Basketball is an extremely popular sport. It’s simple to play a game at the park or begin your career if you start early enough. Check out the helpful advice below for some great information on the sport of basketball.

Figure out how to perfect your free throw. This seems like an easy shot, but it is quite hard. Practice frequently using these techniques. First, keep the ball in front of you and at eye level. Concentrate on the basket and visualize the basketball going in. Then, use the trajectory you just visualized and shoot the ball.

TIP! Practice hitting your free throws. That’s a shot that appears simple but is actually difficult in reality.

If you want to improve your game, concentrate on your strengths. Your skills might not make you an all-start every time out, but playing up your strengths makes you a great contributor. Perfect what you can do well by practicing and developing the strengths you already have.

Keep practicing your layups. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups. Dribble the ball in front of you while taking large strides followed by a smooth shot. This running and jumping technique will help you learn how to jump and shoot better during the game.

Learn good passing by drilling often without dribbling. It is hard to play a game when you don’t dribble, but it will help you to be sure that everyone is passing accurately. Keep your emotions in check if quality passing is not happening right away as it takes time to perfect this part of the game.

TIP! If you hold the ball a lot, you have to learn crossovers. Crossover dribble is switching hands while you’re dribbling.

To be a good post-up player in the pain, you need to have really good footwork. While actually being beneath the basket is key, establishing a good position prior to the opposition is even more so. Once there, you have to firmly claim the area as your own. Good solid footwork will help you develop the skills you need for success.

Turning away from the ball can be a costly mistake in basketball. You develop a good feel for the game around you, making it much easier to quickly react to your opponent. Always watch for areas opening up where you can go for a quick basket.

Play a good defense by knowing your opponent. Watch tapes and stay up on scouting reports. See if you can determine each players strong and weak sides. Once you start to get to know the other team, you can do a lot better when you’re on defense. A smart defensive player is a strong one.

TIP! Improving your balance means improving your shots. Many the professional player can be seen slipping out of bounds or making baskets from far away, but these are not proper techniques.

If your shooting is in a slump, take a look at your shoulders. Whenever your shoulders aren’t in a good position, you simply will not shoot well, regardless of your skill level. Ensure that you line up your shoulders so that they are squared with the basketball net. Your dominant shoulder must be lined up with the rim.

If you’re quick on the basketball court, you have a built in advantage. To get an advantage over an opposing player, you must have the quickest reactions. You will have to do a lot of drilling to play faster. Although being fast is important, avoid playing faster than your capabilities. Playing beyond your speed can result in bad passes and excessive turnovers.

Practice passing while looking another way. This is a simple thing that could easily confuse your opponents. By looking in the opposite direction, your teammate has a few extra seconds to make the shot. It’s a great play if done properly.

Free Throws

Build a consistent routine for your free throws. Your shot could be off if you are inconsistent. The simplest way to get better at shooting free throws is through constant repetitive motions when shooting the ball. A break in your routine will foul the shot.

You need to work on your forearms and your hands to handle the ball more efficiently. Strong hands make it easier for you to keep control of the basketball. Don’t assume that you are able to just stand anywhere, catch the ball and shoot it. You need to be able to move the basketball to make things happen.

TIP! Passing the ball is an important part of playing basketball so practice making and receiving passes. Make sure you get used to catching less than perfect passes smoothly.

Be slick with your feet so you can get a rebound from a teammate. The defender may be coming toward you, so its important to slip away from him and get the ball. Then you gain the ball without the foul.

A good way to stay defensive is to have a defensive stance. You will always be in a defensive position if you slide your feet one way and then the other and push off using your opposing foot. Never cross your feet and your opponents will find you a difficult player.

Alter your pace to confuse the opposition. Try to block the net by planting your foot hard. Your defender will likely think you are taking a shot or passing, and straighten up as well. When they do, push ahead hard and outrun them.

TIP! You need to practice more than defeating a zone defense. While a good chunk of the game will most likely be played in zone, your opponent might flip the switch to man-to-man coverage just to change things up and surprise you.

Your defenders need to wait for the point guard to make it 10′ ahead of the time line. Then they need to get to the guard on point to trap him. Your forwards should then go cover the wing players. The point guard should throw up a pass that your forwards can easily steal.

These tips should give a better idea of how to improve your game. It is not a complicated game and a great form of exercise. When you first start playing, you will want to keep doing it. Just step out and give it a try. You are sure to have fun.