Basketball is popular all over the world. No matter if you watch championships, play on your own team, or just play in your yard, it’s a sport that’s here to stay. Nearly everyone that plays wishes to become a great player and win the game. Use these basketball tips to enhance your understanding and love for this incredible sport.

Make sure to dribble properly. When you dribble, use the fingertips, not the palm. Using your fingers allows you to better control the basketball. Be sure to dribble beside your body instead of in front of yourself. Bounce the ball at a level even with your waist. Don’t look down, always look up.

TIP! Learn the mechanics of a free throw. This seemingly simple shot can be difficult to execute under game conditions.

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. These shots are improvisational and usually desperate attempts. Point your feet towards the basket, guide the ball with your weaker hand and push the ball away with your strong hand whenever you shoot the basketball.

Frequent pass catching practice is important. Be sure to be able to catch off-target throws on top of good ones. During the course of a game, you can expect there to be many errant passes. You and your team mates will be happier if you (and they) are more versatile.

One good way to always be ready for whatever happens on the court is to never turn your back on the ball. You develop a good feel for the game around you, making it much easier to quickly react to your opponent. Also, watch for areas to open up so you can make an easy basket.

TIP! If you typically handle the ball a lot, it pays to learn the crossover. This term refers to switching the hand you use.

Pay attention closely to the shoulders if you’re starting to slump when you shoot. Regardless of your skill level, if you don’t have your shoulders positioned correctly, you will miss. Keep your shoulders square to the hoop. Try to line your dominant shoulder up with the rim.

Quickness is a virtue in basketball. If you want the advantage, you need to be quicker than your opponents. If you want to play the game fast, you need to drill continuously. Avoid playing faster than your abilities allow. If you play basketball past your own speed ability, then you can lose control of you game with bad passes and needless turnovers.

Try practicing looking in the opposite direction when you pass. This trick can be used successfully to confuse defenders. This will give the person that you passed the ball to a chance to make their move before your opponent can correct from their mix up. It’s a great play if done properly.

TIP! To be a great basketball player you need to work on your balance. Falling when you make a shot is not the right way to shoot.

Give your layouts the most by launching from the foot that opposes the hand you are shooting with. This will allow you to shoot with your comfortable hand. This will allow you to be more balanced while moving closer to the basket while keeping your body between the defender and you.

Develop and use a consistent routine for shooting free throws. Inconsistency will ruin your shots. The most effective method to achieve a great free throw is by practicing it repeatedly until you get it right. You’ll miss if you don’t have a good routine down.

Being a good defensive player means disrupting the game of your opponent. Force them away from their comfort zone. The more aggressive you are the better. Never allow them to decide what plays will be made. Your opponent will take any opportunity to give you the run around. Instead, take the initiative and disrupt their rhythm.

TIP! Work on improving your strengths to become an even better player. Your talents might not make you a star, but when you make the most of your strengths, you might better contribute to your team.

The trick to grabbing a rebound on a teammate’s missed free-throw is to plan your footwork in advance. The defender in your path will be moving at you, so be sure you’re thinking of how to get past that defender. This gets you the rebound without you committing a foul.

Dribble harder if you want to avoid the ball being stolen. This speeds up the dribbling cycle, which means the person covering you has less of a chance to steal the ball each cycle. Stop dribbling when people guard you too closely.

You need to take charge when the opportunity presents itself. 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. Perfecting this play can really give you an advantage on the court.

TIP! Frequently train yourself on your pass catching moves. While you are practicing, you should be sure to drill yourself on catching errant throws, as well as catching those perfect passes.

To help practice three-point shooting you should practice shooting at the NBA distance. School and the international standard lines are nearer than that. When you can shoot from the NBA range, you’ll be able to shoot from farther away than the defense expects.

You should keep the ball below the knees if you’re able to. This is going to make things harder for your opponents if they want to steal the ball. You’ll have to bend over, but it will be worth the effort.

There are a lot of ways to make your game better. Most of what you learned simply requires a lot of repetitive practice to hone your skills. Practice makes perfect, and basketball is no exception. It helps to be near a basketball net as often as possible. No matter if you’re practicing with a group of friends or your team, the more chances you get to perfect your skills, the better you become as a player.