, you need to eat well. Playing basketball uses a lot of energy, so it is important that you eat a lot of carbs, lean meats and protein.

One good way to play good defense is to stay in the defensive stance at all times. You can shuffle your feet to either side, or push with your opposing foot, so you will be ready and in position. Keep in mind that your feet shouldn’t cross and this should make you good at defense.

Strength Training

TIP! Try to stay calm as you shoot. Keep your eyes on the rim and don’t lose focus.

If you play basketball, you should incorporate strength training into your workout routine. Those who do very well at this sport have a combination of stamina and strength. Basketball requires a lot of sprinting and jumping. As the teenage years approach, weights can be used for even greater impact. As an adult, a player must continue strength training for optimum performance.

TIP! When playing defense, focus on forcing your opponent onto the sidelines. If you let someone shoot down the middle, you lose control.

To create a trapping machine in a standard 2-3 zone, have your two top defenders or your guards wait until point guard is about 10 feet from the time line or midcourt. They can then trap the point guard. Have forwards sprint to players on the wing. Your forwards should easily be able to steal the pass that the point guard throws.

TIP! When working out, make sure to jot down what you must achieve. Frequently, players visit the gym without any plan in mind.

This article can give you many pointers in the right direction. Consistency and confidence go a long way in making you a skilled, successful player. Play your best game of basketball using the information you learned here.