TIP! It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. Many times, defense actually wins the game.

Basketball is a widely popular sport with many fans. It is important to make the games exciting for the spectators. Every member of a basketball team has strengths and weaknesses, so take stock of your skill and determine what you need to practice. These tips will help you become a better basketball player.

TIP! Learn the mechanics of a free throw. That’s a shot that appears simple but is actually difficult in reality.

Practice shooting free throws. This seemingly simple shot can be difficult to execute under game conditions. When practicing your free throw, concentrate on where you want the ball to go when it leaves your hands. Hold the ball level to your face. Have your eyes on your goal and picture your ball going into it. You should then shoot and try following the trajectory you visualized.

TIP! Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. By focusing your sight on the ball, you cannot be fully aware of your surroundings.

Dribble while your head is up and your eyes are forward. Looking directly at the ball means you aren’t good at the game yet. Bring your ball along when you go out. You can practice dribbling when you have to walk to the store. If you look at the ball, you’re unable to see what’s going on down the court before you.

TIP! If you typically handle the ball a lot, it pays to learn the crossover. Switch from one side to the other while dribbling.

If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. Crossover dribble is switching hands while you’re dribbling. The move must be done quickly if it is going to work. When done properly, crossover dribbling is a great way to quickly switch direction or move around the court in an efficient manner.

TIP! Having a good foundation is key when shooting the ball. Your knees should be bent with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders.

It is important to keep your balance when you shoot. Many the professional player can be seen slipping out of bounds or making baskets from far away, but these are not proper techniques. This is simply an improvised move. Consider proper balance when you shoot, and eventually you’ll consistently make baskets.

TIP! Successful free throwing requires as much mental skill as it does physical skill. Training your body is important, but you also have to be mentally ready for the shot.

There is a lot of pressure when shooting free throws. Training your body is important, but you also have to be mentally ready for the shot. Be relaxed and concentrate on the basket and you will help you make more free throws.

Practice Catching Passes

TIP! Don’t spend all your time practicing how to confront a zone defense. The majority of game play might take place in the zone, but that doesn’t mean that the opposing team will not try to catch you off guard.

Practice catching passes often. You want to practice catching perfect passes and bad passes. When the pressure is on, not every pass will come straight to you. Therefore, it pays to practice catching passes that are a bit off-target.

TIP! One great way to pass good is to drill when you can without dribbling. It is hard to play with no dribbling, but it will help your team make great passes.

When injuries occur on the court, it is unwise to keep on playing. Basketball is physically challenging, and injuries are not uncommon. Trying to play through the pain could just cause more damage. See a doctor if the injury is serious enough.

TIP! If you want to be a master of the jump shot, do not make weight lifting a priority. Muscle strength is great for any position in basketball, you can have too much when it comes to perimeter play.

Watch tapes of yourself playing basketball to get a more objective perspective. This way, you have the opportunity to go through your play at a later time and see your mistakes. When looking at the tape, don’t be too critical, but be honest. This gives you an unfettered view of how you actually performed on the court, rather than relying solely on your memory of the game.

TIP! Build hand signals so passes are more successful. One of basketball’s most frustrating elements is the concept of sending a quick pass onto a teammate who has just moved in a different direction.

Use deception by looking elsewhere when you make passes. This should befuddle your opponent. You give your teammate a better chance to make the shot because the opposing player is moving the wrong direction when you pass the ball. This play can be very powerful.

Free Throw

TIP! If you’re looking to be the best defensive player that you can be, you’ll want to know your opponent. You can read scouting reports and watch tapes to evaluate your opponents game.

Get into a consistent routine to improve your free throw shots. Inconsistency will ruin your shots. The most effective method to achieve a great free throw is by practicing it repeatedly until you get it right. If you break your routine, you’ll start missing shots.

TIP! Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. Stepping your toe in a baseline with a ball in your grip will mean that you’re out of bounds.

Use workouts to better your game. Sprinting exercises can help you to become faster, while running for long distances can assist you in making it through the whole game. Resistance training or lifting weights will increase muscle strength and shooting abilities. The confidence and aggression that result also help you more than anything when shooting.

TIP! Passing between the legs is great when you are being closely guarded. This will make it very hard for your defender to get it.

Keep a rhythm while dribbling to throw your opponents off. By dribbling consistently and then breaking it up into a different rhythm that’s fast, you can trick an opponent so you have more time to shoot. The speed is important, but it works in tandem with the sound to disorient the player who is guarding you.

TIP! The trick to grabbing a rebound on a teammate’s missed free-throw is to plan your footwork in advance. The defender in your path will be moving at you, so be sure you’re thinking of how to get past that defender.

Build your team up at all times. Basketball is something that can work in a team’s favor if they all work together well. When you feel like your team is part of your family, you have mutual trust. This bond will bring your game to new levels.

TIP! Dribbling the ball fast and hard will help you to keep better control of it. A good hard dribble brings the ball back to you much faster, leaving less time for the opponent to steal it from you.

When you come back down to earth from a rebound, try to land so that your legs are spread out wider than your shoulders to give your balance a boost. Have your hands on both sides of the ball. Also, be sure to hold it against your chest tightly. Don’t let your elbows poke another player or you will gain a foul.

TIP! Always set your three-point shooting practice goal at the official NBA distance. The international line is much closer.

Learn about your opponents so you can force them to play your game, not theirs. If the opponent is left-handed, make the right side your dominant side so that they can’t use their dominant side. Keep your head parallel to their chest, and you will stay low and primed to snatch the ball.

TIP! Only stop dribbling if you want to shoot or pass. When you cease dribbling, you’re really limiting your options.

As stated in the above article, anyone can improve their basketball skills through many different ways. A better player has more fans and more applause. Everyone has to play a part in the team and people that cheer on the games also have a big part to play too. Help your team by playing your position and looking for turnover opportunities. Remember these tips to become a dependable player who is welcome on any team.

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