Basketball is an extremely popular sport. You can play on your own or with a team. You can also play for fun or try and make a career of it. Learn a little more about what basketball is all about by reading this article.

When dribbling, make sure that you look forward and keep your head up. You need more practice if you feel that you cannot dribble without focusing on the ball. Bring your ball along when you go out. Try dribbling even when walking to a store. You will not be able to see what’s happening before you on the court while beholding the ball.

TIP! Learn how to hit a free throw shot. It seems easy to do but surely isn’t.

You need good balance when you shoot. While some NBA players are able to launch a ball to the net mid-fall, this is not appropriate for most people. These players are using creative improvisation. Keep your balance so you can consistently win points.

Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game. Dribble the ball in front of you while taking large strides followed by a smooth shot. Perfecting this skill will enable you to get to the rim effortlessly during a game.

Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. It is possible to practice the physical movements needed to make such a shot, but when your mental focus is lacking, you are likely to miss. Take a deep breath, relax and imagine you are at practice to help yourself make the shot.

TIP! Keep your head up when you dribble. You haven’t practiced enough if you keep looking at the basketball while you’re dribbling.

Bad passes can be avoided with the right hand signals. One of the more frustrating aspects of basketball is making a pass to a teammate at the same time they head to the basket. Using signals helps communicate passes with your team. If the person doesn’t make a signal the person shouldn’t get passed to.

Make sure, no matter what else happens, you can see where the ball is. That will keep you aware, so you don’t get surprised by turnovers or quick passes. Also, watch for areas to open up so you can make an easy basket.

When doing a layup, start running using the weaker of your two feet. Thus, if you use your right hand for shooting, you need to push off using your left foot. Your body remains balanced while you move towards the basket.

Free Throws

Build a routine to improve your free throw game. If you’re not consistent you’ll find yourself missing free throws. A great way to get better at free throws is to practice, practice and then practice the same routine some more. If you break your routine, you’ll start missing shots.

It is important that you can clearly see everything that is occurring during a game. While it will allow you to catch passes and read the score, there is more to it than that. Your peripheral vision should be the best it can be. If you look across the whole game and not just focus on the ball, you can see oncoming defensive pressure in advance, as well as open teammates.

TIP! Videotape your games to see what you do right and wrong. Do you see anything you could do differently? Don’t be too critical, but do be honest.

Practice your dribbling skills while shifting your momentum to alternate sides. You will dribble during different situations. You might be swarmed by various opponents or get an open court. You must dribble while you make your body lean in various directions. Dribbling can help get you out of trouble.

Use the hand you are not dribbling with to keep your defender away from the ball. You can’t push the person guarding you, but you can hold your arm out gently. Keep it up a little bit while you dribble.

Keep your dribbling in a rhythm until you want to throw your opponent off guard. By mixing up your regular dribbling rhythm with a faster pace, you will throw your opponent off guard, perhaps leaving you with an open shot or pass. In addition to the tempo change, the louder sound of your dribbling can catch them off guard as well.

TIP! To help perfect your free throw abilities you should perform a consistent routine. For example, many people touch their foreheads or tap their chest before making a free throw shot.

Practice all kinds of shots from various spots on the court. Initially, you need to practice both your grip and your balance. Sometimes you are forced into off-balanced shots, but that only makes you less accurate. The valve, which is located at the center of the ball, should help you perfect your grip. Cover the basketball valve with your palm and spread your fingers. This will center your hand on the ball.

Make sure your team really meshes together off and on the court. When a basketball team gels fully, their game can reach entirely new heights. That means knowing each players strengths and weaknesses and trusting them.

Where you are before and following a rebound is going to mean the difference between possessing the ball or giving it to the other team. When you jump, use both legs to give yourself a boost. After rebounding the ball, land with your feet wider than your shoulders for better balance and keep the ball close to your chest.

TIP! Practice passing while not looking in the direction of the pass. This is a great technique in order to help confuse the opponents.

When you shoot, do what you can to temper your nerves. This will help improve your focus during the shot. Specifically, you should train you eyes to concentrate on the backside of the basket rim while you are making the shot. When shooting layups, be sure you are using the backboard.

Basketball Player

If you want to be an excellent basketball player, you have to learn to pivot. A good basketball player can pivot without thought or tangling. Work on your stance, and then practice reacting quickly when you’ve got the ball in your hands.

TIP! In order to be successful with layups, the foot that is opposite from shooting hand is the one you should take off from. What this practically means is that if your right hand is your shooting hand, you need to take off with your left foot.

Once you start gaining some skill, you will start having greater control over your dribble. You have to control how the ball spins, how hard it hits and where the ball lands in relationship to where your legs and feet are. Change your speed and shift your body to keep defenders on their toes.

It should be clear to you now what you can do to get more into basketball. It really is not that hard, you just need a bit of knowledge and dedication. When you start to play, you should start doing so regularly. Get started today and have a lot of fun!