People of all ages have loved basketball for years. But, not everyone has a thorough understanding of what it takes to truly play the sport well. No matter your skill level, this article will provide you with some helpful tips.

Constantly practice layups. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game. Don’t just walk through a layup drill. It is key to go at game tempo to practice the timing needed to maintain accuracy. Jump to the net and concentrate on shooting the ball in a specific location on the backboard.

Catch Errant

Make sure to practice catching passes. When practicing make sure you drill yourself to catch errant throws as well as picture perfect passes. In the heat of the game, not every pass is going to hit the bulls-eye. By learning to catch errant passes, you will do your team a great favor.

Remember to practice a lot of different possibilities so that you will not limit your game. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing. If you haven’t practiced against it, you could end up losing your grip on the game quite quickly.

TIP! You need to keep your balance if you’re shooting. Sometimes you’ll see professional players fall out of bounds while making a shot from afar, but this doesn’t work at all times.

Want to make the other team not know what’s going on? Try doing what is known as a back pass. If you wish to try this pass, get the ball in your dominant hand. Then, move the ball so it is behind your back. Quickly flick with your wrist in the direction you want to pass the ball. This is a good way to trick your opponents.

Core Muscles

One of the keys to becoming a great basketball player is developing core muscles. These core muscles for basketball include your lower back, hips and abs. A core that is not strong enough limits the linkage between arms and legs. Strong core muscles help you with many movements associated with basketball.

TIP! Know your strengths and they’ll help you become a better player. The best talent you have isn’t going to have you starring in every highlight reel, but having a good skill set can benefit your team.

Quality footwork will help you get better shots. Focus on positioning yourself more quickly than the opposing player is just as important as having someone beneath the hoop. Once you’re in position, you also need to secure your spot. Both skills rely on some solid footwork.

Pay attention closely to the shoulders if you’re starting to slump when you shoot. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot. Keep your shoulders square to the hoop. Your shooting arm’s shoulder also needs to be exactly lined up with the rim.

Quickness is something you have to have when playing basketball. You need to be faster than the opposing team if you want the advantage. Steady drilling is the key to playing fast. Though, you should never attempt to a play faster game than your abilities permit. When you play too fast, you can lose control and that means turnovers.

TIP! Work on pass catches. Be sure to be able to catch off-target throws on top of good ones.

Be aware of your own actions and the position of your feet. If you step on the baseline, you will be out of bounds. If you walk without dribbling, you will be called for walking and this will result in a turnover. Avoid lifting your feet when you are screening or in position for a charge or the foul will be called on you instead of your opponent.

Watch tapes of yourself playing basketball to get a more objective perspective. While reviewing the tape, look for opportunities you may have missed during the game. Be honest when assessing, but avoid being overly critical. This gives you an unfettered view of how you actually performed on the court, rather than relying solely on your memory of the game.

Learn to pass the ball without looking at your intended target. This is a great technique in order to help confuse the opponents. If you can do this correctly, you’ll be able to free up time for the person that you’ve passed to. You must practice this move with your teammates so that everyone on your team understands what is going on.

TIP! You can learn how to pass well by drilling on it separately from dribbling. Passing drills with your team is important for accurate passes during game time, and you can try doing them without dribbling at all.

When doing a layup, start running using the weaker of your two feet. Jump off your left foot when you shoot using your right hand. This way you keep your body away from defenders, your momentum going in the direction of the basket and your body stays balanced.

A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. Inconsistent shooting will lead to inconsistent results. You should work on your free throw techniques as much as possible until they become a second nature. If you have a glitch in the routine, you are likely to miss your shot.

Practice dribbling with both hands, dribble on both sides of your body and learn to dribble in front of you while taking large strides. If you have two hands that can dribble the ball effortlessly then it becomes easier to get by your opponent. Tie your strong hand to the rear of your back to ensure you only use your weaker hand. In no time, the weak hand will also be useful for dribbling.

TIP! Practice basketball in season and out of season. Even though basketball is usually played with teams, it is sometimes the case that there just isn’t anyone around to play with.

The key to great defense is being a nuisance to the player you are guarding. Focus on getting them out of the comfort zone. Stay aggressive. Do not allow them to pick and choose their plays. If you let them, they’ll totally take the control from you. You should make the initial move and throw them off.

There is no doubt that basketball has long held wide appeal for individuals hailing from all walks of life. One thing you have to do to play well is to know a few things about it. Keep the information from this piece close at hand, and your love of basketball will reach amazing new heights.