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Do you like basketball, but don’t understand all there is to know about it? You aren’t alone. Lots of folks watch basketball games and marvel at what the professionals can do. Read on and get the great tips that all the pros use.

Learn the mechanics of a free throw. This seems like an easy shot, but it is quite hard. Practice constantly using this tip. First, keep the ball in front of you and at eye level. Use visualization to imagine the goal occurring. Then, use the trajectory you just visualized and shoot the ball.

TIP! Perfect your free throw. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard.

Play solo basketball in the months leading up to the season, as well as during the season itself. There are times you may not find anyone to play with you. It’s okay! You can still do a lot on your own. Work on free throws or three pointers. There are always things that can be done.

Make sure, no matter what else happens, you can see where the ball is. You have to be aware of what is going on with the ball at all times. Also, keep your eyes on areas that open up on the court for an easy basket.

To hold the ball right, spread your fingers out. This will help you to be sure that it won’t escape your grasp when trying to hold it. Your palm should not be touching the ball. The only things that should touch the ball are your fingers, as you shoot or pass.

TIP! It is important that you practice layups. A huge percentage of successful shots are layups.

It’s important to know where you have your feet and also what they’re doing. Stepping your toe in a baseline with a ball in your grip will mean that you’re out of bounds. More than three steps will cause you to get called for travelling. Moving your feet as you are setting a screen or pick usually results in you being called for a foul.

If you wish to dribble the ball better, you have to start using your hand that’s considered the weak one. Being ambidextrous on the court makes it more difficult for defenders to figure out what you will do next. Tie your strong hand to the rear of your back to ensure you only use your weaker hand. Your weak hand won’t be that for long!

Being a good defensive player involves disrupting your opponent’s concentration. Force them to leave their comfort zone. Be aggressive as you execute your moves. Never let them control the game plays. If you do, your opponent will run all over you. Instead, you move first and throw them off their game.

TIP! A great way to hone your own basketball abilities is to watch the pros. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person.

Dribble hard if you don’t want the ball taken from you. This makes the ball go back to your hand quicker, so offense has reduced chances at taking it from you. If you are being closely guarded, you should cease dribbling and pass the ball to an open member of your team.

Take charges whenever you have the opportunity. By taking charge you can create a defensive stop so you can get the ball, and allows you to create setups so that the opponent will foul you. Not only that, your opponents may become confused or frustrated and stop playing their game plan.

Alternating your pace is critical to keeping the defense guessing. Plant a foot and start to straighten your body. The guard will think you are slowing down and will also straighten themselves. When they do, try pushing forward hard and running right past them.

TIP! You can learn how to pass well by drilling on it separately from dribbling. It is hard to play basketball without dribbling, and demands accurate passing and teamwork, so it will be a challenge.

When on defense, try to keep yourself low whenever you can. This will let you get to the jump quicker and let you react to your opponent easier. Remain in a correct defensive pose always. If you break the stance to shot-block, then recover the proper form immediately after the pass or shot.

It is necessary to be capable of altering the path of your opponent. Whether you are playing offense or defense, it is important to control the moves of your opponent. By doing this you will be able to go wherever you want on the court without their interference.

You must know as a ball handler how to read when to take a shot and when you should be passing. You are better off cooperating to make a winning shot instead of hot-dogging and making a bad shot that loses the game.

TIP! Lifting weights too much can actually take away from your jump shot. Muscle is good, but you can have too much.

You likely didn’t know much about basketball previously. Now that you’ve read this, you should be ready to play just like a pro. Follow this helpful advice to get started playing basketball.