Basketball is played by people of all ages. Basketball can be played at the park, driveway or at the local rec center. If your passion is basketball, take the time to read the following article to learn more about the sport.

Free throws are an excellent skill to practice in your spare time. This is something that seems simple, but in reality it can be hard. You should practice as often as possible with this technique. Start with the ball ahead of your face. Eye the basket and imagine the ball swishing down into it. Once you’ve visualized this, take your shot as you just saw it in your head.

TIP! It is important to keep your 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.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game. Stay calm and collected to increase your free throw percentage.

A great way to bolster your basketball ability is to observe those who are considered to be the best in the sport. Get tickets to some pro games, if possible, or catch some games on television. When you find a player who has the skills that you want, then watch them and emulate.

Hand signals can help you to stay away from making bad passes. It can be frustrating passing to a teammate when you’re both heading to the basket. A simple hand gesture can let your teammate know you’re ready for the pass. If no signal is displayed, a pass ought not be made.

TIP! Work on improving your strengths to become an even 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.

It is best to take a break if you sustain an injury while playing. Basketball is challenging physical sport and you can get injured. Continuing to play when you are in pain can make an injury worse. Don’t hesitate to see the doctor if you feel the injury warrants it.

Turning away from the ball can be a costly mistake in basketball. This will give you court awareness and keep you from being surprised by quick passes or turnover potentials. Pay attention to open areas for passes, too.

Watch your shoulders and their position if you notice yourself developing a slump in your shooting. When your shoulders are not properly positioned, then it is almost impossible to perform at your best. Your shoulders should always be squared towards the hoop. Then, make sure that your shooting side is lined up directly to the rim.

TIP! Perfect your layup technique. Layups comprise approximately 80 percent of all shots.

Quickness is something that’s desired in basketball. Always stay ahead of the opposition. Steady drilling will help speed up your play. However, don’t try to be faster than you’re physically able to be. Playing beyond your own capabilities sends the game spinning past your ability to control it, and turnovers are bound to occur.

A good way to see yourself playing is to have someone record your games. Looking at tapes can help you identify strengths and weaknesses. You can use this information to improve your game. Seeing yourself realistically can be a great way to make changes in a positive direction.

Make your forearms and hands stronger so you can handle the ball better. Strong hands make it easier for you to keep control of the basketball. One thing that is important to remember is that it is difficult to be static and be a scorer. You have to be ready to move fast and change directions on a dime.

TIP! A great way to hone your own basketball abilities is to watch the pros. Attend as many professional games as you can, watch the pros on TV, or watch video of professionals.

Dribble very hard to prevent the opposing team players from stealing the ball. This causes the ball to return to your hand more quickly, so the offense has less time to try to get it away from you. If you are being closely guarded, you should cease dribbling and pass the ball to an open member of your team.

Make it your goal to dribble the ball across the entire court in under 5 dribbles. While this is a challenging goal, working toward it will make you a much better player. You will find that it becomes easier to score and make layups.

A great way to stay in a correct defensive stance is to always stay in position no matter what. To do this, avoid lurching or stepping across the floor; instead use smaller, shuffling steps to move with your opponent. Don’t allow your feet to cross and opposing players will have difficulty getting around you.

Strength Training

If you play basketball, you should incorporate strength training into your workout routine. In order to be the best you can at basketball, you need to be strong and hardy. Even little kids who play basketball will develop more overall body strength. As they reach their teen years, bring weights in to further enhance exercise. As an adult, strength training becomes vital in order to play your best basketball.

If you want to improve your three-point shooting, try and do it from the NBA distance, at a minimum. The line in every other league is closer. If you can make a basket from there, you will open up the defense because they will have to play you closely.

TIP! Try using hand signals to ensure that your passes are received. One of basketball’s most frustrating elements is the concept of sending a quick pass onto a teammate who has just moved in a different direction.

Switch your body’s weight from side to side while practicing your dribbling. When you’re playing a game, you have to dribble when you’re in a lot of different situations. You may see an open court but there are opponents ready to swarm you. Because of this, you must be able to dribble efficiently regardless of your body’s position. This allows you to extricate yourself from high-pressure situations.

Make sure your off-court exercise is appropriate to help your on-court game. You can run longer distances to build up stamina. To build speed, try doing wind sprints. Both are necessary for playing good ball. Lifting weights can help you get more muscle. Building your muscles and your confidence will help you game in many ways.

Whether you play competitively or for fun, learning to be a better ball player is paramount. You’ve taken the time to read this article, now go one step further by making use of it. The more you learn, the more you can enjoy playing and watching basketball.