Basketball isn’t just a sport played in gym or organized leagues. It is possible to play the game anywhere, including on your lawn or at a court at the park. When you love basketball, use this article to learn as much as you can.

Make sure that you’re dribbling the ball correctly. Don’t use your palm to dribble, but use your fingertips instead. This way you’ll have a lot more control over the ball. Keep the ball by your side as you dribble instead of right in front your body. Keep your eyes up, not on the ground.

TIP! It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games.

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. Relax, take your time and be focused.

Keep your weight lifting to a minimum as a jump shooter. Muscle flexibility is more important than muscle mass. Some pro shooting guards make their arms large enough to decrease their own field goal percentage.

In order to get a good shot, good footwork is essential when posting up. You must be certain to get the good spot ahead of your opponent. Once you’re in position, you also need to secure your spot. These will both require powerful footwork.

TIP! Work on improving your strengths to become an even better player. You can contribute to the team by consolidating your best skills, even if these skills do not make you one of the star players.

Ask your fellow teammates if they have an opinion of your skills in the game. Is there something that you excel at? Continue to develop the skills that play into your natural abilities. Discover what other people feel are your strongest skills and then set about perfecting them.

Remember to spread your fingers when handling the ball. This gives you better control of the ball. Avoid putting your palm on the ball, too. When you’re shooting or passing, the only place the ball should touch your hand is on your fingers.

You must know your opponent in order to be tough on defense. You should be look at scouting reports, practicing techniques and watch tapes. See if you can determine each players strong and weak sides. The more you understand what you are up against, the more likely you are to develop an effective strategy during games. A knowledgeable defender is a strong defender.

TIP! If you are posting up, strategic footwork is important to becoming open and making a good shot. You must be certain to get the good spot ahead of your opponent.

Where are your feet? When you are in possession of the ball, touching the baseline will get you out of bounds. You will get called for walking if you take extra steps and are not dribbling. Being aware of your body movements can give you an advantage on the court.

Try practicing looking in the opposite direction when you pass. Your opponents can really get confused by this, as well. If you’re doing it correctly you can fake your opponent out so he/she moves towards that direction and then you pass the ball to a wide open teammate for a shot. It’s a powerful play when done right.

To generate consistency with layups, leap from the opposite foot from the hand you use to shoot. This means that if you shoot with your right hand, take off from your left foot. This can help you to remain balanced, continue moving toward the hoop, and will keep your body between the defender and yourself.

TIP! 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 nimble or you are reliably there to support them.

Practice drills that force you to get the basketball to the other end of the court in less than 5 dribbles. It isn’t impossible, it just takes practice. This is a vital skill to give you points on fast break opportunities.

Take charges whenever possible. Letting the other guy run into you stops the game without having to use a time out, and adds another four to the opponent’s total. It can be a momentum changer by making the other team think twice about dribbling the ball into the lane.

To convert the typical 2-3 zone to a trapping machine, get the best pair of defenders available to wait just until the opposing point guard reaches roughly ten feet beyond the mid-court line. They can then trap the point guard. While this is going on your forwards can be sprinting to the players located on the wings. The point guard throws a pass that can be easily stolen by your forwards.

TIP! Make it your goal to never turn away from the ball on the court. Always knowing where the ball is will make sure that you are ready if it quickly comes your way.

You can improve a weak hand by using it in daily life. If you can train yourself to be ambidextrous, you will gain complete control of that hand. This also can significantly help your basketball game.

If you want to improve your outside shooting skills then you need to take hundreds of shots each day from all over the court. To improve even more, practice preparing for a shot quickly after dribbling the ball. Be sure you look at the target as you’re in mid air. You can improve your accuracy to help you when the game is live.

Always practice from all spots on the court. The first thing you should do is practice your grip and balance. Shooting when off-balance isn’t impossible, but it isn’t effective either. You can use your basketball’s valve to improve grip. Spread your dominant hand over the ball, positioning the valve in the middle of your hand; this is the center of the ball.

TIP! One thing to consider if your shooting percentage drops is that your shoulders may be inconsistent when you are shooting. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot.

Be careful not to double-dribble. You get called for double dribbling if you stop your dribble and then begin again. You only have two options once you stop dribbling, to shoot or pass. You’re not allowed to start dribbling again. That is also referred to as a turnover, and the ref will call it for your opponent.

After a rebound has occurred, the spot where you are positioned will dictate whether possession is retained. Use both feet to jump with power and balance, and use both hands to grab the ball. Once you have the ball in your position, come down to the ground with your legs spread out to make sure you don’t stumble.

No matter what kind of basketball game you are playing, be it one-on-one, H.O.R.S.E. or something else, learning about how to become better will make you better. Use the information you have learned here. If you can better your game, why not do so?