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Basketball is truly a great game for people of all ages. Whether you want to play for fun or even professionally, it takes some research to learn all you can about mastering game play. This article was written to assist you thanks to its great tips and tricks which come from those in the know, so read on.

When you’re dribbling the ball, you should avoid looking down at the ball. You should be able to dribble without staring at the ball. If you can dribble without seeing the ball, you’ll be able to keep your eyes on the rest of the game. This will help you to know who is open for a pass or if you have a chance to take a shot.

Learn the mechanics of a free throw. This seems like an easy shot, but it is quite hard. Practice regularly and employe the technique that follows. Start with the ball held out from your face. There may be a number of distractions so you need to focus on your goal. Once you’ve visualized this, take your shot as you just saw it in your head.

Always follow through when shooting. A great way to practice is to hold your follow through until the ball goes in the basket or misses. This will give you some clues on why you missed a shot or where you need to strive for consistency. Watch how other players follow through and follow their lead.

When rebounding, start moving as soon as the shooter uncoils. When you react and move quicker, you better anticipate their moves and get more rebounds. When they start to uncoil, start contact by blocking them out. Make sure to do the same thing on offense since the shooter will most likely try to uncoil after the rebound. This can boost your number of rebounds.

When playing basketball, remember that you are playing on a team. Don’t be a “ball hog.” A team is like a support system and your teammates are there to help you and you should be there to help them. The objective of the game is to work together to beat the opponent.

Learn how to turn on your pivot foot when stopped with the ball. Being able to pivot is an important skill to learn. If you’ve pulled up your dribble, you can no longer take any steps forward. That means your back foot can’t move. But you can pivot on it to face different directions and fake out an opponent. It can help you out of a jam.

Where loose fitting shorts and a sports shirt that lets you move. Basketball is a very physical sport. There’s a lot of running, a lot of physical contact, and a ton of jumping. You want to wear clothes that let you move as well as possible. If you don’t, you’ll find your time on the court to be pretty miserable.

It is important that you protect the ball if you have it. Dribble to the side to ensure that no one can steal it from you. If no one is nearby, you can dribble in front, but be sure to take it to the side if someone approaches you or you go for the net.

Be careful about trying to block shots. In most organized leagues, blocking the shot on the way down or when in the imaginary cylinder above the net results in a goaltending call. This just gives the opponent the attempted points, whether they would have made the shot or not anyway.

Try practicing dribbling between your legs. Dribble hard and then walk over the ball, continuing the dribble when it is behind you with your other arm. When you use this trick on the court, you will find that your competitors don’t know what to do to get the ball from you.

Ball control is an essential skill for good basketball playing. One simple drill to improve your control is to use a ball in each hand for dribbling practice. Bounce one ball first and then just a second after, bounce the other. Alternate the bounce as you move down the court. As you gain more control, pick up the pace.

Keep a basketball in your hands or arms as much as you can. This pertains to off the court. Dribble whenever and wherever you can. Just carry a basketball around with you, playing with it gently when safe. You want to be as familiar with a basketball as any part of your own body.

To make your weaker hand stronger, play non-competitive basketball games with only your weak hand. The more you practice with it, especially in a real game, the better your skills will become. This is a great way to become more ambidextrous than you are without risking a loss in a competitive game.

Incorporate lots of squats into your basketball training. Squats help to increase the natural elasticity of the legs and buttocks. When you need to propel yourself down the court, speed is imperative and demands strong legs. Squats will also do wonders for your jump shot and dunks. Bring weights into your squats and you will create a winning combination.

Although a slam dunk may seem like the easiest and most reliable shot to make in basketball, there is still room for error. Using one hand to dunk the ball can invite turnovers and missed dunks off the back of the rim. Whenever possible, always use two hands while dunking.

While you should always make your passes as simple as possible, some situations call for more complicated passes. If you have to make a behind-the-back pass, your power is coming from your arm and fingers. If you use the power from your shoulders, you opponent will realize what your are doing and may be quick enough to break up the pass.

As you dribble a ball, you need to keep these tips in mind. Shooting, rebounding or even coaching others all requires you to try out what you have learned here. As you do, you will improve and your teammates will appreciate the hard work you put into your game play.